• Alistair Tait

The Selling Out of Golf Tournaments


Good article by James Corrigan in today’s Daily Telegraph on the ludicrous name change for this week's Scottish Open, now the abrdn Scottish Open.


If that title doesn’t grate on the senses then I don’t know what does. But then we’re not surprised. It’s hard to keep track of golf tournaments these days, so often do names change. The Scottish Open was formerly the Standard Life Scottish Open, then the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, then Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open before vowels became redundant.


As Corrigan writes:

“…at least the titles have been formed with proper words and not booking references for flights or verification codes to reactivate Amazon accounts.”

Supposedly the title is to appeal to younger fans who no longer use vowels in text messages, although Corrigan cites other head-scratching explanations:

“The reasons why are baffling. The first given was that there were concerns over copyright issues and they did not want to clash with either Aberdeen the city, or Aberdeen the football club. And that is fair enough, because it is all too easy to confuse an FTSE 100 Index investment firm headquartered in Edinburgh with a community of 230,000 people residing 130 miles north in an area sprawled over 71 square miles.”

I’m with Corrigan when he says about preserving the sanctity of vowels:

“Call me an old fud, but should we not, instead, be promoting syntax and telling them, 'Spell it properly, you lazy little bggrs?'"

At least there is one saving grace from the new title: the words Scottish Open are still used. Although it might not be long before the tournament becomes the abrdn Open. Don’t laugh. All you have to do is look further down this year’s European schedule to find that the Welsh Open and the English Classic have disappeared into the ether, replaced by sponsors names instead.


As a proud Welshman, Corrigan might lament that his national Open to be played at Celtic Manor Resort the week after the Open has been rebranded the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale. The London Golf Club will host the Cazoo Classic in August.


Fair play to car company Cazoo for stumping up money to sponsor golf tournaments, but how hard up must the European Tour be to let the new sponsor decide to eliminate the words Wales and English? Surely there was someone at European Tour headquarters who was arguing for those words to be included in the tournament names? Or did tour officials attending the meeting get down on all fours and face the other way? At least the Cazoo Wales Open, the Cazoo English Classic would’ve kept an important link to past championships, even if the latter tournament is relatively new to the scene.


The Wales Open has been going since 2000. It’s a national golf championship for goodness sake. Now it sounds like some sort of obscure music competition with competitors blowing little plastic horns.


Mind you, national titles disappearing is nothing new. There is no longer a Belgian Open or a German Open, tournaments with rich histories. Thankfully the Dutch Open has returned to the scene after years as the KLM Open. Presumably since KLM is no longer sponsor then the Dutch get their national championship back.

“The European Tour exists through endorsements, so it is hardly going to reject a title sponsor on account of its stupid name,” Corrigan writes.

Even if that means rendering a national championship such as the Welsh Open for all intents and purposes null and void. No wonder golf fans have a hard time keeping up with tournaments never mind non-golf fans.


By the way, I’m at the Senior Amateur Championship at Ganton Golf Club this week. Not the snr mtr chmpnshp. Maybe it’ll morph into that one day. Maybe in future we might just have th mstrs and th pn too?


Honestly!


#JustSaying: “Money Changes Everything” Tom Gray

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