Golf’s DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) has announced record ticket sales across four of its key tournaments between May and September, with a total 271,000 fans attending the BMW PGA Championship, Scottish Open, British Masters, and Irish Open.
The tour said 20 sold-out days over the four events saw it generate a 32% increase in ticketing and hospitality revenue compared to 2019, which was the last season not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The BMW PGA Championship earlier this month (September 8 to 11) saw a 30% increase in ticket sales compared to last year’s edition after all three days were sold out. The tournament, which was won by Ireland’s Shane Lowry, was reduced to 54 holes after play was suspended for a day due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Genesis Scottish Open, which was co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour, was held in from July 7 to 10 at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian. The event saw 14 of the top 15 players in the world take part, leading to a 12% increase in ticket sales compared to the 2019 edition.
The Renaissance Club has recently secured hosting rights for the event until 2026.
The Horizon Irish Open (June 30 to July 3) saw ticket sales increase 40% compared to 2019, with the event selling out for the first time in its history.
The British Masters (May 5 to 8), meanwhile, saw a 4% increase in ticket sales compared to 2019 and a sold-out final day.
The DP World Tour said the four tournaments also experienced strong growth on their dedicated social media channels, with a 66% increase in followers since 2019.
The tour said the increase in ticketing sales has been driven by its new joint venture Tour Consumer Experiences with international digital-focused sports agency Two Circles.
In May, Two Circles teamed up with the European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe to launch Tour Consumer Experiences to drive sales and marketing of tickets and premium packages at prominent events for the next 11 years, focusing on the next three editions of the biennial Ryder Cup to be held in Europe, as well as several tour events including the BMW PGA Championship and Scottish Open.
At the time, the partner said the tie-up would “see the introduction of innovative new products that enhance the event experience and grow ticketing and premium revenue.”
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour group, said: “Golf has enjoyed a significant boom in popularity since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic with its outdoor nature allowing an earlier return to action than most sports – helping to attract new fans to the game.
“The DP World Tour has worked hard to make sure that we utilize this momentum and find innovative ways to attract new fans to our tournaments.
“We have enjoyed a record summer of golf, with big name players competing for record prize funds and spectators have turned out in record numbers to watch.
“The DP World Tour has never been in such a strong position, and we expect this momentum to continue into the final few months of the 2022 season with November’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai already enjoying record registrations to attend.”
Earlier this month, the tour announced a new match play contest, the Hero Cup, in which Great Britain and Ireland will face off against Continental Europe.
The tournament, aimed at giving European players experience in the format with a view to their playing in the prestigious biennial Ryder Cup, will be played at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 13 to 15, 2023.
The next Ryder Cup match-play contest between the US and Europe will next take place in Rome, Italy, from September 29 to October 1, 2023.