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« Rory Wins! | Main | Monty Off To Blazing Start: Already Has Vice Captain Ollie Flustered! »
Saturday
Jan312009

Minds Crossing Over Dubai Ryder Cup Idea

Mark Reason on the European Tour's disastrous idea to possibly entertain a 2018 Ryder Cup bid from their partners, Leisurecorp

Golf is a massive tourist pull in the area and David Spencer, the chief executive of Leisurecorp, confirmed the group's interest in heading a bid for the Ryder Cup.Spencer said: "It makes sense. Golf tourism is a fantastic product that we can gain more market share in. [A bid] has certainly crossed my mind. It's crossed [European Tour chief executive] George O'Grady's mind.

"It's a given that the Ryder Cup in 2018 will not be in the UK or Ireland. Is it possible for the UAE or Qatar to make a bid? Yes. Would a company like Leisurecorp want to be part of that and spearhead that bid? Most definitely."

It makes no sense whatsoever, unless of course, your a tour willing to do anything for a buck.

This is just sad:

Sir Michael Bonallack, the former R&A secretary, sounded a note of caution about the plans: "The Gulf is a major part of the European tour now and I'm sure they'd host it well," he said.

"My concern would be whether they would get the crowds that we see in Europe. It would be great for the fans to experience it as long as it's not too expensive."

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Reader Comments (13)

Has anyone asked where the money is going to come from? Dig a little below the surface of the Dubai story and there is a quite frightening debt to GDP ratio. Talk to the expats pouring out of Dubai at the moment about the rate of attrition in jobs there as well and the Dubai fairy tale looks a bit iffy.
01.31.2009 | Unregistered CommenterWP
In finance what goes up must eventually come down and vice versa. If the Euro Tour can aid and assist in running the Gulf region dry then let 'em!

We need another good economic crash anyways!
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterOn Tour
WP...you're bang on. Dubai for a Ryder Cup...the pathetic whoring of the game is really getting serious. Golf is descending into the same bankrupt mindset that is consuming their sponsors. They all better wake up or the landscape of the game will change...and it won't be for the better. Non-golfers and anyone with a moral compass can't look at golf or the current leadership of the game and feel good about its concern for what really matters. Sure it's a business...how about looking to improve the game from the inside, rather that looking out on the horizon for a contrived wasteland to cash in on.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSir Real
The Irish guy bought the Ryder Cup a few years ago. What's the diff? Race?
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPonte Green
Don't blame the ET.

The blame belongs with the PGAs for letting any tour get near the Ryder Cup.
Who thinks ET members would have boycotted the RC if the ET did not get their way?

The ET is only doing what a professional organization should be doing.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeM
Television might have something to say about any such deal. Dubai is 12 hours ahead of the US west coast, 9 hours ahead of the east coast. For the average American golf fan (i.e. ignoring the die-hards willing to get up pre-dawn), that means watching a tape-delayed broadcast with the match results already known. NBC and advertisers might not fancy their likely Nielsen rating.

FWIW I suspect the time differential with Europe may be one reason the PGA have not taken the Ryder Cup to a west-coast site in over 40 years.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom
George,

By that you mean selling it to the highest bidder?

And I think playing it Ireland is a little different to Dubai.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterWP
WP, so selling the rights to the highest bidder is not a problem, even if the course in Ireland was an inland, parkland abomination. The problem is selling those rights to feriners who look different. Nice.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPonte Green
Its all just a meaningless exhibition anyway, who cares where they play it? Would we care more about individual performances in the RC if they played at Cypress or Pine Valley every time? It wasn't that long ago that they tape delayed matches here in the US even though the results were on the then new internet. The mistake we have all made is giving this worthless entertainment actual value. The reason the best players don't like match play is that the best players don't always win - luck plays a very important role. Brian Barnes beat Nicklaus. Not to mention the wrench that alternate shot throws into the works. We'd be better off to scrap the whole thing.
02.1.2009 | Unregistered Commenterdfoster
The European Tour's relationship with this Dubai mob is becoming rather dangerous.
02.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSatch
The Ryder Cup has only been on the continent of Europe once - in 1997. When you consider the composition of the European team in recent years, it is already a scandal that it is not back on the continent until at least 2018. The idea that it might just slide off to Dubai instead of the continent is thoroughly offensive.
02.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPepster
Why not have it in Saudi Arabai? It would be interesting to see Dottie Pepper try to call the event from under a Bhurka. Although liberable by Middle Eastern standards, neither venue is a Free Society.
02.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Ford
Will the world be here in 2018?
02.2.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Blabbie

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