Written by Ed Vyeda
April 17, 2014
PGA TOUR stars Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia headlined a group of golf industry leaders at Reynolds Lake Oconee on Monday, participating in a 15-inch-cup tournament hosted by TaylorMade Golf. The event represents the kickoff of the company's commitment of up to $5 million over the next five years - to support Hack Golf in alliance with the PGA of America, to make the sport more accessible and fun for new players.
Introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando earlier in the year, Hack Golf is an open innovation initiative aimed at making golf more fun for everyone, in a short time generating a flood of crowd-sourced ideas from both inside and outside of the industry. "Hacking" an industry has been done in several sectors, most notably Silicon Valley, and is designed to present original ideas, let the community compound those thoughts without the vested interests that often cloud decisions by an established industry.
"It is clear our game needs something to recapture the incredible growth and momentum we were experiencing a decade ago," said Mark King, CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf. "Whether it is this 15-inch-cup concept or an idea that comes in from outside the industry, we need to spark a revolution that will bring new participants to the game."
At Monday's event, Garcia recorded a score of 30 playing nine holes with 15-inch cups installed in the greens, while Rose shot a 33.
Previous experiments with the 15-inch cup, including from its maiden voyage two weeks ago at Pauma Valley Country Club in Southern California, have produced faster rounds, lower scores and more fun. A typical 4:30 round is 3:45, and many golfers are seeing a 10-stroke improvement in scores that typically include long putts and chip-ins from off the green.
Over the next two weeks, 20 golf courses participating in the beta test will receive 15-inch-cup kits that include the hole, custom tee markers, flags and flagsticks, and by the end of May, itís projected up to another 80 courses across the nation will be enrolled in the program. Format participation will range from weekend tournaments and fundraisers to some courses having both a regulation hole and 15-inch hole on each green at all times.
After the beta period, other courses will have the opportunity to purchase the 15-inch-cup kit, which is custom-made by PAR AIDE.
TaylorMade's 15-inch-cup experiment is the first to take place in conjunction with the Hack Golf initiative, and in the next month the campaign plans to announce 1-2 more experiments to execute.
To learn more about the new Hack Golf initiative and the 15-inch-cup program, visit hackgolf.org.
To keep track of your saved/favorited properties.
Let's reset it.