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'Hack Golf' initiative seeks to spark participation

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Before a packed house on the eve of this week’s PGA Merchandise Show, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO Mark King unveiled “Hack Golf,” an industry wide initiative aimed to help stem participation declines in the sport

According to Joe Beditz, the CEO of the National Golf Foundation who joined King and PGA of America president Ted Bishop at the announcement, golf has lost about 5 million players over the last decade.

“We’re leaking golfers,” Beditz said.



To reverse that trend, King has created Hack Golf, which was described by Gary Hamel, who was recently called the world’s most influential business thinker by the Wall Street Journal, as “a way to engage everyone who cares about golf.”

“Innovation stalls when the same people keep talking to each other about the same challenge over and over,” Hamel said.  “We need to open the conversation up to a wider audience instead of continuing to try and innovate in the same ineffective vacuum.”

Through “open source innovation,” King has pledged to support the growth initiatives with up to $5 million in funding over the next five years. The company will also support a series of tournaments nationwide that will utilize a 15-inch cup among other rule modifications designed to make golf more enjoyable.