R&A's three-pronged plan to drive growth

Golf has to evolve if it wants to have more young people playing the game.

Speaking at the Founding Partners press conference on Thursday during this week's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) in Singapore, the R&A's chief executive Martin Slumbers outlined three ways for the sport to do so.

"One is around more women and families playing golf. Second, it's about shorter forms of the game," said Slumbers, who heads golf's governing body for the world outside of the United States and Mexico.

"And finally, which I think is very relevant to Asia, we need to get golf to be more open, inclusive, affordable and accessible.

"Golf is at its very best when it is part of community life... Those three things are key and we will invest in them around the world."

The R&A announced last month that it will reinvest £200 million (S$360 million) in developing golf across the world over the next decade, with £80 million going into women's, girls' and mixed golf.

Slumbers also noted that there are about four times as many people who play golf in the European market than there are club members.

"So there is a huge appetite to consume our game, and we have to create more opportunities for these people to be able to do so," he said.

"So we need more driving ranges, three-hole or six-hole courses, and not just the traditional 18-hole ones."

The R&A is one of three founding partners of the AAC, which is into its 10th edition. The other two are the Masters Tournament and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation.

Lester Wong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'R&A's three-pronged plan to drive growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe