The Gold Coast is moving up the ladder of Asian golf’s major centres after Griffith snares the right to host the 2014 World Scientific Conference on Golf (WSCG).
The event, set to be held at the Gold Coast’s Royal Pines Resort has previously been held every four years at either St Andrews in Scotland or Scottsdale, Arizona.
Expected to attract hundreds of delegates from around the world, Griffith’s Head of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science Professor Peter Milburn said the event, which was also secured by Gold Coast Tourism, will be a boost for the golf market and local sports science.
“While the immediate financial return may not be massive, having the most important people in golf, playing our courses and sharing ideas in a highly technical forum is an amazing coup for the Gold Coast,” he said.
“The word of mouth effect for our tourism and research industries will be very important.
“Few sports rely so heavily on such a variety of sciences as golf. From the technical design and manufacturing of equipment, to the physical perfection of swings and techniques, hydrology, soil enrichment, engineering, construction or environmental science, all before psychology and course management is even touched on.
“One of the big changes is the massive rise in popularity and professionalism of women’s golf, so there is a developing area of research around the different biomechanics of the genders and what they can learn from each other,” he said.
Griffith already runs a golf science centre as part of its Exercise Science program and Professor Milburn believes the university will benefit from presenting the best technical, psychological, coaching and management ideas to the leaders of the world’s biggest sports industry.
One feature of Griffith’s bid was its focus on Asian delegates and institutions which could help the conference further expand in the future.
“We had a look at the conference’s usual delegates and noticed there was not much of an Asian presence. As Aussies, we felt we were much more connected to that area of the world, culturally and physically.
“South Korea is very important to SE Queensland, Japan is fanatical about golf, golf in China is developing rapidly and then you have Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore,” he said.
“Industry events such as the 2014 World Scientific Conference on Golf are an important part of the Gold Coast tourism industry, as they attract influential and high yield visitors to the city,” said Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter.
“There will be genuine opportunities for local industry to participate with world leaders in sports science and real potential for future engagement and investment in the city.”