TPC Blue Monster Looks At Party Trend To Attract Corporate Clients, Expand Fan Base
PGA Tour events have organized and promoted “daylong parties” around certain holes “hoping to attract corporate clients and expand their fan bases beyond rabid followers of golf," according to Karen Crouse of the N.Y. TIMES. The 15th hole of TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral is where course owner Donald Trump envisions "the winds of change blowing through PGA Tour events will be most evident.” Trump “sees gold in a cozy par-3 watering hole with a lake running along one side and well-heeled patrons ensconced in sky boxes lining the other.” Golfer Geoff Ogilvy said, “It’s a bit more like the tournaments are setting up or contriving to create raucous atmospheres.” Ogilvy added, “The tournament directors and the people who set up tournaments conspire to get everyone into the same place. ‘Let’s go for a walk today and watch a few holes, but please go to 17 towards the end and start making noise.’ That’s kind of what they want.” Crouse wrote the “librarylike setting of golf tournaments is gradually disappearing.” Ogilvy said, “If it gets more people to go, I think it’s a good thing.” He added, “I know most guys kind of enjoy 16 at Phoenix and 17 last week, for the most part. I think every now and then you get late in the day, you get a few people getting a little bit loud at the wrong moment. But as long as it all happens after golf shots and between golf shots, and not while someone is actually hitting a shot, I mean, fair play, they should be allowed to do whatever they want.” Golfer Justin Rose said, “If you want to play for all the money we are playing for, you have to find ways in this economy to also give more and more to the fans and the sponsors, and I think that’s what’s happening” (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10).
FITS THE EYE: GOLF WORLD MONDAY’s Ryan Herrington writes of the Doral changes under the guidance of course architect Gil Hanse, “The end product tee-to-green is likely to appeal to players.” More “refreshing, the new routing and proposed treatment outside the ropes -- particularly the amphitheater setting at the ninth/18th -- has the potential to be a hit with fans and TV executives alike” (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 3/11 issue).
PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE: Golf course renovations were the topic of GOLF.com's weekly roundtable discussion, with writers addressing the question, "What PGA Tour course would you most like to blow up and start over on?" SI's Gary Van Sickle wrote, “I think the Bear Trap at PGA National would blow up nicely. ... Even the pros think it’s too gimmicky.” Golf.com Senior Producer Ryan Reiterman wrote, “I’ll go with Torrey Pines. For a course that’s right on the ocean, it’s a pretty bland course with very few memorable holes.” Golf Magazine's Cameron Morfit wrote, “I’d blow up Whistling Straits, which I think is a mess and quite possibly the most dangerous place ever built to watch a golf tournament.” Golf.com Managing Editor Eamon Lynch wrote, “Let’s start with any course whose name starts with TPC” (GOLF.com, 3/10).