Would someone please do an experiment: record the golf on Sky for an hour and then time how much of that hour is actually on golfers playing their shots, how much is on advertising breaks, and how much is on everything else (in-studio analysis, shots of the leaderboard, daft music…). Then let’s compare those results to the BBC’s coverage. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Sky show only half the amount of golf. On what planet is that ‘good for the game’. Once the first year of Sky is over, the proof of Sky's success or failure will be in the number of people who tune in to watch the tournament.
Nothing about moving The Open to Sky will encourage new people to take up the game. Not unless they introduce some kind of X-Factor style element to find the next Tiger/Rory.
The R&A might claim that they will use the extra £3 million they receive (the BBC paid £7 million a year, Sky is paying £10 million) to promote golf to the young and old, near and far, but the greatest golf tournament on the planet has now been moved off terrestrial TV to a subscriber only audience. This is not an event a kid might accidentally come across while channel surfing, so… for a paltry £3 million, the custodians of the game are only succeeding in making it more elite, more difficult to discover and less attractive to those who might have had a notion to try it.
And all this at a time when participation in golf is in decline.