Dan Slaughter: ‘The later you sign players at the Dutch Open, the cheaper it will be’

Dan Slaughter: 'The later you sign players at the Dutch Open, the cheaper it will be'

When Daan Slooter enters the “Noordwijkse” club, he has one golf club in hand. Old, clearly visible from the discoloration of the iron and leather handle. He says there is a story behind this medium iron, but that’s for later. Have a drink first. Needless to say, it hosts the place where he started playing golf when he was an 11-year-old boy. It turned out that he had a talent for sports that would define his life. “All I do is golf.”

In addition to being a TV commentator for Ziggo Sport, Slooter (54) is a co-owner of a company that handles the business side of golf in the Netherlands and has been a director of the Dutch Open since 2004. It starts Thursday in Cromwirt and is the reason for an interview. For Slooter, the conversation took place over nine holes, but the reporter is not a golfer.

Is playing golf together your way of communicating?

“Most people want to play at Noordwijk, because it is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Netherlands. I can give them that opportunity. I try to play golf often on a date, I play very little. But most of all I think it’s a way to Good to get to know each other. Better than sitting at a table with a tape recorder like that.”

Golf as a social activity.

“Yeah, I can do that well, but then I often play worse because I’m too busy with other people. I don’t care, but the reactions that day were. Either they said ‘Slooter can’t handle it anymore’ or people suddenly thought They can play golf like I did.”

In his younger years, there were few golfers of the same level as Slaughter. At the age of sixteen or seventeen, he belonged to the top ten in the world among young people, although there are no official lists to prove this, he said. In international tournaments, compete with men like Colin Montgomerie, José Maria Olazabal and Jesper Parnevik, who are now acclaimed professionals with a full souvenir closet and millions in the bank. Slooter chose a scholarship in the United States in the mid-1980s, and went on to study economics at Duke University in North Carolina. After that, he did not become a professional.

Do you regret this choice?

“I didn’t have much choice. I wasn’t physically strong enough and at that time the old saying in the Netherlands was: No strength training. That was bad for your flexibility. I played a lot between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, and my body couldn’t handle it. It was my game The shorts are great, and I could have gone on for a long time with that. When I came back to Holland in 1989, I tried for another year, but the sacred fire was gone.”

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I was born prematurely.

“Now I was definitely going to be a pro. Back then, you had to get into the top thirty on the European Tour to get a tie. Now there are many smaller rounds and golfers can take five years to get somewhere.”

Your golf experience will come in handy now that you are the Tournament Manager. Is your role similar to that of Richard Krajicek at the Tennis Championships in Rotterdam?

“I think so. The court is my concern. In tennis you have to be number one, two or three in the world to have a catchy label, and I have to ensure a wide field of participants. I try to get one player out of the top fifteen, top twenty, and a few From the top 50, plus some players who love them. The previous main winners, for example. And the Dutch, of course, are important.”

A big mission, involving more than one hundred and fifty players.

“We arrange flights, hotel rooms or whatever is necessary for 30 players. The rest is just coming. We have contract agreements with about five people. It really is a game to get those five. My rhythm is a little different now that we’ve moved from September to May, but I’ll start in Dubai.” In January. There I talk to all the players and their managers. This way I feel what the players want and an image forms in my head.”

And then it comes to starting the money.

‘I have a Martin Kaymer sometimes’ [voormalig nummer 1 van de wereld] Arranged opposite a hotel room. In Saudi Arabia there is a $7.5 million tournament in the beginning, so I can do that. I haven’t put that together in all these years. We rely on synthesis, measurement, and relationship building. If you take the players by name, I give their management five hotel rooms and five flights. They can give that to other players from their stable who usually don’t get anything. Because of that, they had stronger bonds with these players and those players with us. This may be important because she is getting better. mine verb balancing He: The later you sign players, the cheaper it gets.”

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Are you satisfied this year?

Yes, because it is a strange time. There are plans for a new Saudi tour that will not allow players from the US tour to participate. This creates uncertainty which in turn has an effect on what I do. Our domain was supposed to be announced in March, but no one picks up their phone anymore. Usually there is always one or two players playing full time on the US Tour.”

Finally, the story behind this old golf club.

“I came across this online for a few bucks. It turns out that George Bannell, the first winner of the Dutch Open in 1912, was in the middle. There’s a good chance he played that tournament too, because there are no grooves on the blade. They didn’t come until a few years later. “.

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