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Should a test be required before playing public course? - Page 8

Poll Results: Should there be a test before you can play golf?

 
  • 9% (17)
    Yes. Basic rules & etiquette test + ability test (score under 120)
  • 19% (34)
    basic rules + etiquette test would be nice...
  • 51% (89)
    Not a test, but a booklet hand-out with the basics should do
  • 19% (33)
    no way, even if course and our enjoyment suffers...
173 Total Votes  
post #127 of 188
My opinion- if the players are so new and inexperienced in the game, they probablly aren't going to be playing at the highest of quality courses. They pay their money to play a simple round of fun golf, not to be pestered by tests and such
post #128 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by hallryu View Post

It's a no for me.

Is there any other sport that makes noobs take an exam before playing?
 

 

 

Ummm, yep...motorcycle roadracing requires you pass a racing school, and that you have NO crashes in your first 2 races. And yes it's a sport, a very spendy sport at that..;-)

post #129 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer 4 View Post


Ummm, yep...motorcycle roadracing requires you pass a racing school, and that you have NO crashes in your first 2 races. And yes it's a sport, a very spendy sport at that..a2_wink.gif

Yeah, it's a sport where your idiocity could potentially kill yourself and others, so no one will contest the test!

On the golf courses veterans and noobs can kill with their slice alike, no amount of tests will prevent that! :)
post #130 of 188

In Sweden you have to get approved by a club to be allowed on courses connected to the Swedish Golf Association (SGF), which is pretty much all of them. Now I understand how that sounds scary/annoying/expensive and what not, but the truth here in Sweden is that it's much appreciated by the new golfers (even more so than the other golfers). The tests and lessons you take differs a bit from club to club, but not a whole lot.

 

When I took it a couple of years ago it was set up something like this:

 

You sign up for the clubs beginners course. The course itself costs about $270 and will end with you having knowledge about etiquette, basic rules and the skill to have fun on the course without being a bother to the other players. You also get an official hcp (starting at 54) and what is called a green card (used to be an actual green card, now its just a identification number that you use to book tee times and such) to certificate that you have the right to play at any course.

The course is over a weekend, 6 hours both days, and you will be in a group of 6-9 other beginners.

You get to borrow all the clubs you will need during the two days. You can't fail in this course, you will get enough skill and knowledge to get the official hcp.

 

Day 1 (taken from my clubs website)

 

09.00  Meeting up at the club.

 

09.30  A walk-through of one or more holes where we talk about whats necessary to be able to play a real course. Part of the focus will be on the basic rules you need to know (like hazards and so on).

 

10.30  Driving range training (generally with something like a 7 iron). The instructor will be focused on helping everyone with , grip, stance, aiming and how to behave on the range to ensure everyones safety.

 

11.30  The instructor will show how you book times and a quick viewing of the profile you will get on the official website (golf.se). He will also explain what you do after you book a tee time (announcing your arrival at the clubs front desk and so on). (note) The website is a nationalized system where you can book tee times and lower your handicap from any course in Sweden (and a lot of international courses as well). I can explain further how the website works later, if anyone is interested.

 

11.45  LUNCH

 

12.30  Chipping training.

 

13.15  Driving range. The instructor will focus on teaching you how to, in a good way, practice on the range.

 

14.00  Putting training.

 

15.00  End of day one. You will receive a small rules and etiquette book/pamphlet, a test on the book/pamphlet will be held on the second day.

 

 

Day 2

 

09.00  Meeting up at the club.

 

09.15  Driving range, focusing on the driver.

 

10.15  Information about what a hcp is and how it works. Also information about scorecards, what they show and how you use them.

 

11.00  Equipment talk. Information about what type of equipment is needed and differences within each type. The club store will also show a couple of beginner sets that you will be able to buy at a discounted price.

 

11.30  LUNCH

 

12.15  Driving range and bunker training.

 

13.30  Multiple choices type test on etiquette and rules. It's about 30 questions long with 4 choices on each question. You can't fail this test, its mostly for fun. So that people will try their best the club shop will give the person with the best score a one time deal, 5% discount on everything in the shop.

