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Golf Australia Express : September 2013
agree to one other short radio or television interview—at the discretion of event organisers—and be available for post-round media interviews. That’s it. When we get six appearance- fee players at the one event, it guarantees blanket coverage as well as giving major sponsors some value for their investment. We can’t keep these tournaments successful and relevant if the players don’t hold up their end of the bargain and promote them. Wild card players (sponsor’s invitees) play for no fee and can do the ‘feel- good kids’ clinic’ before the event. They’d be happy for getting a start and would gladly support it. As part of my role with IMG during the Australian Masters for the last six years, I interview players in the marquees of major sponsors throughout the week. It’s nearly impossible to get big- name Australian players to have a chat with the parties paying the bills for the week. I’m not exaggerating either—it’s staggering the excuses they come up with. On the other hand, our international visitors are more than forthcoming with their time. Not once has an American or European player said no to me for a chat during one of our events. They’ve all been magnificent with their time and understand the importance of a pre-tournament interview as well as mingling and chatting with sponsors. They get it. They might be getting paid, too, but they’re happy to do that little bit extra. Not so, sadly enough, are the majority of our bunch. OTG OUR EXTENDED SUMMER of golf will soon be on our doorsteps and we’ll no doubt hear the inevitable crowing about how our ‘big names come back to support home events’. For the most part, that’s a load of rubbish. Many of our ‘big name’ players get paid to come back and play in Australia, yet few of them barely lift a finger to actually help promote our home-grown tournaments. There are exceptions, of course. Adam Scott, for one, is only too pleased to come into a major sponsor’s marquee and be interviewed. He does it every year without fail. Stuart Appleby is another who always goes out of his way to promote an event. New Zealand’s US Open champion Michael Campbell is another great ambassador. But for the most part, few others would promote the event past being on a poster at the front entrance of the tournament. It’s an embarrassment to Australian golf, and treats fans and sponsors of our local game with absolute contempt. For the record, I’m not against appearance money—more than happy for the players to make a good living while they can. But six- figure appearance fees come with responsibilities. Players who think using their likeness on a poster and speaking to the media post-round is enough work for that kind of cash are jokers. Without being privy to the finer details of these contracts, it would seem obvious to me there should be something in there that guarantees the player would make an appearance at the major sponsor’s marquee post-round during each event, and make themselves available for a short interview. In addition, they play in the Pro Am, OUR PLAYERS WHO COME BACK TO PLAY HOME-GROWN EVENTS NEED TO GIVE FANS MORE OF THEIR TIME, WRITES MARK ALLEN. TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS DPS BA with Mark Allen MARCO'S MUSE OPINION the CASH FOR NO COMMENTS
August 2013 - PGA Championship
October 2013 - United Colours of Golf