The setting, in one of the world’s great cities, inspired collaboration and forward thinking. The participants, more than 190 strong from across golf and other industries, obliged, and the North American Golf Innovation Symposium provided a forum for a healthy exchange of ideas about how to advance the game.
Hosted by the USGA in conjunction with Golf Canada and the Mexican Golf Federation, the event was designed to share research and expertise with the in-person attendees and others following through a live stream. The agenda focused heavily on the symbiotic relationship between golfers and golf facilities, and the message was clear: It is time to deliver solutions to help solve some of golf’s most pressing challenges.
“I’m very excited about what happened here,” said Matt Pringle, senior director of USGA Research, Science and Innovation. “We want to make sure the USGA is relevant to all golfers, particularly the more than 16,000 facilities and 30 million golfers throughout North America.”
Here are five important takeaways from the symposium:
1. The golfer experience, and the health of golf facilities, are paramount to the future of the game. What does this mean? That everyone, from golf course architects to course owners to the USGA, needs to be focused on making the game fun and enjoyable and improving the long-term viability of golf courses. That effort was crystalized this week by a challenge statement issued by the USGA’s Rand Jerris, and is echoed by the comments of two symposium attendees: