Another week

The Open Championship has come and gone and by now even the last spectators should have left Royal St George’s. Apparently those that chose to use the high speed service from St Pancras found themselves in a bit of a line trying to walk back to the station on the weekend. Given the infrastructure at the Open venues though I am still amazed by how the R&A can manage to pull the Championship off in the fashion that they do.

One week on from the Open the European Tour has now moved on to Stockholm and the Nordea Masters. As I arrive at Bro Hof just outside Stockholm I am impressed by the attraction that golf has on the public. From a tournament that everybody wanted to get into at St George’s, the field in Stockholm is not even full. 151 players, including amateurs, compete around the lovely lake side Stadium Course at Bro Hof and the crowds – come out! Two americans headline the field, both in the top 20 in the World – Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson – but I have a feeling that the Swedes most of all come out to watch their own. Last year Richard Johnson won and despite rain and flooding the tournament was a great success.

For a few years now there has been talk about how the Scandinavian Masters (even though it is now the Nordea Masters) would (again) become one of the biggest events on the calendar of the European Tour. This usually equates to more prize money, better dates, better course and better everything. I think the course now is as good as a course can get and when it comes to the rest – my advice would be to leave it. Make this Swedish, ‘lagom’ and special. Lagom means ‘just about enough to go around’ and probably only exists in the Swedish language. Special means to utilise all the positives of the Swedish summer. The Swedes already do that well in tennis in Bastad. Year after year that is voted the best tournament by the players. And that is not because of the prize fund!

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