       

14.00  Chipping and putting competition where the winner gets the same deal as the test winner (turns out that if you win both you get a 10% deal :whistle:).

 

14.30  Questions and answers.

 

15.00  Handouts of course certificates and login information.

 

15.15  End of course.

 

 

 

After you have completed the course you will get discounts on membership to the club (remember that you need an active membership at some club to be allowed to play on any course). If you get a full membership (unlimited play on this and another club in the area) it will be discounted from about $650 to $600 and the beginners course will be free of charge. If you get a semi-membership (5  free rounds) it will be discounted from $470 to $400, including the beginner course. Both types include all the fees and a one season "stake" (I can't remember the English word for it :8)) in the club.

 

 

If the group course isn't for you then you are free to take a private (solo or in a private group) beginners course, which will be a lot faster, and possibly set over multiple times instead of a single long one, but a bit more pricey.

 

 

 

So in the end for me I got a full membership, clubs and everything else a golfer needs (shoes and gloves etc.) discounted by what in the end was a lot of money. In addition to that i got about 5 hours of instructor led training free of charge. However, the thing that I liked most about the course isn't any of that. It's the feeling that I could go to the club and play without feeling like I was out of place or in anyones way. That feeling is also shared with all the other golfers out there, you know that everyone on the course have at least been taught the basic rules and etiquette on how you move around a golf course.

 

 

 

Even with this system it will, sadly, not stop the jerks and *******s that roam around in the world, but neither will anything else.

post #131 of 188

While all that sounds pretty good, it would mean a lot more shrinkage in the U.S. Golf has been built up here to the point where the number one objective needs to be getting new golfers playing. The older lot is dying off. The more difficult you make it for a beginner, the tougher time your going to have replacing the older guys. 

 

Maybe, you just accept the fact that golf needs to shrink. In my area we probably have 25 courses in a decent driving distance. Maybe we'll end up with 10. Those 10 will have a membership and can do tests like this for any new member. Golf will go back to being for the privileged only and people like myself will get priced out. 

 

Maybe it's inevitable anyway. I'd actually rather not think about it anymore, so I'm going to go play now. 

post #132 of 188
Have not ready most of the posts so sorry if this has been mentioned but I have always thought if courses put up signs on each hole with an etiquette tip on each one it may help. You could even make them funny to lighten the mood up but also educate folks on things to do to keep the course in shape as well as pace of play. First few holes address the most important things such as pace of play and repairing marks and then less important tips after that.
post #133 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanadiens View Post
 

While all that sounds pretty good, it would mean a lot more shrinkage in the U.S. Golf has been built up here to the point where the number one objective needs to be getting new golfers playing. The older lot is dying off. The more difficult you make it for a beginner, the tougher time your going to have replacing the older guys. 

 

Maybe, you just accept the fact that golf needs to shrink. In my area we probably have 25 courses in a decent driving distance. Maybe we'll end up with 10. Those 10 will have a membership and can do tests like this for any new member. Golf will go back to being for the privileged only and people like myself will get priced out. 

 

Maybe it's inevitable anyway. I'd actually rather not think about it anymore, so I'm going to go play now. 


I believe that there is a different mindset in the US compared to Sweden (or EU in general), which is the biggest problem to consider if you want to implement a system like this in the US. Here in Sweden I would argue that the system actually encourages more players than it discourages, to start playing golf. As i pointed out in my first post it's also not expensive for the beginner (mine was free) so I don't see why only privileged people would be able to play with this system. This is assuming the mindset difference could be overcome somehow, which I don't think is possible.

post #134 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanadiens View Post
 

While all that sounds pretty good, it would mean a lot more shrinkage in the U.S. Golf has been built up here to the point where the number one objective needs to be getting new golfers playing. The older lot is dying off. The more difficult you make it for a beginner, the tougher time your going to have replacing the older guys. 

