In an exciting development, the governing body is aiming to work with former One Direction band member Horan, a close friend of Rory McIlroy, to come up with “fun and accessible formats” of the game that are “more in tune with how today’s generation uses its leisure time”.
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 the sport in a more positive light to new audiences and challenge some of the more unhelpful perceptions that exist about golf”.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer 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.”
Horan, the founder of Modest! Golf and a keen golfer himself, added: “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.”
Founded by Horan and Mark McDonnell in 2016, Modest! Golf! manages world No 5 Tyrrell Hatton, Scottish star Connor Syme and Ireland’s Leona Maguire among others.