Golfer Pacific

Horsham visit a no-brainer for Tiger

Posted in Australian Golf,Golf,Tiger Woods by golferpacific on April 29, 2009
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

THE Brumby government in Victoria will no doubt exercise all its political muscle to ensure the world’s best golfer, Tiger Woods, visits Horsham Golf Club when he comes to Melbourne to play in the Australian Masters later this year.

Whether it will be enough to get Woods to the regional club during his hectic schedule remains to be seen.

Woods’ management group, the head office of IMG in the US, will be pulling all the strings while Tiger is in Australia.

The Australian IMG office is simply processing requests for Tiger’s time and forwarding them to America.

It’s doubtful Tiger will feel like getting on a light plane and flying to north-west Victoria to see the progress that has been made at the club which lost its clubhouse and course in Victoria’s February 7 Black Saturday bushfires which claimed 173 lives across the state.

I have been assured by IMG’s Melbourne boss, David Rollo, the request will certainly be put forward.

Given the Victorian Government is picking up half the $4.5 million tab to get Woods to play at Kingston Heath, it should have some say in where the World No.1 goes and what he does in his time away from the golf course.

But I suspect it won’t. Woods already has shown some generosity by sending an autographed flag from one of the holes where he won his US Open last year to Horsham.

The club intends to auction it and use the money raised to help refurbish the clubhouse.

But what a fillip it would be to the morale in the area ravaged by drought for more than a decade before the fires struck, if the great man took the time and trouble to visit personally.

I commend The Member for Lowan, former AFL Essendon footballer Hugh Delahunty, for putting pressure on the Brumby Government for Tiger to turn up in Horsham.

The local paper, The Wimmera Mail-Times, deserves praise, too, for leading the charge by asking Woods to donate the US Open flag and then keeping up the pressure by supporting Delahunty’s call for a personal visit by Woods.

It’s all well and good for the financial boffins to say Tiger’s visit to Melbourne will generate $19 million for the Victorian economy (how they produce these figures for any sporting or cultural event always baffles me).

But a price cannot be put on the social wellbeing and health of a Victorian rural community ravaged by Mother Nature’s two toughest task masters – bushfires and drought.

The saddest thing about it all is that if Tiger’s spin doctors were more concerned about image than the almighty buck, his visit to Horsham would be classified a no-brainer.

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