 

Maybe, you just accept the fact that golf needs to shrink. In my area we probably have 25 courses in a decent driving distance. Maybe we'll end up with 10. Those 10 will have a membership and can do tests like this for any new member. Golf will go back to being for the privileged only and people like myself will get priced out. 

 

Maybe it's inevitable anyway. I'd actually rather not think about it anymore, so I'm going to go play now. 

 

This is just scare tactics from where I sit.  The courses I see with the worst financial difficulties are the private ones.  Public courses seem to be doing just fine because they can draw from a larger customer base.  It doesn't take a major outlay just to sign up.  You can play as often or as little as you like, and the frequency of play is what determines cost, not a monthly or yearly charge that comes even if you never play at all.

 

The oldest course in Denver is now a public course but it started as the Denver Country Club in 1895.  Overland Golf Course has been public since at least the 1920's, and it's still popular with both seniors and novices alike.  Two other courses that I know of in the Denver area were once private but have been public for decades, Welshire and Meadow Hills.  I don't see either of them fading away either.

post #135 of 188

Yes.  It should be on calculus.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, that will certainly improve pace of play.  

post #136 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Yes.  It should be on calculus.

Hey, that will certainly improve pace of play.  

You mean the first derivative of play?
post #137 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clambake View Post


You mean the first derivative of play?

But we will need the second derivative if we fall behind.

post #138 of 188

I like the idea of a rules & etiquette test.  The play test should be for time, not for score.  I have played with people who shot 120 but kept up (or picked up when necessary) and had great etiquette, but I've also played with some scratch players who took forever on every shot.  

post #139 of 188

A test BEFORE you can play?  No way.  Who wants to be instantly banned from an activity that needs MORE players disparately?

 

The idea of a handbook is a good one!  I've always advocated courses providing free ball repair tools with a 'how-to' diagram sitting next to the container of repair tools.

 

People not knowing the rules, playing badly or otherwise doesn't hack me off anywhere near as much as me having to fix 10 ball marks, (and that's just a FEW of them!) on every green because people are lazy and ignorant.

 

dave

post #140 of 188

It confuses me how people seem to think that the test has to be a long test that will ban you forever if you don't get every question right. Or that the playing test means you have to score a 75 or better after 18 holes.

 

Here in Sweden the tests are basic, easy and fast. Like I said in my earlier post:

Quote:
Multiple choices type test on etiquette and rules. It's about 30 questions long with 4 choices on each question. You can't fail this test, its mostly for fun.

Thats the rules & etiquette test, it takes about 3 minutes to do and another 5 to score and for the pro to explain the answers.

 

I never even mentioned how the playing, or skill, test is done because it isn't. While the pro teaches you the basics he will see that you can hit the ball once every 5 tries and that it doesn't look like you will take 2 feet deep divots each time you try to hit the ball. Thats about it. You don't get kicked out if you can't fade the driver properly, you don't get kicked out for topping a 5-iron and you don't get kicked out for whiffing a shot either. It's just a "test" to see that you won't damage yourself, others or the course unnecessarily.

 

I don't think that having tests like these will drive away anyone that wants to play golf. Here in Sweden I would argue its the opposite.

post #141 of 188

I voted "NO" because required testing would stop even more players from playing, which, imho,  would raise green fees, and quite possibly add to the reasons that some courses are closing down due to lack of revenue. 

 

I would think that if imposed, this testing would also involve pace of play, which again might stop more folks from playing the game. 

 

The game of golf needs as  many players as it can get on the course, regardless of these players experience. It's all about money. 

post #142 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

I voted "NO" because required testing would stop even more players from playing, which, imho,  would raise green fees, and quite possibly add to the reasons that some courses are closing down due to lack of revenue. 

 

I would think that if imposed, this testing would also involve pace of play, which again might stop more folks from playing the game. 

 

The game of golf needs as  many players as it can get on the course, regardless of these players experience. It's all about money. 

