Monday May 29, 2023

“Setting up the course should be easy so you can score well”…the president’s dangerous idea.

There are many factors that contribute to a tour’s popularity with fans. There is no doubt that one of them is the emergence of star players.

This year, the two hottest players on the Korean men’s and women’s professional golf tours are Chung Chan-min (24) and Bang Shin-sil (19). Both of them hit super long shots, which is rare for domestic players, and that’s what attracts fans.

Imagine if they were just distance players, they’d probably only be temporarily ‘interesting’ instead of ‘popular’. Luckily, they have other performance skills that make the most of their strengths.

A star, like them, should be a player who has a core talent that appeals to their fans and other abilities that maximize that talent, and who can consistently compete for wins regardless of the course setting.

That’s why KPGA President Koo Ja-cheol’s recent post on Facebook (hereinafter referred to as Facebook) has made waves. The gist of it is that men’s golf needs star players in order to be loved by fans. So far, this is a universal view.

As he wrote on Facebook, “My belief is that domestic tournaments need to be entertaining in order to be popular. Getting lost in the hazards all the time. Setting up short holes that bounce. Deep rough where you can’t even see your ball,” he wrote.

In short, he believes the course should be set up so that players can shoot good scores. In other words, to keep the fans interested, course variation shouldn’t even be a consideration.

Koo has gotten himself into trouble on several occasions for expressing views that should be extremely public as president of the association, but are instead expressed on private social media. He was called out on it at a press conference earlier this year and promised to refrain, but it’s a blank check.

All professional tournament course settings are entirely up to the tournament committee. In some cases, the organizers or golf courses have some input, but it is very limited.

It’s not a matter for the president of the association to interfere. Nevertheless, after every tournament, they put pressure on the committee to make the course easier. It’s like the president, as the head of the executive branch, interfering with the judiciary. However, the KOC has never succumbed to the president’s pressure.

“I met with Choi Kyung-joo for the first time in a long time,” Koo wrote on Facebook during the SK Telecom Open, which ended on Nov. 21, “and he said, ‘If you want to compete on the world stage, you have to make (course settings) difficult,’ but the United States and other countries already have a fan culture where men are very popular.”

It seems that the U.S. can make the course difficult because they are already popular, but we should make it easy because we are not popular.

Choi Kyung-joo is the co-executive chairman of the SK Telecom Open, and he is known to have been very vocal about his views on the course setting to the committee.

Koo went one step further and said that making the course more difficult would make the players “suffer”. This is in line with the complaints of some older players who are nearing the end of their careers on the Senior Tour.

I can’t believe this is coming from the president of the Professional Golfers’ Association. Someone said. “It’s an extremely amateurish idea, and maybe the president of the association thinks the tour is his playground.

Koo also wrote, “Watching Park Min-ji’s interview, I can understand a little bit why Korean women golfers are always showing great shots.” He summoned Park out of the blue.

He posted the following interview with Park. “In Korea, I feel like I just need to hit my shots and putt well. But in the U.S., the grass is different, and I feel like I’m lacking a lot of things, like my short game, so I think I need to go every once in a while to remind myself.”

That’s some serious dyslexia. Nowhere in Park’s interview does he suggest that the course should be easy to set up. Rather, the point is that traveling to the U.S. to compete on the world stage was a wake-up call and made him work harder.

It’s not that Korean men’s golf lacks stars. On the contrary, it is full of them. There are many “Korean Brothers” on the PGA Tour, including Choi Kyung-ju, who holds the record for the most wins by an Asian player with eight career victories, and Yang Yong-eun, the first Asian major champion.안전놀이터

Kim Ju-hyung, Lim Sung-jae, Lee Kyung-hoon, Kim Siwoo, Kim Sung-hyun, Ahn Byung-hoon, Kang Sung-hoon, Noh Seung-yeol, and Sang-moon Bae are the other nine (including conditional seeds). Outside of the United States, South Korea has the second most PGA members after the United Kingdom with 11. Golf powerhouses Australia and Canada are next with eight members each.

To be fair, South Korean men’s golf isn’t star-studded, it’s just not popular. As a Korean proverb says, a bead is only as good as its thread.

The solution for men’s golf to be loved by fans shouldn’t be to set up an easy course, as Koo said. I hope that instead of such a gimmick, they will focus on measures to utilize star players to accelerate the renaissance of men’s golf as soon as possible.


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