Adam Lawrence wonders if the golf industry truly understands the implications of recent victories by Korean golfers.
Two weeks ago, Yang Yong-eun became the first male Asian golfer to win a major championship. Today, his (much) younger compatriot Byeong Hun-an won the US Amateur title. Does anyone now doubt that golf is on the verge of a whole new age?
The breakthroughs made by Yang and Byeong will have huge and far-reaching implications for the game around the world. Golf is already among the world’s most truly global sports, but in essence it has always been dominated by an Anglo-American ethos. That is, surely, set to change.
It’s fascinating to consider what might happen to the game over the next twenty years. There will be huge opportunities for existing suppliers to support golf’s growth, but sooner or later, Korea, China and India will demand Korean, Chinese and Indian golf architects and superintendents. The firms that really prosper will be those that realise this, and immerse themselves in the new markets, rather than seeing them just as cash cows to be sold to but otherwise ignored.