Opinion: Does Europe need events like Oates Vic Open?
As I watched Mel Reid lift the Oates Vic Open salver this weekend I couldn’t help but wonder if dual men’s and women’s events would help give the Ladies European Tour and ladies golf in general boost.
The event has the men’s and women’s fields play the same course on the same days followed by two cuts allowing alternating men’s and women’s tee times on the final day.
I watched the final few holes via the live feed via the LET website very early on Saturday and Sunday morning
I’ve been to lots of golf events but have never been able to sit for hours and hours watching at home, so purposely getting up early to watch was very new to me.
Watching was enjoyable, seeing the differences between men’s and women’s styles of play, comparing distances and course management without changing the channel. I would 100 per-cent watch more events in this format.The Ladies European Tour and European Tour do something slightly similar in Morocco. They play events during the same week at the same resort but on different courses.
This got me thinking about how successful this format would be in the UK/Europe and would they draw a crowd?
I believe they would, and maybe even convert some die-hard golf fans to realise the women’s game can be just as exciting and skilful as the men’s.
This could be a great way to introduce people who wouldn’t normally consider watching ladies golf, and they may even enjoy themselves in the process.
Ladies golf gets a raw deal when it comes to coverage and publicity, during the Ricoh there is generally a few hours of coverage each day and a few ‘major’ events get a few of hours coverage on Sky. Surely adding mixed fields would help right?
It’s a double edge sword for ladies golf, we need coverage to increase awareness and participation but it’s hard to convince tv channels to show ladies golf without an increase in figures to back it up.
For me a starting point would be taking Golf Victoria’s lead and the LET teaming up with the European Tour or even the Seniors Tour to offer an event like this across Europe (easier said than done I know).
What Golf Victoria have been doing with the Oats Vic Open since 2012 will with out a doubt help to increase participation and raise awareness in Australia and the event will continue to go from strength to strength.
I hope the LET can take inspiration from this as I would hate to see the tour continue to drift away from Europe or disappear all together.