Take a look at the golf tournaments being played this week and you may be peeking into the future of professional golf. Asia is playing host to both, the European Tour and the LPGA Tour this week. The men are playing in the richest tournament in Asia, The WGC-HSBC Champions and the ladies are in Japan at the Mizuno Classic.
With billions of new potential golfers and more available sponsorship dollars the tours are looking into expanding into Asia on a larger scale. The LPGA has been hit harder than most golf tours and with only thirteen scheduled tournaments next year and a huge Asian presence on the tour it makes sense to expand even further into Asia.
The HSBC Champions was recently awarded World Golf Championship status and the quality of the field has increased greatly. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are battling it out in China along with seven of the world’s top ten golfers. Phil has just announced that he has built The World Course in Tian Ji, China. It is his first project outside of the United States and will include a Mickelson Smith Teaching Academy when it opens in 2009.
The Champions Tour has committed to have a tournament in South Korea next year and guess who is spending a few weeks travelling through Asia and even taking in the HSBC? None other than PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem. He knows the potential in Asia is unlimited and is working on developing partners, customers and potential sponsors.
With the huge time difference we all could be watching plenty of live golf late at night in the coming years.