We spoke to Cristiano Carraroli, WCGC Italy representative and World Corporate Golf Challenge – WCGC Licensee of the year. His performance in the last seasons has positioned Italy with a great circuit of events, taking his National Final to other countries. We spoke to him about how he sees the future of WCGC and how to develop synergies with the other participating countries.
Can you tell us about your background as a golf tournament organizer?
CC: I started the activity of my company (Underpar) in 2008 to organize the first sponsored tournament. After 15 years, we are now one of the most recognized Golf Event companies in Italy, representing two of the most important international tournaments in our country and the owner of one of the most successful projects dedicated to Italian amateur golfers, the UP Tour Series.
Why be part of the World Corporate Golf Challenge?
CC: Being a partner of the WCGC is first an honour and then a great opportunity. It is a 30-year success story, and feeling part of it is incredible. When we started working on the WCGC Italy relaunch, the tournament had bad, incorrect feelings with the players because of some mistakes made in previous years. After the day, year by year, work, if I look back, I see a great job we did, and my team and I have to be very proud of what we did. And it is only the beginning.
What are the strategic plans to develop the event in your country?
CC: In 2018, our goal was to reach most of the companies/players that used to play the tournament before and to share the experience with new attendees who have never been involved in a team tournament like the WCGC. We increased the number of competition days (more than 30/year) to reach as many areas/players as possible, and we got in partnership with other local tournament managers like us. The 2023 and 2024 seasons will be a turning point, enhancing the presence of what we have called “majors”, with some premium additional content than average qualifying days.
WCGC is an event that takes place in more than 30 countries. What synergies could you share with other licensees?
CC: Sharing is always a great opportunity. There are some exciting things that licensees can do together, leveraging on being part of the same network.
How do you see the World Corporate Golf Challenge evolving, and what role do you envision licensees playing?
CC: The heart of the competition is the players, and each licensee knows what players in its country ask for. The WCGC is a mature tournament, but everything can be improved. Any future evolution will be linked to proposals from each country or good experiences made by the licensees in their country. For example, in Italy, we gave single-digit players a significant weight in our country. The introduction of match play format in our national final since 2018 is something else that gave the tournament a new original and involving format.
What unique challenges or advantages does your country face when organizing and participating in the tournament?
CC: Getting in touch with foreign players and challenging other countries is the key point of the event.
Can you share any insights or tips for licensees considering participating in the World Corporate Golf Challenge for the first time?
CC: Yes, sure. Each country is different, and each golf market has specific characteristics that should be considered. Teamwork involving some active licensees will surely help newcomers to implement their tournament best and in the higher interest of the whole international competition.
How does your company align with the values and goals of the brand World Corporate Golf Challenge, and how does it contribute to its overall mission?
CC: We like the target of the WCGC, and we do our best to implement it at our country level.
Would it be a good experience to host the World Finals in your country?
CC: It would indeed be. We have started studying how to best manage this tournament since 2018, and after six years of experience, we have learned a lot. Maybe in the following years, we will be ready for this fantastic challenge. Indeed, our country is oriented to increase its role as a golf destination for foreign players, and the Ryder Cup 2023 is only the beginning.