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Hackgolf Hopes To Save The Game

When the history of the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show is written, one of the key moments is certain to be the launching last night of Hackgolf, an initiative to make golf more fun, bring new players into the game, revive its economic fortunes, and help perpetuate it for generations to come. Backed with funding and manpower by TaylorMade—but intended to involve companies and people both inside and outside the industry, and backed by the PGA of America and the National Golf Foundation—Hackgolf is following the path of innovations like iTunes, the smartphone, and other revolutionary ideas to re-think golf from the outside-in. The first phase is to go “open source,” asking anyone interested in golf to contribute ideas to help it. Those ideas will be assessed and some prototyped and paid for by an initial $5-million contribution from TaylorMade. Anything and everything is open to scrutiny and “hacking,” a business term that means to tear something apart, look at it thoroughly, then reconstruct it better than ever. This is a fascinating and, with luck, very important program that relies on everyone’s participation. So if you have ideas to make golf more vibrant and fun, or if you simply want to see what others are saying and weigh in, go to hackgolf.org. Let’s hope this is an initiative we come back to again and again to report how golf is benefitting, growing, and becoming even more fun.

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