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Should a test be required before playing public course? - Page 9

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 #145 of 188

Some of you folks are assuming I want the drunks, and hacks on the course. That is not the case. Yes, a test would most likely make these types of players more aware, but I don't think it would actually change their type of play. A disrespectful player will most likely always be a disrespectful player. It goes to a person's ego.  

 

My main point is testing would also cause a lot of decent players to not play, or worse yet, stay in the game. That is the main reason why I voted "NO" 

 

A muni golf course owned by the county in Vegas once put together a test. Although the course was there first, by several years, home builders completely surrounded the course with homes. Errant fades, and draws could easily find a house, or at the very least a back yard. Full blown slices, and hooks were landing in the front yards, and hitting cars. Some of the home's stucco siding looked like they had been hit by small arms fire. It is a skinny course with homes on one side of the fairway, and a  wet drainage ditch on the other side. This is on every hole. The test which included rules, etiquette, also included a proficiency test. The proficiency test was there to protect homes, and folks sitting in their back yards.  A data base showed all the players that took, and passed  the test.  At the onset, a player could not play the course if they did not take, and pass the test. The course did a way with the test after only 3 weeks due to lack of player revenue. I was told that less than 30% of the total players who regularly frequented the course actually took the test. That 70% +/- that did not want to take the test, moved on to another, less restrictive course. It took the muni almost 2 months to get folks coming back to play. I took the test, which took all of 10 minutes to complete. 

 

On another note. I probably play more golf than most of the members on this board. I played four rounds last week. With a late start, I will easily get over a hundred, plus rounds in before the end of this year. Slow play, and disrespectful players are very few and far between on the courses I have been playing. This includes lower, and up scale courses. In fact a few weeks ago, I played at a course that after all the fees for golf, a caddy, and a "user fee" were paid, it cost me almost $400. Guess what, that was first time this year that I saw folks drinking, and hacking up a course. Their caddies earn their money. Go figure. 

post #146 of 188

I've always thought it's too bad golf can't be more like downhill skiing, wherein you kind of have to stay within your limitations or else pay a steep price. It's kind of self-policing like that.

post #147 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

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.

 

That's kind of an unfair comparison. Unless you live in a major city with fabulous public transportation, or have the pleasure of a chauffeur to take you everywhere, driving is a necessity. Playing golf isn't. 

 

I think some of you test advocates aren't giving novices the full benefit of the doubt. Nobody wants to humiliate themselves. Nobody wants to embarrass the friend who invited them to play. Nobody wants to get chastised by a player assistant for acting like a fool. And guess what? YouTube exists! You can find a thousand videos on golf etiquette, repairing ball marks, everything. I'd like to think most people who are going to play golf for the first time don't want to show up completely ignorant. Obviously not everyone is courteous, but we've already agreed that discourtesy is not the sole province of newbies.

post #148 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave s View Post
 

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

 

But to be fair, the newbies are probably not the ones leaving the ballmarks in the first place.  What is the chance a newby is going to hit the green from far enough away to leave a ballmark?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

Some of you folks are assuming I want the drunks, and hacks on the course. That is not the case. Yes, a test would most likely make these types of players more aware, but I don't think it would actually change their type of play. A disrespectful player will most likely always be a disrespectful player. It goes to a person's ego.  

 

 

 

While I am not saying I agree with the notion, I think the idea is that the mere existence of the test and the focus it puts on etiquette and proper play will be part of a change in culture that makes it less acceptable for disrespectful players to thrive.

post #149 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post
 

 

That's kind of an unfair comparison. Unless you live in a major city with fabulous public transportation, or have the pleasure of a chauffeur to take you everywhere, driving is a necessity. Playing golf isn't.

 

I think some of you test advocates aren't giving novices the full benefit of the doubt. Nobody wants to humiliate themselves. Nobody wants to embarrass the friend who invited them to play. Nobody wants to get chastised by a player assistant for acting like a fool. And guess what? YouTube exists! You can find a thousand videos on golf etiquette, repairing ball marks, everything. I'd like to think most people who are going to play golf for the first time don't want to show up completely ignorant. Obviously not everyone is courteous, but we've already agreed that discourtesy is not the sole province of newbies.

If you don't like the driving comparison, how about licensing and safety classes for gun owners before they can shoot at a range or being required to attend a safety class before parachuting or scuba diving for the first time, being required to practice on the bunny slope for first time skiers?  My point was and is, a basic class and test isn't going to stop someone from doing something that they want to do.

