An interview with Marco Kaussler “This is a sensational yield”

An interview with Marco Kaussler: The BMW International Open 2023 marks the end of the packed June golf season in Germany. Golf Course Now interviewed the tournament director of the event, Marco Kaussler: In addition to initial assessments of the success of the German players and the entire event, he also talks about the potential of the tournament and the situation between the tours of the golf world.

An interview with Marco Kaussler, Tournament Director of the BMW International Open

Question: This year there are more German players at the BMW International Open than ever before. In general, German professional golf is in a state it hasn’t been in for ten years. Did you notice that in advance ticket sales or when acquiring sponsors? Did that make it all that little bit easier?

Marco Kaussler: I think that’s something that’s only slowly getting around. I think we’ve been used to having great players at the BMW International Open for many years, but nothing beats successful, national players from Germany who are among the front runners. Ideally, they play for victory. We’ll see that this weekend, especially tomorrow [Sonntag]when it comes to the sausage. We are definitely satisfied with the number of viewers and are now looking forward to an exciting weekend.

Do you already have the first ticket sales figures? Although the comparison to other years is probably difficult due to Corona.

Marco Kaussler: To be honest, I completely neglect it now. Corona plays a role and the other thing is the weather every time. One is too hot, the other is too cold, the next is too windy and then there could be three drops. So we take it as it comes. For me, the best weather would actually be 17 degrees, overcast, light wind and dry. But you can’t wish for that. In this respect: we take it as it comes, but we are very satisfied.

To what extent can you, as a tournament director or as a tournament, influence this positive development that German golf is currently taking?

Marco Kaussler: I don’t think we can influence it significantly, but we can make the best of it. The German players have always been important to us. We try to make you feel comfortable here. We try to help you. This year in particular, we really tried to send invites to as many players as possible. Whether it’s players who play on the smaller tours over there like the Korn Ferry Tour, or players who just turned pro without getting in through their own ranking. The level of play just got a lot better. In the past there was maybe a handful where you could say they even have the opportunity to make the cut. And now we have 13 players who made the cut, and one of them is an amateur. With 20 pros and two amateurs in the field, this is a sensational result, where even the tournament director of the DP World Tour says “Wow”, he never expected anything like that.

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“We keep our fingers crossed and are really looking forward to it”

Golf Post: Exactly, 13 players made it into the weekend. Could you have wished for anything better?

Marco Kaussler: No, when it comes to a tournament event, there is nothing better than a German winner. If some of them play up front, we’re very happy. BMW has been supporting the sport of golf for many years through its commitment. And being able to play at a high level in Germany or on other tours is something special. And we would be happy to see one or the other in Wentworth or even in America. In this respect, we keep our fingers crossed and are very happy.

How important is it, even if the German players are convincing, that you can no longer invite others because of their LIV engagements?

Marco Kaussler: I believe this is a situation now that will be remedied. You have to deal with the current status. Negotiations on how to deal with this issue will probably take a few months now. I think an established tournament like the BMW International Open in its 34th edition can cope with that. And the Ryder Cup in Rome in autumn will also produce new talents and new stars. So of course it’s a shame not to have great players like Martin Kaymer, who was the only German player to win the BMW International Open. But I hope that those responsible will find solutions to restore the possibility. And then, of course, we’re happy when he’s back with us.

You obviously assume that the situation will be different again next year.

Marco Kaussler: I assume yes. Because ultimately the conditions are there and created. All the eggs are in the basket. Now you have to look at how to create a constellation that makes the most sense for professional golf. This is one of the construction sites – certainly not something that can be solved very easily and where the solution is obvious, but I believe that those responsible have to get together now and come to a result that is acceptable for all sides. From my point of view, the way is clear for a world tour at the highest level and other tours that are in harmony with each other. But that will take a while.

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“It has been confirmed that not only golfers come here”

There is a lot done here for children, especially on the ProAm day, and there is also a charity with “Eagles for Education. What appeal does the BMW International Open have here for the region and especially for non-golfers?

Marco Kaussler: From the beginning we have tried to design the event in such a way that it is not only interesting for the hardcore golfer who plays every week and wants to see the best players in the world. There are also lots of activities here in the public area, where people interested in golf can sometimes be picked up, and non-golfers from their circle of friends and acquaintances also come to take a look and perhaps have never tried it themselves. They spend a good time here and that has to be the goal. It has been confirmed in recent years that not only golfers come here, but also people who just want to spend a nice day.

You just hinted that you are relatively positive about the situation at the moment. What was your first reaction – knowing you were tournament director – when the world of golf imploded two weeks ago?

Marco Kaussler: Implodes… Explodes. My thought was that if it was coming from other sources now, it might as well be an April Fool’s joke. Nobody saw it coming, and yet it is simply a positive way to say now, you come together around the table, bring the parties together, conduct a dialogue and look for a solution, how to ultimately bring the different interests together and structure it in such a way that that the whole is sensibly set up side by side, with each other or in parts.

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“We are confident that the dialogue will lead to solutions”

Is it even foreseeable what this means for the BMW International Open?

Marco Kaussler: No, that’s all conjecture. Everything that lies ahead we have to wait and see and then evaluate. There are so many big issues that need to be resolved. You can’t say from one perspective that that would be right or wrong. Various experts from all possible sides will now try to find the best possible solution. But that will require compromises on all sides. Ultimately, it is now possible to make everything new and so positive for golf that one or the other has to get used to it. It will have to be like this.

Do you feel heard enough? Can you influence that a bit?

Marco Kaussler: It’s not our job to get involved or get involved in any way beyond measure. We are well informed, we are in a dialogue. I think our interests are clear. We have a certain amount of experience, deal with the situation professionally and feel heard and supported, yes.

What interests are you bringing up that are important to you?

Marco Kaussler: I think that would go too deep now. Of course, our goal is not just to set up a great event here in Germany, but ultimately we have a global interest in golf and have been underlining this since 1989. In this respect, we are more concerned with the big thing than with small specific things. We are confident that the dialogue will now also lead to solutions that simply put Golf on the right footing.

See Also: What happens if I meet a fellow player?

Reference

Linkedin – Marco Kaussler

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