Birdies and Bogeys – Golf Needs A Real World Cup

Golf Monthly writer Max Rollinger despairs at the state of the current tournament and explains his plans for a proper World Cup of Golf.

We approach another edition of the World Cup at Mission Hill in a fortnight?s time and I honestly could not care less.

The idea of an international matchplay event is an exciting one on paper, but I?d rather watch a few hours of ?Simpsons? reruns than watch two-man teams casually compete at season?s end for a title that isn?t exactly inspiring national pride in anyone.

If golf?s going to have a World Cup, it has to be proper matchplay format and a full blown, international spectacle in the style of its football and rugby counterparts. A sport as great as ours deserves nothing less.

For starters, no sport can truly have a World Cup without commitments from its top professional players. Realistically, there aren?t many players who will initially pass up the opportunity to win money at a tour event over playing in an international matchplay tournament.

How to solve this problem? Hold the World Cup every two years in January right before the start of the PGA Tour season and the beginning of the European Tour events held in continental Europe. Now interference with the tournament schedule isn?t as much of an issue.

As for money, the winning teams earn increasingly more money the farther they advance through the tournament. This gives players monetary incentive to participate in the World Cup event, in addition to the honour of representing their country.

Next, we have to decide which nations will participate in the tournament and the matchplay format. Since the golf season essentially lasts for an entire year, there won?t be time to have a qualification stage to decide which teams will play in the World Cup.

Let?s say there are roughly 16 nations with the depth in their professional ranks to field a quality team of four players each. That would likely give us a matchplay format of one foursome and two singles matches per knockout round.

If we divide the teams into four different brackets, seed the teams 1-16 and have an 18-hole foursomes match and a pair of 18-hole singles matches played each day by the subsequent winners, we can get through the entire tournament in one weekend.

Now that we have big-name players and an exciting tournament format, the television networks will line up to pay the broadcasting fees to air the event, resulting in a high-profile tournament that benefits the players, the fans and the media.

It all sounds too good to be true and with the current World Cup event at Mission Hills being held until 2018, it probably won?t be occurring anytime soon.

In the meantime, feel free to concoct your own ideas for an ideal Golf World Cup and let us know your perspectives on the Golf Monthly forum. After all, there?s no law against dreaming.

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