The Only 3 Golf Events You Must Attend
With the world of golf currently in lockdown, many of us are longingly gazing into a future when normality - and the tournaments that define each season - return. Watching sport on TV is one thing, it's undoubtedly the best way to witness the unfolding drama of a final day, but there is nothing else that can replicate the pure experience of being there live.
Adding up the events on every tour and tier of the game, there are literally hundreds that golf fans can attend, but a select few are considered to be on a higher level, permanent fixtures on proverbial bucket lists.
Putting the question out there to the Golfshake Community on Twitter and Facebook, we picked six varied dates on the calender that covered the spectrum of entertainment available in professional golf, asking people to choose just three of them that they most desired to sample above the rest.
The events in question were:
1 - The Masters
2 - The Phoenix Open
3 - The Ryder Cup
4 - The Solheim Cup
5 - The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews
6 - The Players Championship
What would be your dream trio?
It was a popular question on social media, drawing around 400 comments, but there was a general consensus taken from them. The overwhelming majority of responses selected the trio of 1, 3 and 5, the Masters, the Ryder Cup, and the milestone Open at the Home of Golf.
Each of the six did have their convincing advocates, however. The Solheim Cup was viewed as a more accessible alternative to its arguably overbearing male equivalent, as anyone who had the good fortune to witness Europe's dramatic triumph at Gleneagles last September can attest to. The raucous Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale certainly divides opinion, but it does have its fans, and the Players Championship at the stadium setting of TPC Sawgrass was viewed as a uniquely great fan setup. It would be hard to turn down a day of watching the world's best take on the iconic par three 17th.
Here are three social media comments that capture the debate.
The first 3 are golf’s full spectrum. Everything else is somewhere in between.— Michael Collins (@ESPNCaddie) April 19, 2020
Masters is a given. So few players at a Ryder Cup tough to get a decent view. St Andrews is a notoriously bad course for spectators. Where as Sawgrass/Phoenix are “stadium” courses build for spectators. Depends if you’re going for the prestige of the event or the spectacle.— Sam Forgan (@SamForgan) April 18, 2020
Ryder Cup for atmosphere, Open at St Andrews for history and The Masters to experience the course.— John Ford (@JohnFor21226089) April 18, 2020
But there are three clear standouts, the events that you MUST attend. We asked the Golfshake Ambassadors for their input.
It seems the most obvious, the only men's major held at the same venue, the Masters and Augusta National have become ingrained within the consciousness of golfers. We recognise the holes, know the landmarks, and the air of exclusivity around the tournament creates a mystique that sees millions enter the ticket ballot each year.
Richard Moore describes the aura of the Masters in his own inimitable way. "It looks so perfect. The golf would be amazing, and just the setting, the flora, everything you see being so pristine. I'd have my arms full of memorabilia."
Nonetheless, the austere sentiment around Augusta isn't for everyone. Rob Cross is one dissenting voice. "I enjoy watching the players compete on a magnificent course, but my perception of the way the club is ran (maybe subconsciously) and how over time they have treated certain people makes this a watch, but not a "must" watch."
The Ryder Cup
For any passionate European golf fan, the Ryder Cup holds a special place in their heart, an event that has transcended golf and become essential viewing for anyone who loves team sport. The atmosphere of those three days sets it apart, something that Kevin Paver would relish the chance to taste.
"It would have to be Ryder Cup. Its the same vibe as the football World Cup...the passion it ignites is like nothing else and to be there watching it would be immense."
Rob Treanor concurs. "For me, it would be the Ryder Cup for the atmosphere, rivalry and theatre."
That said, several remarks on Twitter raised the difficult practicalities of trying to see the action amongst tens of thousands of people following a select number of matches, but like any live event, the opportunity to feel part of that electricity is the allure, something hard to better than at a Ryder Cup.
The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews
Now scheduled for 2022, following the postponement of the 149th Open at Royal St George's, this milestone event at St Andrews is destined to be a momentous occasion, celebrating golf's oldest championship at the most famous of venues. For anyone with an imagination and a passion for the history of the game, that is an attractive proposition.
Describing what makes the Open special, Mel Davies said: "Players have to have every shot in their armoury. Atmosphere looks and sounds great and the fans are probably the most knowledgeable anywhere in the world. The ultimate to be named the “Champion Golfer” and walk off with the Claret Jug...what more could a golfer want."
Matt Holbrook added: "There is something so magical about St Andrews and being able to experience the 150th playing of The Open there would be pretty special."
However, while there is a magnetic quality about the Auld Grey Toun, some comments did note that the compact and relatively flat Old Course is a challenge for viewing, something addressed by the R&A by introducing 25,000 grandstand seats. But when you think about it, how much can one really see at any major golf tournament, the majority of time is spent soaking up the surroundings, and there are few better spots for that than at St Andrews.
So, there you have it, the three events in golf that you MUST experience, as chosen by the masses on social media, and it's hard to argue with them. Any critiques would be a minor quibble, an unforgettable week guaranteed. But, to make it harder, if you could only pick one, which would it be?
If you want to know more about how to attend these events and the packages available, visit Golf Tournament Experiences on Golfbreaks.com.
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
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