The phrase golf development is a well-used one, but what does it actually mean?
To grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.
To start to exist, experience or possess.
The interpretation of what development is, and what it is that is being developed depends very much on your position in, or your perspective of, golf.
As a beginner, or the parent of a child experiencing the game for the first-time, golf development may be viewed primarily as lessons, learning, hitting the ball. For many parents good golf development may also include learning key life skills, making new friends, building confidence, growing athletic ability, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
As the journey into golf continues beyond the lesson tee golf development may become more to do with the ability to spend time with likeminded people, to network both socially and professionally, to compete, or simply to enjoy yourself, to you a developed industry gives you these opportunities.
For those who are lucky enough to excel at the sport, development may be seen as their personal pursuit of improvement, refining technique, resulting in better performance, more trophies, more opportunities for playing and in life in general.
At industry level development can perhaps be more quantifiable, if golf is developing it is growing, consequently there are more people playing the game and taking lessons, more members joining clubs and more people shopping in proshops. That is not to say that the sole focus of the industry is financial, as developing an environment and a service or product offering that is appealing creates and sustains the growth which ultimately will generate revenue. I am pleased to say that the industry is also embracing sustainable responsibility far more, developing a culture where golf has a positive impact on its surroundings.
To the Sultanate of Oman golf development means generating tourism and employment as well as providing a healthy activity for citizens and residents to participate in, all of which feature in Oman Vision 2040.
From our perspective at the Oman Golf Association golf development should include all of these elements. Fundamentally we want the game of golf in the Sultanate to grow, but to do so in the right way, providing opportunities to those who want them whilst being as inclusive as possible.
If golf continues to mature in this way it can become truly developed, providing great benefits to all those involved, who in turn through their actions become key components themselves in the continued growth and development of the industry.
There are many examples of this but one that touches on many of the points above comes from one of our young National Team players. Ayman Al Busaidi came through our Junior Programme and over the years has benefitted from coaching and playing opportunities as part of the National Team, he has reciprocated this by working hard on his game and becoming a good role model for other Omani juniors, including his two younger brothers. Ayman is now at an age where his thoughts are turning to higher education and he has his sights firmly set on studying in the US, with golf being an important feature of this.
When Ayman was recently set a piece of school coursework, he decided that he would produce a video documenting his preparation for an upcoming tournament also highlighting some of the health benefits of golf. He then approached the Golf Association to see if we would like to use these, which we gladly did. You can view the health benefits video below or see all three videos by visiting the Oman Golf Association YouTube channel here.
Like many others Ayman’s journey into golf has really only just begun, the game of golf in Oman has developed enough to be able to support him and provide him with opportunities which through his own hard work and dedication he has taken full advantage of. Through his, and many others, actions golf in the Sultanate of Oman will undoubtedly continue to grow, to mature, and to develop.