SIR Terry Matthews says the Wales Open remains an important part of the long-term business strategy for his Celtic Manor Resort but admits the current scheduling of the event is hampering its success.
The Wales Open is certain to remain on the European Tour calendar for at least two more years with ISPS Handa sponsoring the tournament for that time.
However, the Wales Open remains the first tournament in June, which clashes with the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio, one of the jewels in the crown of the USPGA Tour.
That affects the calibre of competitor that can be attracted to the Wales Open and Matthews revealed to the Argus that he’d like to change that fact, as well as ensure the Wales Open continues to be a fixture of the tour.
“First and foremost, it is important to the resort to keep the Wales Open going and growing and growing,” he said.
“I have big plans for ensuring the Celtic Manor is as renowned as a conference facility as it is for the golf and to do that the golf needs to continue to grow and to thrive.
“The Wales Open is very important to that image and it’s why we are keen to ensure the tournament remains a part of the European Tour.
“The date of the Wales Open is something to look at though.”
Matthews hopes the popularity of the Celtic Manor will help their cause.
“We are always working with the European Tour and talking about moving or tinkering with the date.
“At this time of the year we have the advantage of the long, long days and lots of daylight, but there are disadvantages to our spot as well.
“It clashes with a long weekend in the States and the Memorial event they have on the USPGA, which is very popular over there.
“To be quite open with you, for us it is an ongoing debate with the European Tour, considering whether we could improve the tournament by changing the date.
“What goes in our favour is that the tour like this event and, just as importantly, if not more so, the players like it here.
“Many of the players bring their family members. We have the largest crèche facility of any European Tour event and there are other little things.
“Families can stay in the hotel and enjoy that and we also put on a BBQ for the players.
“It sounds like such a little thing, but that is the only BBQ for the players on the European Tour schedule. They enjoy that, they actually get to know each other. The players like it here, we are kid friendly and we look after the players and their families. That’s what makes our event special.”