The R&A International Golf Conference – Day Three
Golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was the main theme of the third and final day of the International Golf Conference. Four-time gold medallist rower Matthew Pinsent gave an inspirational talk about the hard work and dedication required to succeed at the top level of sport. The sustainable approach being taken to designing and building the Olympic golf course in Rio was discussed by course architect Gil Hanse. The format and the qualification process for the Olympic golf event in Rio and the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014 were outlined by Antony Scanlon, the Executive Director of the International Golf Federation. Christophe Dubi, Director, Sports Department, at the International Olympic Committee, spoke about the Olympic movement and Juan Margets, the Executive Vice President of the International Tennis Federation, gave a perspective from another sport. Conference chairman Rob Bonnet rounded up the day’s highlights in his video blog below.
The second day of the International Golf Conference looked at the current state of the game and the issues affecting its growth around the world. Dr Joe Beditz, the Chief Executive of the National Golf Foundation, provided some fascinating statistics on participation levels and looked at areas where golf is growing and where it is in decline. Duncan Weir, The R&A’s Executive Director – Working for Golf, highlighted some of golf’s strengths before four speakers looked at some areas where golf needs to improve. Martin Yates, a Member of The R&A’s Golf Development Committee, discussed pace of play; Dr Rand Jerris, Senior Managing Director, Public Services at the United States Golf Association, outlined the benefits of the Tee it Forward programme; Jean-Lou Charon, the President of the French Golf Federation, discussed Urban Golf and Zoe Thacker, Director of Golf Development at Golf Development Wales, looked at how we can secure the future of the game. You can follow conference chairman Rob Bonnet’s video blog from day two of the conference above.
The 9th R&A International Golf Conference is taking place in St Andrews this week and you can catch up with the discussions each day by following a video blog prepared by the conference chairman Rob Bonnet. The BBC presenter looks at the talking points from day one and speaks to some of the speakers and key figures involved such as former Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie, Wally Uihlein, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Acushnet Company, and Peter Dawson, the Chief Executive of The R&A. Around 200 delegates from international golf federations around the world affiliated to The R&A are attending the conference at the Fairmont Resort.