On this week was held 2014 HSBC Golf Business Forum at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. I think the two highlights of the event were the announcement of Peter Dawson (Chief Executive of The R&A) and HSBC’s update on their Golf’s 2020 Vision.
Peter Dawson announced that he will retire in 2015. He received the HSBC Golf Business Lifetime Achievement Award (see picture below with Matteo Mannasero). Probably his last initiative will be a call for a major championship in Asia.
For me the most interesting from this golf forum was is the growing attention toward Asian golf. When HSBC first published their Golf's 2020 Vision report I raised some issues that we should not neglect, but to take it seriously:
Despite of Giles Morgan's (HSBC’s Global Head of Sponsorship and Events) great hopes, the growth of golf in China is slowing. In 2012 "only" 39 new golf courses were built. In total there are 587 golf courses (some sources say that there were 639 golf courses in China by end of 2013) in China and 3 million golfers. So we can say that in last year 1.72% (more or less) of the Chinese middle class played golf.
The situation is similar or even worse is in India. However I have to agree with Giles Morgan that we should pay more attention to Asia, to countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Korea (and not just to China and India).