A major Asian presence in the world’s Top 10, low cost urban golf courses, new self-coaching digital “smart clubs”, short format golf, carbon positive courses and family friendly facilities will revolutionize the game of golf by the start of the next decade.
These are among the findings of a new research commissioned by global investor in golf HSBC to mark the 141st Open Championship next week.
HSBC has teamed up with leading consumer research agency The Futures Company to produce “Golf’s 2020 Vision”, a detailed look at the future of golf over the next eight years based on interviews with a host of leading industry experts and players such as Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam.
Top players past and present are united in their belief that Asian golfers will make up one third of the World’s Top 10 by 2020 with golf legend Player seeing “several of the world’s Top 10 coming from Asia” and former World No 3 Paul Casey predicting the Top 10 will be “an equal split of Asian, European and US players”.
Released Thursday, July 12, key findings of the report include:
- Low cost urban courses will fuel the growth of golf in inner cities and emerging markets
- New digital “smart clubs” which memorize your grip and swing will allow players to analyse their own performance
- Six and nine hole formats of the game will complement the 18-hole tradition
- Carbon positive golf courses will start to appear
- Family friendly facilities will be developed for a new golfing demographic as men and women spend more leisure time together
The research – which interviewed experts from the world of golf, media, gaming and the environment – revealed that Asia’s success will be fuelled by economic growth and the rise of the middle classes which has seen Asian consumers turning to leisure activities and children playing the game from an early age.
HSBC global head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: “This is a truly incredible time for golf. Golf is evolving and evolving fast and as a proud patron of The Open Championship and a global investor in golf we wanted to see where the game is going next.”