 

The fact you are on this site places you in a minority among those that play golf casually or have considered taking the game up.  Do you really think a new golfer who has never been on a course thinks about divots or ball marks, no less goes out and watches a video on how to repair them?

 

I am relatively new to the sport and I can tell you when I first started, I had no idea of the rules, no idea how to fix a divot, didn't know you shouldn't chip with a wedge on the green.  You're giving people way too much credit, some experienced golfers I've seen don't know how to properly fix a divot or ball mark so it would benefit everyone if the newbies learned how.

post #150 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post
 

I get that, but the attitude seems to be that this is the behavior of noobs who need to be put in their place and forced to take lessons and play short courses until reaching a state of grace and worthiness. Rudeness has nothing to do with being new or old at something. I have no doubt there are veteran golfers who are just as selfish on the course as any newbie. Because a jerk is a jerk, no matter how long they've been at something or how good they are at it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


"Noobs" who don't care about anyone else can be classified as jerks too. All we're proposing is education. If that's too much to be bothered with, then maybe someone does belong on the tennis court where at least their ignorance or lack of regard for others won't impact the course, or other players.

You're right, poor behavior and selfishness has little to do with experience. Knowledge however does, and that's an easy fix. At least for those not too arrogant to recognize/acknowledge their lack thereof.

I can only speak for myself here but I found the "new to golf" people I have played with seem to ask a lot of questions on the course and thus learn that it is proper to rake traps repair divots/ball marks. On that note I have played with some real jerks that were not "new to golf" and didn't care about raking traps or divots some would however repair ball marks on the green. My point is its not weather you're new to golf or not. Its weather you care enough to do what you're supposed to. 

post #151 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

 

But to be fair, the newbies are probably not the ones leaving the ballmarks in the first place.  What is the chance a newby is going to hit the green from far enough away to leave a ballmark?

Ain't that the truth. I still get happy with myself when I get to repair a big fat ballmark. Especially if its near the pin.

post #152 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownCoast View Post
 

 

 

I can only speak for myself here but I found the "new to golf" people I have played with seem to ask a lot of questions on the course and thus learn that it is proper to rake traps repair divots/ball marks. On that note I have played with some real jerks that were not "new to golf" and didn't care about raking traps or divots some would however repair ball marks on the green. My point is its not weather you're new to golf or not. Its weather you care enough to do what you're supposed to. 

 

And that's exactly the point.  Those that care, would likely appreciate, and embrace a brief recap of the rules and courtesies, because that's who they are.  All you're doing is removing their ignorance from the equation and maybe even saving them some embarrassment along the way.

 

Those who are so arrogant that they'll refuse to participate, are likely the same jack-wads that we don't want on the courses anyway.

post #153 of 188

Recapping the rules is not a test. That's the only place we differ on the subject. 

post #154 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post
 

Recapping the rules is not a test. That's the only place we differ on the subject. 

 

No, but there's nothing wrong with a test to ensure understanding so that you can circle back around and clarify as necessary. 

 

Those that care will appreciate the effort that's being put forward for their benefit.  Those that don't, can go play tennis, to the benefit of the rest of the golfing community.  :-)

post #155 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

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?




Agree, and well said.
I really don't think it has anything to do with newbie arrogance Dave. You mention slow, discourteous golfers and you mention those who play 100 plus rounds a year. I've been playing for about 20 years now and the majority of slow, discourteous golfers I've seen have by far, been those who've been playing the game for years. In my limited experience of bringing new folks to the game (3), the newbies, once I make them aware of POP and etiquette, are the first ones to ask questions to ensure that they're not doing something wrong.

I believe that it's the responsibility of the informed, experienced golfer to teach the newbies the ropes, not forcing them into some sort of test.
post #156 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post

I really don't think it has anything to do with newbie arrogance Dave. You mention slow, discourteous golfers and you mention those who play 100 plus rounds a year. I've been playing for about 20 years now and the majority of slow, discourteous golfers I've seen have by far, been those who've been playing the game for years. In my limited experience of bringing new folks to the game (3), the newbies, once I make them aware of POP and etiquette, are the first ones to ask questions to ensure that they're not doing something wrong.

I believe that it's the responsibility of the informed, experienced golfer to teach the newbies the ropes, not forcing them into some sort of test.

