Aug 8, 2014, 4:54:51 AM

Often there have been debates about whether professional tennis should follow how professional golf is administered. I say golf should be following tennis for a better understanding.

There is no doubt that a golf course that is well look after is a beautiful sporting location. Some tennis locations provide picturesque scenery but dollar for dollar golf will win out the majority of times when it comes to settings and the like. 

I, like anyone else, love to look at a lovely golf course. The soft morning sun breaking through the trees on to a delicate low lying mist is quite calming. The picture you see here is of the private golf course I look at from my house on the north shore of Sydney, in fact my back fence is at the 4th green and its wonderfully serene.

Now, the reason that I raise this is because so often we hear about comparisons between golf and tennis as they are the two pre-eminent individual professional sports in the world. And we often hear that tennis should swing (no pun intended) towards golf in the way things are done. 

Oh pur-lease! Tennis is streets ahead of golf in the way it handles things.

I love citing the late legendary American author Mark Twain when people argue about the merits of golf and how wonderful the golf tour is. He said: “Golf is a good walk spoiled”. End of story. 

There is nothing majorly confusing about tennis. In tennis you can only get your ranking by playing official events and the only way of getting into those events is by your ranking. So how can an event invite someone to play and give them a ranking? Things wouldn’t be equal in that sense, but golf does it.

This all came to light to me with the recent Bridgestone Invitational. I thought “invitational”? It got a lot of attention but how can it be official when the name has invitational in it? That’s picking and choosing who they want in the field so how is that fair. In tennis that is an exhibition and exhibitions don’t get ranking points. Adding to the confusion with that golf event is the fact that the majority of the field get in with a ranking so things are totally mixed up now.

Ugh! I know I am not a great golf follower but how can something like that be understood by a casual observer. 

I will admit the interest I took with golf was because Caroline Wozniacki was dating that Irish bounder Rory McIlroy who then broke her heart. Oh and before that Ana Ivanovic was on-and-off-and-on-again-and-off-again with Adam Scott and that went pear shaped. He married someone else. I thought golf was a genteel sport. We’ll leave Tiger Woods and Greg Norman out of it … let’s not go there people!

I digress. Back to the actual professional game.

So, please, someone explain how an event can accept entries from the rankings and also invite players, oh and then on top of that extend places to players from the other golf tours. 

Oh you didn’t know that there was more than one tour in golf? You better believe it and players from one tour, like the European tour don’t play on the other tours. The US tour is supposedly the be-all and end-all for golfers. Speaking of the European tour, this is the best … an event in Perth, Australia, comes into the European tour. Hello, did these guys do geography in school?

How is that fair? In tennis there is one, uno, une, ichi, yi, ein, tour and anyone can play any event on the tour if their ranking is high enough to get into the main draw, or they have the chance to play qualifying. That is across the board, from the most important events to the smallest events. That is easily understand and equality.

Speaking to a golf writer in an effort to try and comprehend how this is possible, he too admitted that it is not easy to understand for someone not eating and breathing the sport. No kidding Sherlock!

No such issue in tennis. 

Adding to the confusion is the website for the PGA. How confusing is that site? There are no explanations on how entries work in the case of the recently completed invitational event which is an official event. The golf writer in question had the same view when it was mentioned to him and agreed that the PGA website is not so good.

No issues with the ATP and WTA and ITF sites – they are the governing bodies of the sport, it’s all there to understand.

Ahh tennis definitely nails a hole in one and aces golf completely.