In any tour around the world, such as the PGA Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, the DP World Tour, and the Japan Professional Golf Tour (JGTO), there is no place where players like Korea give thanks by giving gifts in return at the next tournament.
It has been longer than expected in the Korean golf world that the winner gives gifts. One of the biggest things that has changed from the past is the type of return gift. Except for the rice cakes that the players chose the most, the gifts have become so diverse that they cannot be counted with both hands, including macaroons, whistles, walnut cookies, chocolate, and pizza. On top of that, there are also players calling for coffee cars or food trucks.
An official from the golf industry said, “Only five years ago, almost all players turned rice cakes, but now they are different,” adding, “It seems that the players decide the type of gift according to the weather.” Coffee cars have the highest satisfaction these days. “The players responded well as they could drink coffee and ade coolly in the hot summer,” he explained.
How much will it cost to give away the prize. In general, it is known that it costs as little as 5 million won to as much as 8 million won. “I think I spent about 7 million won on coffee cars and rice cakes until the first and second days of the practice round and the first and second days of the tournament,” said a KLPGA Tour player who recently won the championship. Even if it costs more than 10 million won, I hope to give a prize at least once for the rest of the season, he said with a smile.
The return gift to the sponsor is even more special. Some players spare no money as it is the only chance to express their gratitude. An official from the management said, “What I always say to my players is, ‘You should be grateful for your sponsor.’ It is natural for players to express their gratitude as they have seen and sponsored the possibility of the future, he said. “Players who have been in relationship with one sponsor for more than five years somehow take the time to greet them in person.” “There is a clear reason when I see players who have a good relationship with sponsors,” he said.
There are also players who prepared unexpected things as gifts in return for the championship. Kim Bi-oh, the winner of last year’s GS Caltex Maekyung Open, is a representative example. At that time, Kim Bi-oh, who invited a handmade hamburger company that had to wait in line at a restaurant in Seoul, gave more than 300 hamburgers manufactured in front of the club house to the players. Kim Bi-oh prepared something special as a return for winning the LX Championship, which achieved nine wins on the Korean Tour on the 3rd. The cost of coffee cars was donated to amateur players who dream of becoming professional golfers. “I decided to donate to foster junior golf players instead of coffee cars to prepare for it as a token of gratitude,” Kim Bi-oh said on social networking services (SNS), adding, “I hope my fellow players will understand it with a generous heart.”
Even if players who play on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, such as Lim Sung-jae and Kim Hyo-joo, win, most of them are giving gifts in return for winning the championship. Lim Sung-jae, who won the Woori Financial Championship in May, was praised for providing clubhouse meal coupons to players at the SK Telecom Open that followed immediately.
There are times when local specialties where the competition is held are selected as a prize in return for winning. Park Ji-young, who won the Ever Collagen and The Sienna Queens Crown in Jeju Island, returned Omegi Tteok as a prize for winning during the Jeju Samdasoo Masters. An official from the association said, “There are often players who spin local famous things such as Omegi rice cake in Jeju Island and potato bread in Gangwon-do,” adding, “I heard that some rice cake and bakeries contact the winners or officials of the previous competition.”
Unlike professional competitions, amateur competitions that do not receive prize money continue the tradition of winners giving gifts even simply. Last month’s Songambae Amateur Golf Championship men’s winner Pi Seung-hyun and women’s winner Oh Soo-min also thanked fellow players and officials during the Kakao VX Maekyung Amateur Golf Championship. 스포츠토토