You're missing the point. There are idiots out there. We all get that. All we can do is ensure that everyone has a rudimentary understanding of the basic rules, especially as they relate to maintaining the course and etiquette. What's wrong with that?

And no, we can't trust that other golfers will start them out right.....a lot of those other golfers are idiots, remember? a2_wink.gif
post #157 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

You're missing the point. There are idiots out there. We all get that. All we can do is ensure that everyone has a rudimentary understanding of the basic rules, especially as they relate to maintaining the course and etiquette. What's wrong with that?

And no, we can't trust that other golfers will start them out right.....a lot of those other golfers are idiots, remember? a2_wink.gif
I don't think I'm missing the point Dave, I think we just disagree. Let's look at "basic knowledge" as iit applies to other sports:
Basketball- don't camp out in the paint
Football- don't cross the LOS until the ball is snapped
Baseball- don't tag up on a fly ball until the fielder has caught it
Soccer- unless you're the goalie, don't use your hands

Should all of these sports require potential players to have a rudimentary understanding of the game before they can play?
post #158 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post

I don't think I'm missing the point Dave, I think we just disagree. Let's look at "basic knowledge" as iit applies to other sports:
Basketball- don't camp out in the paint
Football- don't cross the LOS until the ball is snapped
Baseball- don't tag up on a fly ball until the fielder has caught it
Soccer- unless you're the goalie, don't use your hands

Should all of these sports require potential players to have a rudimentary understanding of the game before they can play?

In none of those infractions, in any of those sports, does the player have the ability to damage the field (course) and to cause a great disruption to the play and enjoyment of other players, most of whom aren't even playing with him.
post #159 of 188

In Sweden, you have to be certified before you can play golf . .I don't know much about it but that's what some Swedish co-workers told me.  

 

Personally, I don't like the idea of getting certified/tested to play golf.  Who's going to administrate it?  How much time will it take?  How much will it cost?  blech.  

 

I'd MUCH rather see marshals enforcing the course rules.  I'm sure they do at better courses . .but I wouldn't personally know about that, lol. 

post #160 of 188

Has anyone addressed the question of who would be administering this test or process? I can't see how it would work when people are queuing up to pay greenfees.

What do you do with people who don't want to do it or don't do it properly and don't like being told they can't play?

With driving and firearms it is a matter of life and death and there is a massive infrastructure set up to ensure people don't go and risk their own and others' lives.

 

How do you think pros would react to being asked/told to administer this cumbersome process?

post #161 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
 

Has anyone addressed the question of who would be administering this test or process? I can't see how it would work when people are queuing up to pay greenfees.

What do you do with people who don't want to do it or don't do it properly and don't like being told they can't play?

With driving and firearms it is a matter of life and death and there is a massive infrastructure set up to ensure people don't go and risk their own and others' lives.

 

How do you think pros would react to being asked/told to administer this cumbersome process?

 

It would obviously cause some issues right away if implemented, but this has been effective for years in ie. Norway and Sweden, and it's not an issue. If people are told they can't play, they must go home. I hope it's not that bad where you live, that people would start shooting eachother for being denied entrance to a private property.

 

In Norway, we got an electronic system that works very well. When you take the test and get a membership, you are registered electronically and can play anywhere. It's not cumbersome once it's been established and running for some time. Not moreso than any other activity that require a test or membership.

 

Edit: Implementing it in as large countries as USA or Australia would obviously be a pretty big deal. Maybe some courses could do it, and municipal ones not.

post #162 of 188

Several European countries require you to take a two-part test to get a golf license - or certificate - to play golf at most courses.

  • A multiple-choice and T-F test on rules and etiquette.
  • A  playing ability test. Basic permission to play requires you to hit tee shots with specified distance and control tolerances, short game approach shots from 5 to 30 yards out, and get a certain number of putts within two feet of the cup. Next-level testing - actually playing holes - qualifies you to play a wider range of courses.

 

Examples...

 

Switzerland: http://www.gorillagolfblog.com/tips/what-you-need-to-do-to-pass-your-swiss-golf-ap/

 

Germany: http://berlin.angloinfo.com/information/lifestyle/sports-and-leisure/golf/

     (The Germans offer five-day, $300 schools to instruct you and then test you. Food and lodging cost extra, however.)

 

Some European courses will allow you to play if you have an official HDCP card from your USA home course. Probably best to call ahead and find out...

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