Paul Lawrie is hoping this week’s ground-breaking mixed professional golf event at Gleneagles is a taste of things to come in the European game.
“This is absolutely a good idea,” said the two-time Ryder Cup player of the innovative tournament, which was part of the multi-sport European Championships taking place in Glasgow.
The first three days of the golf action involved separate men’s and women’s team events and the semi-finals and finals in those take place on Sunday on the PGA Centenary Course.
In a break in those proceedings, mixed teams of four players fought out an 18-hole foursomes stroke-play event for another set of medals.
“When they asked me to come on board, you’re looking at it all and if you’re endorsing something or an ambassador I thought it was really cool when I read the format of it,” added Lawrie.
“The mixed event in particular is really cool. Playing together is just phenomenal. It’s something we can think about going forward and doing more. An event with everyone playing together every day. Why not?”
The European Tour and Ladies European Tour have been working in tandem with this event, raising hopes that something similar might be possible on the regular schedule in the future.
“It’s possible to have a team event. But where do they fit it in?” said Lawrie. “Scheduling might be difficult. But you would hope that the tours might look at it after this weekend and go, man that was an innovative way to do it. Let’s see if we can fit something in.
“There are very few girls playing the game. My foundation has got quite a few boys but we are struggling for girls and we need more playing the game and if they can see that they can play with the men alongside them it’s got to be good for the game.
“It’s got to grow the game and that’s what we are all trying to do. Scheduling might be difficult but if we can overcome that then, why not?
“But it’s not just something you can lay on. We saw with my match-play event (it was held for three years before dropping off the European Tour schedule) that you have to tick a lot of boxes to keep everyone happy. It’s not easy but let’s hope they can find a way.”
Lawrie was speaking during a visit to Gleneagles, where the Bell’s Scottish Open was held for a long time and, more recently, the Johnnie Walker Championship had a successful run.
“I think the whole thing is being done really well. I’ve had a look round out there and the whole set-up and the way they’ve done it looks brilliant,” said the Aberdonian.
“This venue needs tournaments. it’s made for it. They knew that when they built it. You could see at the Ryder Cup what a great venue it is. It’s a great location and easy to get to wherever you are in the country. It’s a phenomenal property and it needs crowds to see what it is.”