March is the time when most sports fans turn their attention to college basketball and the spectacle known as March Madness. But the hardwood isn’t the only place where bouncing balls will be capturing the imagination of sports fans.
While brackets and NCAA tournament office pools might be the talk around the water cooler, the golf world has some significant events going on this week, from an important symposium to the PGA Tour’s signature competition. Here are three things happening in the game that you should know:
Industry Leaders Gather in Japan
While many of the game’s greatest players are competing in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week, some of the most influential minds in the world of science and technology are gathering a half a globe away in Tokyo, March 12-13 for the 5th USGA Golf Innovation Symposium.
Conducted in partnership with Cisco, the official technology partner of the USGA, the symposium offers industry leaders an opportunity to share best practices and engage in dialogue to improve facility productivity, enhance the golfer experience and provide increased access for everyone who enjoys the game.
Held in collaboration with the Japan Golf Association, the symposium will feature presenters from the U.S., Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Iceland, New Zealand and France. PGA Tour winner Shigeki Maruyama and 2004 Olympic track and field gold medalist Koji Murofushi, both of Japan, will be the keynote speakers. Maruyama will serve as Japan’s golf coach for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
JGA Chairman Tsunetada Takeda will open the symposium by welcoming delegates to Japan, and USGA CEO Mike Davis will present a vision for how the game of golf can come together to tackle the challenges facing golf facilities around the world.
Rand Jerris, the USGA’s senior managing director of Public Services, will reaffirm the imperative of the USGA’s challenge statement – to reduce golf’s consumption of key resources by 25 percent, and to improve golfer satisfaction by 20 percent, by 2025 – as well as the organization’s commitment to lead golf toward a more sustainable future.
The symposium will consist of three half-day sessions, each addressing a key theme:
- Improving Facility Productivity (March 12, afternoon)
- Enhancing Golfer Experience and Participation (March 13, morning)
- Urban Golf Opportunities (March 13, afternoon)
The symposium will be streamed live, with the video, schedule of events, and speaker bios available here.