The first Golf Saudi Summit has concluded in King Abdullah Economic City, where leading figures such as Asian Golf Federation president Richard Walne discussed developing the sport in Saudi Arabia.
The Golf Saudi Summit included debates on ‘Pioneering Environmental Practices’, ‘The Power of Partnerships’ and ‘The Modern Era’, with the first of those looking at how the game can be built and operated sustainably.
The Power of Partnerships explored how to develop golf in Saudi Arabia through environmental sustainability and grassroots programmes, before The Modern Era discussed how innovative technologies and companies such as Topgolf can drive interest in the sport.
Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, believes that the summit provided key discussions as the federation aims to make golf the most popular sport in the kingdom.
The summit, which started on the final day of the Saudi International, won by Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, also included sessions on sports and entertainment, in addition to anticipating future trends in sports and its impact on businesses and development in KSA.
“Holding an event like this will allow Golf Saudi to create new ideas that can be used to attract more people within the Kingdom to play golf and give them the access and infrastructure they need to learn the game,” Al Sorour said,
Attendees at the summit included three-time Masters champion Gary Player, CEO of Troon Tim Schantz, as well as Saudi stakeholders Mike Reininger, the CEO of Qiddiya and John Pagano, CEO Red Sea Development Company.
Another major announcemnt at the Golf Saudi Summit was that CNN’s flagship golf programme will now be called ‘Living Golf in association with Golf Saudi’, signalling the beginning of a multi-year sponsorship.
Cathy Ibal, senior vice president, CNN International Commercial, said: “Over many years, CNN’s Living Golf has delivered the world of golf some of its most memorable and talked-about moments.
“The sponsorship of Living Golf by Golf Saudi marks a new era in the show’s history, and sports fans should be highly excited about the prospect of its return to the air.”