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Past Is The Key To Golf’s Future

ABU DHABI, UAE | New technology was often to the fore at last week’s HSBC Golf Business Forum at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort. But there was also plenty to suggest that it is a step back in time that could do rather more to give the game in the West a fresh spark.
Dana Garmany, chairman and CEO of Troon Golf, said that tour pros need to hone their social skills. “There are very few charismatic characters around now. Too many are too zombie-like and do not engage. For the most part, they are a bunch of clones.
“Bubba Watson is a bit different and Ian Poulter tries to be different, but even he is not exactly an Arnold Palmer,” Garmany said.
Years ago, Garmany was introduced to Palmer for a first time and spoke with him for not much more than 45 seconds. Twelve months later, when they met for a second time, Palmer opened with, “Good to see you again, Dana.”
“I’d love it if that kind of approach were to make a comeback,” said Garmany. “The trouble with today’s players is that they don’t feel the need to interact with spectators. Unlike Palmer, they don’t ‘get’ how much they owe to them.”
Giles Morgan, global head of sponsorship and events at HSBC, said that for someone like himself who looks at golf with a commercial eye, characters are a must.


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