The world is constantly evolving, and sport is no different. Even golf, which at its core has remained the same civilized game for almost its entire existence, is subtly changing… This brings into question the future of golf tournaments.
What can we expect of golf as a sport going forward? How will things change? Will we still be able to enjoy the sport the way we do now? And will any potential changes impact the way we fundraise with golf?
Let’s check it out in more detail and see what the future holds for our beloved sport and the technology we use to put together amazing fundraisers and smooth-running tournaments.
What Is the Future of Golf Tournaments?
In a nutshell, the future of golf is the most uncertain it’s ever been. The PGA Tour, the US’s organizer of golf tours, is at odds with LIV Golf, the Saudi-created golf tour, leaving the future of the sport quite up in the air.
But aside from the pro tournaments, charity golf tournaments remain a fun and interactive way to fundraise. Golf is becoming more and more accessible to everyday people, and although we’re likely to see an upswing in tech use for everything from training to planning, it looks like golf as a fundraising event will stick around long into the future.
Trends That Could Shape Future Golf Tournaments
Regardless of whether golf tournaments fall under PGA or LIV or if it’s simply fundraising charity events, they’re subject to the trends in the sporting world. Here are a few current and potential future trends that could change the way golf is played in the future.
Changes in Tournament Formats
Golf is a classic sport, and it’s always been played in a similar way. But to keep the sport exciting and appealing to younger generations, we could see golfing organizations playing around with new tournament formats.
Already, we’re seeing events opting for unique formats like golf Marathons and modified four-balls. There’s also a swing towards the shorter game and Topgolf events, with nine-hole rounds becoming more popular, particularly amongst recreational players, possibly due to time constraints. We may see this format make its way into charity tournaments, too.
One of the greats, Gary Player, has spoken up about the golfing community needing to shift the way the game is played to help the sport grow. We might see more creative tournament formatting become a thing.
Greater Use of Technology
Technology is a part of everything, and golf is no different. As technology evolves, we can expect golf tournaments to take on the challenge of implementing more technologies in their gameplay and coverage.
Data analytics is one area in which tech could play a big role. Real-time stats, player insights, and data-based information could become more streamlined, adding to the experience of watching golf tournaments.
There’s also a possibility that augmented reality and virtual reality could make their way into the game. While they’re already part of the training experience, we may see these kinds of technology bring fans even closer to the action when they’re unable to watch the action in person.
Data analytics is developing at an astounding rate, and its use can make a difference in the way tournaments are experienced. Predictive analytics are already being used by players and coaches to improve their game, drive accuracy, swing mechanics, and even golf club selection.
Data can be a huge help to tournament organizers when it comes to planning and decision-making. Things like scheduling, prize money allocation, and course setup to maximize user experience can all be enhanced by using data in the right way.
Technology is a huge help here too. Apps and software are valuable assets when it comes to using data the right way and making complex processes like golf tournament registration easier and more streamlined.
Golf Is More Accessible
Golf is becoming more accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and lifestyles. It’s no longer just a rich person’s game—anybody can play, attend, and watch. The golfing world may also trend towards more non-professional golfing tournaments, whether at club level or simply open to anyone who wishes to play.
Golfing organizations are actively working towards making golf tournaments accessible to everyone who wants to play. Diversity and inclusivity are becoming the norm, with more female golfers, young players, and minorities participating in tournaments.
Sustainability is a popular trend in many industries, but it’s come to golf as well. Golf courses are amazing masterpieces of nature. However, due to their substantial size, they typically take a lot of maintenance, which equals plenty of water and electricity.
Golf courses are becoming more and more sustainable, but could we see sustainability coming to golf tournaments as well? Tournament organizers may begin to favor sustainable golf courses as tournament locations, as well as adopt more sustainable practices in their planning and execution of events.
Many organizers are also making an effort to be carbon-neutral in their event planning. There’s plenty of room for tournament organizers to adopt more sustainable practices—transport, waste management, signage, and more can be made more sustainable with just a bit of careful planning.
Increased Fan Engagement
Golfing tournaments are for everyone, and they’re adapting to become more engaging and exciting to a wider range of people. Technology plays a huge role in making the game accessible to fans around the world who may not be able to physically attend the game.
We’re already seeing golf being streamed online, stroke-by-stroke information being shared on social media, and interactive communities springing up for golf lovers to interact and share their enjoyment of the game.
Esports are likely to become a bigger thing, and we could see golf taking advantage of this. There’s also a huge trend towards gamification (of everything), and there’s a big chance of this becoming a factor in golf in the near future, both in professional tournaments and local ones.
Social media will also play a more important role as time goes on, with the potential to offer interactive experiences, behind-the-scenes experiences, and exclusive content. We may see gated content available by subscription only, making fans a part of an exclusive community.
The future of golf tournaments may be unclear at this point, but one thing is obvious—golf is evolving in exciting ways, and charity golf tournaments are a part of this larger trend. Whatever route the sport takes, we can look forward to more fierce competition, exciting new ways of playing the game, and easier ways for fans to feel involved in the sport.
About the Author
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.