PGA task force eyes "non-traditional" growth

PGA President, Ted Bishop, during the State of the Industry Panel discussion at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center.

In the spirit of the recent Hackgolf initiative, the PGA of America has formed a task force charged with growing the game beyond traditional means.

"The golf experience needs to be redefined," PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in a release.

To that end, the 10-member panel is comprised of a mix of figures inside golf and out. Golf figures include Bishop, PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua and PGA of America board member and former LPGA pro Dottie Pepper – as well as TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO and Hackgolf founder Mark King, Top Golf co-owner Tom Dundon and media members Damon Hack and Ashley Mayo.

The three members from outside golf are skiing standout Bode Miller, former NFL player Melvin Bullitt and former USTA CEO Arlen Kantarian, none of whose bios from the PGA contain information about backgrounds in golf.

The PGA's release says the group will look for ideas that can quickly be put in place, while also looking at the sport's long-term picture.

"With the industry at a critical juncture of growth, it is our responsibility to consider any and all potential alternatives to enhance the consumer’s enjoyment of the game," Bishop said.

The panel is the latest of several initiatives to grow the game. Hackgolf was introduced in January with a $5 million pledge from TaylorMade as King said, "Our game lacks innovation," and Bishop spoke optimistically about coming up with concepts that would be welcomed by his organization's 28,000 members. Ideas such as a 15-inch up to be used with oversized balls and clubs quickly followed.

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