In the aftermath of an unusually dramatic Presidents Cup in Australia, one thing became apparent, Royal Melbourne deserves to host a high profile tournament to showcase it’s qualities.
Whether that be a WGC event, potentially the matchplay, or as the first time the PGA Championship is held outside of the US, it’s a course that should be rewarded for its individuality.
The Presidents Cup is a high profile event, but if it could hold the WGC Matchplay for even three years it would be a tremendous venue.
And there are a countless number of reasons why Royal Melbourne is deserving of more air time.
Typically, Ryder Cups or Presidents Cups can be less memorable due to the quality of the golf course and its suitability to the event. However, Royal Melbourne fit the bill perfectly last week and effectively made it one of the most exciting Presidents Cups of recent years.
Risk and reward driveable par 4s, electric greens and dramatic run-offs made for some fantastic viewing. Not only that, the preciseness and variety required for every single shot illustrated what a true test of golf Royal Melbourne is.
Players were really pushed to the limits and had to adapt their games, something that only usually happens at The Open each year. Having to land the ball in perfect positions, taking into account harsh bounces and the fact the ball was spinning less, there was so much more thought and care taken with each shot last week.
It was an exciting, fresh change in comparison to the PGA Tour where the courses are so reliant on who hits it longest and who has the best wedge game. And this was something which was made visibly clear by the amount of tweets in support of my argument about this golf course, with many coming from golf professionals themselves.
Europe’s most recent Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn tweeted saying: “Watching golf from Royal Melbourne makes me think that a run of events sanctioned between @PGAofAustralia @EuropeanTour and @PGATour in December would be a great opportunity.”
Similarly, former European Tour winner and Sky Sports commentator Tony Johnstone said: “How much fun is to watch golf at Royal Melbourne? It demands accuracy, precision, strategy and asks how good you are in every department. Great design and the extremely firm greens are a huge part of its magnificent challenge. 7032 yards!! Monstrous length is NOT the answer.”
While Luke Donald also had a few words to say about the course, tweeting: “1 hole into the Presidents Cup and I’m already loving the firm bouncy conditions of Royal Melbourne – the obsession nowadays with green and soft is so boring and predictable.”
This is without mentioning a whole host of tweets from people agreeing that Royal Melbourne should most definitely take centre stage at a WGC event.
The course even got the Tiger Woods stamp of approval, even further enhancing the idea that it should hold a World Golf Championship.
“It’s how a golf course should be set up. It should be set up this way. Hard, fast, difficult, but extremely fair,” Woods said after his team won the Presidents Cup on Sunday.
I’ve long been an advocate of the PGA Championship no longer being played in America and would love to see change when it comes to quite obviously the weakest major of the year. But, when it comes to Royal Melbourne being held as a potential PGA Championship golf course it seems extremely unlikely.
The PGA Championship venues have already been decided for the next 10 years, making it impossible for any other country than the US to hold that tournament barring a dramatic change of plans by the PGA of America.
But there will be a window of opportunity within the next five years, if Australia and Royal Melbourne wanted it, for the course to host the WGC Matchplay. Austin Country Club will play host to the Dell Technologies WGC Matchplay until at least 2023, but there is no plan for it after then.
If all the tours got together and listened to fans on this subject, I’m sure a lot of people would be supportive of the matchplay being played outside of the US.
There have been some changes in recent years with the WGC-Cadillac Championship being moved to and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship, while the HSBC Champions in China has been running 10 years now.
This means two of the four WGC events are now being held outside of the US, which is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. And with how phenomenal Royal Melbourne is, it would be almost ignorant for the tours to pass up the opportunity to stage a WGC in Australia.
So please the International Federation of PGA Tours, let us see another event outside of the US.
After all, it is supposed to be a ‘World’ Golf Championship.