R&A hopes link-up with Niall Horan’s Modest! Golf will give sport the X Factor

The St Andrews based R&A says the appointment of Modest! Golf to help develop grassroots programmes will help inspire the next generation of young golfers.
Connor Syme  during the practice round prior to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on September 30, 2020 in North Berwick, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)Connor Syme  during the practice round prior to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on September 30, 2020 in North Berwick, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Connor Syme during the practice round prior to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on September 30, 2020 in North Berwick, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Modest! Golf, founded by pop singer and One Direction star Niall Horan, has been involved with the sport for some years now helping to manage a host of the sports leading golfers, including Drumoig European Tour pro Connor Syme and last week’s HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship winner Tyrrell Hatton.

The R&A have tasked the company to design and develop a series of grassroots programmes aimed at not only getting more young people into golf, but retaining them within the sport.

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The new programmes will be launched later this year and provide more opportunities for young people to be introduced to golf through offering fun and accessible formats of the sport that are more in tune with how today’s generation uses its leisure time.

Phil Anderton. Pic courtesy of the R&A.Phil Anderton. Pic courtesy of the R&A.
Phil Anderton. Pic courtesy of the R&A.

Phil Anderton, chief development offer at The R&A, said: “Modest! Golf has a wealth of expertise and insight from the entertainment and sports industries that will be combined with our experience of developing golf around the world to establish exciting new initiatives aimed at reaching new audiences and inspiring more young people into playing golf with their family and friends.

“Our relationship with Modest! Golf is built on a shared ambition for golf to be viewed as a fun, friendly and accessible sport that is inclusive of all people no matter their age, gender, ability or background.

“We look forward to working together to broaden its appeal through our networks in golf and encourage young people to enjoy its many social and health benefits.”

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News of the link-up has been widely welcomed in golfing circles following the announcement on Wednesday.

Modest! Golf founder Niall Horan in action during the pro-am event prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)Modest! Golf founder Niall Horan in action during the pro-am event prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Modest! Golf founder Niall Horan in action during the pro-am event prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The arrangement will see focus on increasing the appeal of golf for young people by leveraging the power of influencers from the sports and entertainment world to present golf in a more positive light to new audiences and challenge some of the more unhelpful perceptions that exist about it.

Niall Horan, founder of Modest! Golf, said: “I am so proud to work alongside The R&A in developing programmes to encourage and inspire more young people to play the game of golf.

“It is something my company Modest! Golf is hugely passionate about and I am honoured that the chief executive Martin Slumbers, Phil Anderton and The R&A are entrusting my agency to help drive the game forward.

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“The R&A has a long legacy within the game and I look forward to helping to create new and modern initiatives to showcase to the younger generation just what a great sport golf is.”

Modest! Golf evolved from entertainment agency Modest! Management and was founded by Niall Horan and Mark McDonnell in 2016.

It is responsible for the management of professional golfers including Tyrrell Hatton, Leona Maguire, Connor Syme, Olivia Cowan and Guido Migliozzi as well as world top 5 disability golfer Brendan Lawlor.

It also aims to promote opportunity through revents like the ISPS Handa World Invitational and the Horan & Rose charity tournament which has raised over £2 million for children’s charities.

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