The Presidents Cup was worth every cent
No buts about it, the Presidents Cup cost me a fortune.
And not because I backed the Internationals and headed for Melbourne genuinely believing they had a chance of victory – because of home soil, the sand belt, the number of Aussies involved, the Greg Norman factor, etc etc.
Tiger Woods at the 2011 Presidents Cup (Credit: Anthony Powter)
No it cost me a stack for airfares, accommodation, car hire, tolls (how many tolls have they got down there now? I paid four just getting into the city from the airport), parking (at Sydney Airport), dinners, breakfasts, tickets, beers you name it.
Yet it was worth every cent of it – or it would have been if we had won the thing.
Of course that didn’t happen, but looking back, I considered we might not see a golf event like this in our country again for a long, long time. At least not in my lifetime. So the outlay was still worth it.
In fact, we were lucky to have it return to Royal Melbourne so soon after the previous one (it was also played there in 1998).
But bear in mind it heads for the United States every four years.
So the next one will be played at Muirfield, Ohio; the one after that is heading for South Korea (and rightly so, given their success on the world stage in recent years). Then in six years’ time we return to the United States again.
There is no way known they will be back in Australia as soon as 2019 – let’s say for arguments’ sake it goes to South Africa – or Japan – or even New Zealand. Then it’s back to the US in 2021 and, if we’re lucky – very lucky – it might come to Australia again in 2023.
I don’t know about you but I will be pushing 66 by then and I’m not that sure I’ll be up to travelling too far to be pushing my way around with the biggest crowds ever experienced in Australian golf.
And as much as I’d like to see the event played in Sydney at some stage in my lifetime, I really don’t think that is going to happen, given the infrastructure of golf in the ‘premier’ city.
As you can see I am a Sydneysider through and through – but I am happy to admit that Melbourne handles big golf events (yes, also tennis, cricket and horse racing) so much better than we do.
And another ‘True Blue’ New South Welshman admitted to me as we walked around Royal Melbourne that even one of our best courses, like Royal Sydney, just does not have the room, the adjacent courses to give up their courses for parking and even the street formation to handle an event as big as this.
So I tip my lid to you Melbourne. Big sporting events are a piece of cake for you guys and you do it with verve and class. Keep up the good work.
Maybe just maybe, you really are the sporting capital of the world, after all.