Going, going..

Going out with a bang.  Bulle Rock, arguably Maryland’s finest public golf course, enjoys the best shape of its 11 year career (a bold statement.)  Nice to see that the near perfection comes just in time for the LPGA Championship.  Not so nice that this is the final year of the event for Harford County.

 

The LPGA moves away next year (the tour doesn’t know where yet, just seemingly anywhere but here).  The argument from LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens for the move centered around our community’s failure to embrace the event.  In these economic times, the Tour couldn’t afford the luxury of allowing the relationship grow. 

 

A reasonable offering, if there proved a viable alternative.  But for a year the LPGA has tried to find a new home with no luck, and now examines the possibility that one of its major championships will just go away. 

 

It’s not just the LPGA though struggling in Maryland.  All professional golf not associated with Tiger Woods endures serious hits from sponsorships. With declining attendance and revenues, you have to wonder if the Senior Players Championship at Baltimore Country Club will soon join the LPGA in searching for a new home. 

 

Wait a minute.  I keep looking and the struggles don’t stop at the Maryland border.  The PGA St. Jude Classic in Memphis lost its title sponsor and is on life support trying to find another. 

 

All across the professional golf landscape tournaments with rich traditions and history barely hang on.  Unless Woods tees it up there is no guarantee of financial success and Tiger plays less than 20 times a year. 

 

So we have a lousy economy, with shrinking TV revenues, creating a sport that’s dropping from major to niche status. Oh dear.  In that case, I highly recommend (if you like golf at all) to take in a round at Bulle Rock next week walking with the best women’s players in the world.  And do the same this fall at BCC when the legends of the game tackle one of the top courses in the world.  With time running short, these may be your last best chances.

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