Some of the most influential names in the golf industry shared ideas and best practice to benefit the future of the game during a special Open Championship lunch at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, attended by over 85 industry stakeholders.
For a second year, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. teamed up with the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA) and the Golf Foundation to present this well-supported event. Sports Marketing Surveys has hosted a lunch on this day in the golf calendar for more than 25 years now.
The event serves as an opportunity for all present to talk about how they can work together to help the golf industry and to air fresh perspectives on the development of the game.
During the lunch, John Bushell, Managing Director of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC., presented some fascinating ‘fast facts’ from across sport on levels of participation, frequency of play and insight into the varying levels of elite player usage of leading brand equipment in different areas of the world and in different sports. John was able to show everything from how rugby balls in the Rugby World Cup have been designed to fly further and truer, to the rise of the European golfer in the world rankings, and how a cricket bat brand could be most used in the recent Ashes series but be ignored in the England versus India series. Player usage in equipment was a pertinent topic as the specialist sporting goods research company was present at The Open to perform the official equipment census of all Open Championship competitors.
In another presentation, BGIA Chairman Doug Poole welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of protecting the future of the sport. He referred to the BGIA’s ‘Grow Golf’ initiative that supports projects which stimulate the growth of the game at national, regional or local level. The current Grow Golf partners are Acushnet Europe, Callaway Golf, PING Europe, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, and more recently Motocaddy, and Doug Poole hoped that other companies would support Grow Golf and become contributors to make the fund an industry-wide initiative. Doug took the opportunity on the day to present a cheque for £9,000 to the Golf Foundation, this being money raised by BGIA members during the BGIA Charity Golf Day in May. At that May event, the Grow Golf Trustees presented the second tranche of a three-year, £120,000 grant to the Golf Foundation.
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, gave a presentation on the national programme ‘HSBC Golf Roots’, which makes the sport more accessible to children from all backgrounds and abilities and offers youngsters positive life skills. The programme aims to reach one million young people per year by 2013. The pursuit of this target was boosted considerably by news during The Open that HSBC has joined the drive to get more youngsters interested in golf through the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme and through a long-term relationship with The R&A, the Golf Foundation’s strongest supporter in recent years. Golf Foundation President Colin Montgomerie helped to give this announcement strong exposure during Open week.
HSBC Golf Roots and the Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org
BGIA and the Grow Golf initiative www.bgia.org.uk
SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. www.sportsmarketingsurveysinc.com