Golf Blog

This week I am certainly not at a loss for topics to comment on. The anchoring ban has been agreed and whether right or wrong is done and dusted now.

The Tiger/Sergio spat continues but I have already covered that. The most interesting topic for me is the state of the European Tour.

With the BMW at Wentworth this week, the tours flagship event, the strength of the European Tour has been brought into sharp focus.

While the field for this tournament is strong, the whole European Ryder Cup Team will tee it up; last week’s Volvo World Matchplay was not in such good shape.

Whilst some big names were present, the tournament was hardly star studded. Even the eventual winner Graeme McDowell acknowledged this, saying ‘Not the greatest field in the world of golf this week, but 24 solid players who are tough to beat’.

This was certainly a fair reflection and it shouldn’t be the case for such a high profile tournament.

There is obviously no lack of European talent, but the tour seems to be having a hard time getting them to stay at home.

The lure of better weather and facilities, more money and exposure as well as a higher level of all around competition means that a lot of the big European names only come back across the pond for the really big tournaments. And who can blame them.

The likes of Rory, Luke and Lee etc. need to organise their schedule carefully and map out what will be best for their season as a whole, usually leading to a heavy weighting of PGA events.

Peter Uihlein is one exception to this trend, the Ex -US Amateur Champion is now playing in Europe, recently earning his first professional win at the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal.

But, whilst it is good to have young PGA talent play over here, it seems to me just further evidence that it continues to play second fiddle to the PGA Tour.

It is important that the European Tour doesn’t become a mere training ground for those waiting to make the big step up. It should be a destination not a pit stop.