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Manchester Evening News: Matt Nixon
Article posted: 13 September 2018

We should be mic’d up and why can’t we use buggies and range finders – to measure distances - in tournaments? Let’s use what’s out there. 

- Matt Nixon

You hear a lot of doom and gloom about the state of golf, that fewer people are watching and playing, but I think there’s a lot that can be done to turn that around. 

I took it up because my dad was mad into golf, so I was swinging a plastic club in the back garden at two and joined Ashton-under-Lyne at eight.

You look at the popularity of some YouTubers and they’re arguably doing more to grow the game than professional players, but it shows there is an appetite.

I often think if an eight-year-old is flicking through the channels, past football, F1 – which is my favourite other sport – boxing or tennis, what can we do to make them stop and be excited by golf? We need to do more. 

We’re allowed to wear shorts during practice and not tournament rounds. I’d change that, and I think it would encourage the idea that we’re athletes, a bit like companies like Under Armour are doing already.  

We should be mic’d up and why can’t we use buggies and range finders – to measure distances - in tournaments? Let’s use what’s out there. 

We need to speed up. On a Thursday or Friday, five and a half hours is the norm, and no-one wants to watch or play for that long. People at the weekend want to get around in three hours, have a couple of pints and get home. 

If you look at F1, in Singapore this weekend the whole place will be buzzing, with F2, other races, concerts, it’s much more than just a race and we need to be doing that too. The more people that stumble across golf, the more will get hooked. If you get a club in people’s hands they tend to get attached to it. 

Tournaments and sponsors focus on the big names, but we should have all 156 guys doing something. We’re in Holland this week, so why not get 20 of us into schools to show them what golf is all about?  

It’s hard to know the health of Manchester golf but we have lots of great clubs and anything they can do to get juniors through the door has to be encouraged. 

I missed the cut in Switzerland last week, but I have to learn from the bad days, then I haven’t lost anything. That can help eliminate the fear of failure. 

It was great to see my mate Matt Fitzpatrick get the win – especially after giving us a lift on a private jet! 

For the last three years I’ve been at the Kazakhstan Open on the Challenge Tour at this time so to be at the KLM Open with a chance of keeping my card, I’m happy! 

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