They include Bale, Kathryn Newton, Michelle Wie West and Niall Horan who are helping The R&A introduce golf to wider, more diverse audiences and enhance its appeal by positively influencing its image and perception worldwide.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “Juan Martín Hernández is a rugby legend in Argentina and has a strong following in Latin America. He loves playing golf and is enthusiastic about our drive to boost participation and build upon the momentum we have seen in recent years.
“We know from our research that superstar athletes and celebrity figures are having a positive impact on the motivation of people to try golf for the first time or play it more often. Our Development Ambassadors are helping us to reach new audiences and positively influence the sport’s image with millions of followers and they are doing it because of their love for golf. They do not charge us anything for it.
“Over time, we hope this work helps to change the perceptions of golf and highlight that the sport is modern, contemporary and open to everyone.”
Consumer research from The R&A’s golf.golf pilot has highlighted the impact of celebrity figures to encourage people into the sport. In total, 71% of respondents felt ‘golf.golf would be most appealing if the initiative was advertised by celebrities as well as regular people.’
The R&A appointed Modest! Golf, founded by Horan, to work on golf.golf, a pilot initiative to encourage people to learn to play golf at a diverse range of golf facilities across Scotland.