August 22, 2012 - Mikko Manerus

Innovative Steps Towards Golf 2.0

Good sign @ Royal Lytham & St Annes!

We all have noticed the interesting development within golf industry. Just take a look at course design or the innovation speed of the equipment industry. During the last 10 years the game has been changing along the rapid technology development, and with our society.

There are some sensitive topics as well. For example, there’s a lot of discussion about using mobile phones on the course and about male-only traditions within this sport. It is not my task to advice how things should be, but I’ll write few lines about why we should keep on discussing about these topics.

There are traditions everywhere, in business and in sports.  Steel corporate cultures, process habits that lack connection to the business objectives and customer satisfaction, and overall cultural differences, you name it. The same applies to golf. We have traditions, both good ones and the ones we might have to consider in the name of survival of this sport we all love.

Ladies in the Golf World

One of the latest golf news from America was that the old, distinguished Augusta National Golf Club decided to approve two female members, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. This move has initiated a hectic discussion, many opinions for and against.

For me it is quite clear what the recommended development path must be. I’d like to refer to PGA of America’s Golf 2.0 initiative.  It states that the wish is to retain and strengthen core players, bring former players back, and welcome new golfers to the game. Indeed, all three are needed to fulfill the theme slogan “Friends, Family, Fun”. We need to grow golf, with better reach and more openness. And I am not speaking about the Augusta case, I am speaking in general. Golf has to change.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are part of our every day life. It is natural that mobiles are coming into golf too. I dare to claim that smart phones are making golf more fun and more social, exactly in line with the idea of Golf 2.0.

I was visiting The Open Championship this year in the UK, and it was great to see that the traditional Royal Lytham & St. Annes was allowing mobile phones at The Open. During the practice days you could take pictures and use social media to share the moments with friends. Excellent development in the Golf 2.0 spirit! During the tournament days you could not take pictures but you were allowed to use your phone to follow the live leaderboards and engage with your friends on your favorite social media sites.

All in all, these tiny steps are definitely the right direction. I love golf, and I genuinely wish that golf is able to attract more juniors, seniors, ladies, and everyone to try this sport in the near future. I see this development as part of good customer service. And Good service always brings more interest.

Wise words from Jack Nicklaus

My colleague Kalle referred earlier to Jack Nicklaus’ wise words, I’ll copy those here as well. The legendary golfer sees it clearly; the change – in line with Golf 2.0 – is desperately needed, and he puts it so brilliantly (PGA interview):

“I care about this game; it’s given me so many great things for me and my family through the years. This initiative is not a PGA of America initiative; it’s not a Jack Nicklaus initiative. This is a golf industry initiative, because it is a golf industry issue. We all have a stake in this. Whatever happens is because of all of us. It’s our future.”


In Twitter @MikkoManerus

PS. Disclaimer related to the mobile aspect – my company develops the best free golf app for more social golf : )

PS2. It seems that I am not alone with these ideas – read the comments of Tiger Woods, Annika Sörenstam and many more on Augusta’s decision @

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