In their own words: World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu January 18, 2018 07:15

The chief executive of the World Golf Foundation looks forward to 2018 – a year that should see positive inclusivity trends continue

It certainly has been an exciting year in golf, with positive trends that offer a glimpse of what is ahead for us in the coming year.

Looking ahead to 2018, there are several goals the World Golf Foundation is working towards achieving. A primary one is to make the game look more like society looks. We are working towards doing this by bringing groups together from within the industry to focus on areas such as diversity and inclusion, outreach to millennials and encouraging more women and juniors to participate in the game. Additionally, we are working to introduce youth to the sport as caddies with the goal of turning them into lifelong golfers.

I’m bullish on the state of the game and excited about how the face of golf is changing. About 20 years ago, one in 12 US juniors were ethnically diverse; today, that number is one in four. Also, two decades ago, one in six US juniors were girls and today it is one in three. The game is evolving and looking more like America, a very diverse country.

Steve Mona. Photo by Stan Badz / PGA TOUR

The growth of the game continues to expand worldwide. For example, the PGA TOUR has made incredible progress to increase interest in South America, evidenced by more champions emerging from that region. PGA TOUR China is relaunching in 2018, with numerous opportunities surfacing as Asia continues to show its passion for the game.

The perception of golf is changing, too. It’s moving away from the long-held view that it’s a game for only a certain status of our society, and people are perceiving it now as a game for all. We have the facts to illustrate the reality of the game today: 75 per cent of the golf facilities in the US are open to the public, 80 per cent of the people who play golf in the US do so primarily on facilities open to the public and the median round cost is $38 (about £28).

All of us that love the game and want to see it thrive have a responsibility to assist in its growth and vibrancy. We can all do our part to make 2018 a stellar year for golf.

Steve Mona has been World Golf Foundation’s CEO since 2008. In 2016, Steve was named to Golf Inc.’s list of ‘Most Powerful People in Golf’ for the 16th consecutive year. World Golf Foundation develops and supports initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values. Founded in 1993, it is supported by major international golf organisations and professional Tours, and provides oversight to World Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee, GOLF 20/20 and other industry initiatives in support of its mission.

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Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu January 18, 2018 07:15
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