This week the first European Tour event ever to be played in India, the Indian Masters, is doing something unprecedented. They are offering free entry for all spectators for the entire week of the tournament being played at the Delhi Golf Club. This is the first time that a tour event will allow fans entry for all four days of a tournament at no cost.
This is not the first time that the European Tour has offered free admission to fans. Last year at the Smurfit Kappa European Tour at the K Club the entry fee was waived for all fans on the Thursday of the tournament.
The organizers of the tournament are trying to draw some of the cricket crazy fans of India out to the course. They are expecting to have over 20,000 fans at the Indian Masters each of the four days.
When you think about it this is a smart idea for a place like India, which is a growing golf destination. Doing things like this create a buzz around the tournament and get people excited about it.
More tournaments should think about adopting this approach because whatever money they do not gain in ticket sales they can make back in advertising money. Tournaments could charge more for advertising space if they could guarantee more fans will see the advertisements at the course.
Most golf fans when they experience a tournament in person for the first time they are hooked, and usually they are hooked for life. That is the type of effect that golf has. Offering things like free entry even for a day will bring more people to the sport and over the long run, more money into the sport as well.