The format of 72-hole strokeplay is loved the world over as the best way to decide golf tournaments, yet it is by no means the only format of the game. With  Golf looking to expand its appeal across the globe, we think that the future of professional golf needs to consider a few new alternatives to give it greater appeal to an increasing number of potential markets.


With that in mind, here’s our three suggestions for how professional golf could be made more appealing in the future.



1. More matchplay events

Strokeplay is certainly the essence of the professional game but seeing tournament after tournament, week in, week out, played to the same rules and format does make things a little tiresome. The few matchplay events each season are generally well received and are exciting to watch.


I think more events  that are played to matchplay rather than strokeplay rules would be more entertaining for the viewer and would, we believe, test golfers skills and abilities more so than simply playing stroke play every week.


2. An expansion of the Ryder Cup to include two more teams and perhaps female & veteran competitors

When Seve Ballesteros first mooted the idea of a European, rather than a GB and Ireland team, to make the Ryder Cup more competitive, the idea was scoffed at by traditionalists. It proved to be a shrewd move, reinvigorating what had become a lopsided tournament into arguably the finest golf tournament in the world.


So why would you want to change that?

Well firstly, the current format disqualifies a huge number of talented golfers from ever having the chance to compete for the trophy, simply due to an accident of geography. Isn’t it a little unfair that Adam Scott, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh and other top stars from around the world are unable to play because of where they were born?


Given the somewhat limited success of the President’s Cup and Seve Trophy events, I think expanding the Ryder Cup to allow two additional teams in, would reinvigorate these events, while adding an exciting new twist to the competition.


Imagine the 2014 Ryder Cup being contested between the winners of the 2013 President’s Cup match between the USA & Canada v a Southern Hemisphere team consisting of players from Australia, South Africa, South America, whereas the 2nd Ryder Cup finalist would come from a match between Team Europe taking on the best Asian team.



The ‘semi final’ matches would be played the year prior to the Ryder Cup at the same time as the current President Cup / Seve Trophy tournaments, but now under the Ryder Cup banner, and with placed in the team up for grabs in 2014, suddenly both tournaments take on added importance.


It would certainly be harder for top European players to snub this event, as they have done with the Seve Trophy in recent years.

It would also allow the Ryder Cup to become a truly global event, something that those with a keen interest in developing the game for future generations have realised that golf needs to become.


Another possible development for the competition could be to change the teams line up. Is there a reason why top players from the Ladies and Seniors tours could not earn a place on the team?

Fourballs could be made up of a Male player and a female or senior professional, Foursomes likewise. Individual match ups would of course be female v female, senior v senior etc, to ensure fairness.


Golf traditionalists will of course be up in arms about these radical ideas, but in the interests of promoting the game to a wider audience and one that is inclusive to all, it is surely worth thinking about?


3. Develop a “fifth Major” tournament in Asia/Australia/South Africa

With golf emerging in countries like China, Russia, Japan and hopefully South America following the 2016 Olympics in Rio (where golf will once again be an Olympic sport), the time has come to address the notion that we can only have four majors on the golfing calendar, especially when three of them are based in the same country.

Even the event largely viewed as the ‘fifth major’ – The Players Championship at Sawgrass – is based in the US.



Given that the game of golf wants to represent a global interest then it is somewhat unfair that one country holds so many of the games top events.

As such, to redress the balance, it is time for a fifth major based on a different course each year across Mainland Europe, South America, South Africa, Australia and Asia.


A weighty prize fund, major ranking points and presitge and an late September/early October date would likely attract the very best golfers, still giving them six months off before the next Major comes around (the Masters the following April). Plus it would help them in the run up to the lucrative Fedex Cup series, Final Series events and in particular the DP World Tour Championship.


So what do you think? How would you like to see the game developed in the future, or do you think things are fine as they are?

Let us know your thoughts below.


Images from Gorilla Golf Stock,  Ernie Els Facebook Page, Ryder Cup 2012 Facebook Page



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Angelia May 20, 2019

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.