How Did We Come Up With Go Golfing
Hello friends of Go Golfing, Peter McCarthy here. Next month, June 2020, marks 25 years in the history of Go Golfing.
While we can’t do what we love and we’re not in a position to run golf tours, tournaments or holidays for you right now due to the travel bans and the social distancing regulations, I thought I might share some of the history of Go Golfing and some of the funny stories we’ve had along the way.
One of the questions I’m often asked by clients and friends over the years is “How did we come up with the concept of Go Golfing?”
LISTEN TO PETER TELL THE STORY OR READ IT BELOW
I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL SPORTSPERSON
I always had aspirations of becoming a professional sportsperson only problem was that I just wasn’t good enough at anything.
So, when I finished school I enrolled to become a Physical Education (PE) teacher.
Before I even did my first day as a student I changed tact and ended up doing a sports marketing degree.
While I was in my final year, I applied for a job at the World Masters Games that were being held in Brisbane in 1994.
I was assigned the role of sports liaison officer for golf, badminton and cycling.
“WHERE HAVE THE RUSSIANS GONE”
It was a two-year contract and for the Games we budgeted on 8,000 athletes and we had just a little over 24,000. So my sports were all massive in comparison to their initial projected numbers.
The badminton players, well, I had ASIO in contact with me asking where had the Russian players abscond to.
I said they wanted to be billeted out. Their first night of competition was scheduled to finish at 10 pm when the buses were finishing up, but it ended up finishing at 2:30 am.
In the cycling, they expected the city to be closed down. They wanted to ride down King George Square and whatever else. We had a meeting with the chief of police and the chief of road operations.
Turned out it was going to be a cost of $300,000 to Brisbane City Council, so that idea got shafted.
TWO DEAD AND ONE LONG COURT CASE
To make matters worse, we had two cyclists die during competition.
The first one died of a heart attack, I got in touch with his next-of-kin, his wife, and informed her of the loss of her husband. I got scolded by the police for doing so.
When the second one died, again of a heart attack from competing. I gave the details to the police and they told me that I should be the one to call them.
Anyway, in the over 60s, there was a massive crash in the velodrome. They had made it a multi-purpose venue with netball courts that were elevated to help with drainage.
That led to a court case that lasted 5 years.
THE GOLFERS CAME, PLAYED, DRANK AND ENJOYED THEMSELVES
Meanwhile, the golfers – they came, they played, they ate, they drank, they laughed, they stayed in hotels and enjoyed themselves.
So at the end of the World Masters Games, I handed back the cycling database, the badminton database and kept the golf one just in case.
The following year we started the World Masters on the Gold Coast. Known as the Mitsubishi World Masters for its first 18 years, we had them as a partner.
Started our first event in 1995, it had 300 players. That event is coming up in October and will be our 25th anniversary this year.
From there we have expanded the World Masters format to the Asia-Pacific. Now we have golf tours to 31 countries worldwide and look after up to 11,000 golfers a year on our golfing holidays.
Stay tuned for my next fun Go Golfing story next week!