Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yahoo Founder Jerry Yang Headlines Speakers List at 2017 North American Golf Innovation Symposium

Two-Day Gathering Draws Golf’s Leaders to Vancouver March 6-7

(RELEASE) – Entrepreneur and technology investor Jerry Yang will headline a noteworthy lineup of speakers at the 2017 North American Golf Innovation Symposium, which will be hosted by the USGA in conjunction with Golf Canada and the Mexican Golf Federation on March 6-7, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! and the founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures, Yang exemplifies the focus on data, innovative thinking and transformative technology that are keystones of the symposium and bedrocks of the USGA’s work in advancing the game toward a stronger, more sustainable future.

“Golf facilities have reduced water consumption, solved problems that cause bottlenecks on the golf course, and introduced programs to welcome more people into our game – simply by learning and sharing best practices discussed at these forums,” said Mike Davis, executive director/CEO of the USGA. “It is a significant priority for the USGA to bring these leaders together each year, and foster this kind of innovative thinking.”

The symposium will be composed of three half-day sessions. The first of these, “Elevating the Golfer Experience,” will feature forward-thinking speakers such as Bruce Charlton, a former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and the co-designer of 2015 U.S. Open host Chambers Bay, and Jeehae Lee, the director of business strategy for Topgolf, the fast-growing entertainment company that uses data to provide a superior experience for its customers.

Directly addressing some of the pressing issues challenging golf facilities, “Improving Facility Productivity” will examine the future of course maintenance while also introducing the USGA’s Resource Management tool. This new map-based software tool will enable facilities to visualize and measure the financial impact of potential changes in course features and maintenance levels.

The “Serving the Game” session will include panel discussions about the strength of the diverse British Columbia Golf leadership and the coexistence of regulation and innovation in golf equipment. John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director for Championships & Governance, will be joined by Roland Deveau, president of Golf Canada, and Federico Valdez Adame, director of the Mexican Golf Federation, for a session on governing and administering the game through innovation and international cooperation.

The 2017 Golf Innovation Symposium reflects the latest effort by the USGA to serve the game of golf as a knowledge center and information-exchange platform for golf facility operators and owners, and to spark and share innovative thinking that promotes a healthy future for the game.

Live broadcasts of the presentations will be available at usga.org/NAGIS or the USGA’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/TheUSGA.

Yang’s fireside chat will begin at approximately 8:15 p.m. PST on Monday, March 6, and will be broadcast live on the USGA’s Facebook page.

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