On Friday 18 March, the University of Birmingham hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on the future of golf.
From left to right: Martin Slumbers, Peter McEvoy OBE, Dr Sandy Jones, Dr Martin Toms
Chaired by the University’s Director of Sport, Zena Wooldridge OBE, the panel featured Chief Executive of the PGA, Dr Sandy Jones (DUniv 2009); former golfer and current golf course designer and writer, Peter McEvoy OBE; and Chief Executive and Secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews, Martin Slumbers (BSc Production Engineering and Economics, 1981).
Over 100 alumni, students, and friends of the University attended the discussion to hear about each panellist’s personal relationship to golf alongside their views on the opportunities and challenges that currently face the game. During the Q&A period, the panellists discussed how technology could help in attracting modern audiences to the game; and that the game’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics will give it greater exposure. The panel also discussed the need for golf to become more accessible and approachable, in order to encourage more players.
Following the lecture, attendees had an opportunity to meet and chat with the panel and each other over a drinks reception.
In addition to the panel discussion, Martin Slumbers gave a fascinating lecture to the University’s Applied Golf Management Studies (AGMS) students on the crucial role the Open tournament has in growing and developing the sport, globally. The University’s pioneering AGMS programme is globally recognised as the best degree of its kind and has one of the highest graduate employment rates across the University.