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Golf, but not as we know it

24 May 2018 / Golf /

David Howell at The Grove

I have been fortunate to have played in, and won, tournaments around the world, as well as helping Europe claim victory in The Ryder Cup on two occasions, but there is something extra special about playing in front of your home supporters. British golf fans are the best in the world as they will always get behind the home players and create a wonderful tournament atmosphere, while remaining respectful to every golfer.

The recent GolfSixes event is a perfect example of this. For the first time on The European Tour we had women playing alongside – and beating – the men, which I am delighted to say had a significant impact on the popularity of the event. We also saw the continuation of initiatives such as music on the course and celebrity presenters on the first tee, all of which added up to ensure the tournament really captured the imagination of the golfing world.

The British public came out in force to support the innovative event and with thousands of children attending during the week, as well as the family-friendly atmosphere – which was obviously helped by the beautiful weather of that week – a new audience was introduced to golf.

Golf is a fun game and people should be encouraged to get out and give a go, which is why I am such a huge fan of The Grove. With no members or dress code, as well as its relaxed, open-to-all experience for ever golfer, it ensures the game is accessible to everyone, which is hugely important as we try to attract the next generation of male and female golfing superstars.

Following hot on the heels of the successful GolfSixes tournament, the British public will again have the opportunity to see many of the game’s greatest players this week as they descend on Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship.

Outside of the Majors, this is the flagship event on The European Tour and it remains a thrill for me to have won the title in 2006. I have been spending some additional time on the driving range at The Grove, as well as enjoying the tournament-quality course over the past week in order to prepare for the event and I can’t wait to tee it up once again in front of my home crowd.