Six of the world’s best golfers today predicted how the game of golf could change dramatically over the next ten years including an increase in the speed of play, as the European Tour season kicks into gear at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
At the start of a new decade, with the eyes of the golfing world on how the sport might change over the next ten years, long-time title partner HSBC continued its commitment to exploring innovations that support the growth of golf by bringing together six world-class players to share their ideas about where the sport could and should go over the next decade.
HSBC took Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay to the home of innovation in Abu Dhabi – Masdar City. Standing in front of the Knowledge Centre, the players discussed the changes that could help golf thrive in the long-term.
The players made some striking predictions on topics including the pace of play. According to the six, a round of golf should take no longer than 3 hours 20 minutes, with DeChambeau stating tournament rounds should take 3 hours 30 minutes maximum.
Five of the players also stated that beyond their own personal success, they believe Rory McIlroy will win more majors this decade than any other player. Only Fleetwood had a different forecast, believing Tiger Woods would win more majors than anyone else on tour during the next ten years. Their predictions about the sport will be published on HSBC Sport’s Twitterand Facebookpages.
The players were joined by members of HSBC Future Falcons Junior Golf Programme, a HSBC grassroots initiative that has introduced nearly 80,000 children to golf since its launch.
Koepka said: “We all love the game of golf and there are things it can do to improve. It was great to be asked here today to give my perspective on where the sport could and should go over the next decade, and I hope to see some of those predictions start to come true.”
Fleetwood, a two-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner, added: “Masdar City is a really exciting and innovative place. Many of the ideas around technology and innovation in urban environments are ones that golf would do well to pay attention to, and so this was a really interesting way to start a new golfing decade.”
Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO UAE & Head of International Markets at HSBC Bank Middle East, said: “We’re in for yet another thrilling week of golf, as we start a new decade with some of the best golfers on the planet competing for the prestigious Falcon Trophy. Working alongside our partners – the European Tour and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council – we have always been committed to supporting the growth of golf to ensure that the sport thrives in the long-term.
“It was wonderful to see some of the best players in the world making their own voices heard in predicting the future of the sport, alongside members of our HSBC Future Falcons Junior Golf programme. It truly represented the present and the future of this sport we love so much.”