 

Did you ever consider the impact that uninformed, slow, discourteous golfers might have on the amount of play that a course gets? 

 

What costs the course more in lost opportunity, the loss of one new golfer who may choose not to play the course because he's too arrogant to be bothered with a 10 minute quiz, or the avid golfer, who plays 100+ rounds a year but chooses to take his business to other courses because of the aforementioned slow, discourteous players on that particular course?

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToblaT View Post
 

It confuses me how people seem to think that the test has to be a long test that will ban you forever if you don't get every question right. Or that the playing test means you have to score a 75 or better after 18 holes.

 

Here in Sweden the tests are basic, easy and fast. Like I said in my earlier post:

Thats the rules & etiquette test, it takes about 3 minutes to do and another 5 to score and for the pro to explain the answers.

 

I never even mentioned how the playing, or skill, test is done because it isn't. While the pro teaches you the basics he will see that you can hit the ball once every 5 tries and that it doesn't look like you will take 2 feet deep divots each time you try to hit the ball. Thats about it. You don't get kicked out if you can't fade the driver properly, you don't get kicked out for topping a 5-iron and you don't get kicked out for whiffing a shot either. It's just a "test" to see that you won't damage yourself, others or the course unnecessarily.

 

I don't think that having tests like these will drive away anyone that wants to play golf. Here in Sweden I would argue its the opposite.

 

Agree, and well said.

post #143 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

I voted "NO" because required testing would stop even more players from playing, which, imho,  would raise green fees, and quite possibly add to the reasons that some courses are closing down due to lack of revenue.

 

I would think that if imposed, this testing would also involve pace of play, which again might stop more folks from playing the game.

 

The game of golf needs as  many players as it can get on the course, regardless of these players experience. It's all about money.

Do road tests stop people from driving?  I think if someone is motivated to do something, they will do what is required.  If someone isn't willing to be "qualified" before going on a golf course they aren't likely that interested in golf.

 

I feel like the industry and media are hitting the panic button without consideration of the long term effects.  We don't just want bodies on a golf course who have no respect for the course, the game or others around them.  If the goal is to attract  drunken hacks that rip up a course and make everyone else on the course miserable just to collect their green fees then we're going to have a lot bigger problem than we do today.

post #144 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToblaT View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanadiens View Post
 

While all that sounds pretty good, it would mean a lot more shrinkage in the U.S. Golf has been built up here to the point where the number one objective needs to be getting new golfers playing. The older lot is dying off. The more difficult you make it for a beginner, the tougher time your going to have replacing the older guys. 

 

Maybe, you just accept the fact that golf needs to shrink. In my area we probably have 25 courses in a decent driving distance. Maybe we'll end up with 10. Those 10 will have a membership and can do tests like this for any new member. Golf will go back to being for the privileged only and people like myself will get priced out. 

 

Maybe it's inevitable anyway. I'd actually rather not think about it anymore, so I'm going to go play now. 


I believe that there is a different mindset in the US compared to Sweden (or EU in general), which is the biggest problem to consider if you want to implement a system like this in the US. Here in Sweden I would argue that the system actually encourages more players than it discourages, to start playing golf. As i pointed out in my first post it's also not expensive for the beginner (mine was free) so I don't see why only privileged people would be able to play with this system. This is assuming the mindset difference could be overcome somehow, which I don't think is possible.


so...   force people to take a test to partake in a "leisure activity"...   

 

it may encourage more people to take up golf in sweden by making it exclusive...   i'd wager a large sum that particular bit of social structure wouldn't work the same way over here... 

 

to be honest, i think the majority of people here who proclaim how much they "love and care about the game of golf" (usually with a "gentleman's game" or other "finchian" verbiage thrown in) really only give a crap about themselves...   they only care about "their game", and have zero cares what happens to "the game itself"...  as far as they are concerned, as long as they can play a pristine course in 3 1/2 hours (or faster), with no riff-raff or other undesirables to sully "their" course, that is all that matters...  

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