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Should a test be required before playing public course? - Page 10

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 #163 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?


With the "new system" to book a tee time you use the golf-id (thats what they call the id number you get when you start playing golf in Sweden so lets just call it the same) you get from your club after doing the test. If you don't have one you will be told you can't book a tee time before getting one.

 

A lot of people seem to think that they will have to take the test even if they have played golf for a long time already. That is not the case, the test is ONLY for new golfers who have never played golf before.

 

Lets say they were to implement this new system in the US. Lets pretend that the USGA will administer the golf-ids and that it won't cost anything to register for a golf-id. For the first year or so, all players will have to talk to their local club pro and get registered for a golf-id, nothing else, no tests or anything since they already play golf. After one year almost every single golfer will have a golf-id which will let the clubs start enforcing the new system where you have to give your golf-id when you book a tee time.

 

No old golfer will be inconvenienced since they don't have to do anything other than register at their local club. The new golfers will get the benefits (as I see it) from the new system where they get to know rules & etiquette and get help with how to make a proper swing and so on. The clubs and other golfers will benefit from having new golfers know about existing rules & etiquette before going on the course.

 

 

For the people asking how it will be for the new players, I have described how the tests and so on works in Sweden on page 8.

 

Quote:

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

 

I think that they will feel positively about the new system after it has been implemented, but since I'm not a pro I can't be sure what problems they see that I might have missed. Maybe one of the pros that's in here (@iacas?) could give their view on what problems/benefits they see with a test. Not the question if there should be a test or not but the "real life" problem they see could happen if it was implemented.

post #164 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

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.
What sort of damage are you talking about, divots, ball marks? How many times have you been behind a group of experienced golfers and still needed to repair damage that wasn't your own or wait because they were taking too long? Should they all have to take the test?


You and I agree that all golfers should know basic rules and etiquette when hitting the course, I just think that it's up to the golfer introducing them to the game. You're right, there are experienced idiots out there who don't teach their newbies correctly but this great game needs to attract new players and forcing people to take a test just to be able to get on the course, doesn't seem the way to do it.
post #165 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post

What sort of damage are you talking about, divots, ball marks? How many times have you been behind a group of experienced golfers and still needed to repair damage that wasn't your own or wait because they were taking too long? Should they all have to take the test?


You and I agree that all golfers should know basic rules and etiquette when hitting the course, I just think that it's up to the golfer introducing them to the game. You're right, there are experienced idiots out there who don't teach their newbies correctly but this great game needs to attract new players and forcing people to take a test just to be able to get on the course, doesn't seem the way to do it.

And you expect the experienced golfer, the one that doesn't give a damn himself, to be the one to teach new golfers that which he doesn't practice?

Ok..... You're right. We disagree on this one.
post #166 of 188

Kinda interesting seeing how the opinions on this topic seem to have gotten much more passionate since this thread started back in '06.  I voted for the pamphlet/booklet idea since it would be easy to administer and even though i'm sure a lot of people would discard them at least a few would spend the time to read it and maybe learn something new about etiquette and course upkeep which they could then pass on to someone who decided to just throw it away.  i have gotten several of my friends/family into golf and i can definitely say that every one of them would have loved to receive something about rules/etiquette because their biggest concern was doing something wrong on the course when they were learning to play. 

 

Implementing the test seems like an interesting idea but it could be an issue because the one course that implements the test will lose revenue to every other course that doesnt.  It could work if you get all of an area's course pros and superintendents together and agree to start conducting some "golf certification" courses similar to those in Europe where you spend a day or 2 learning course etiquette, upkeep, and get a couple of hours of instruction then when you complete the certification you can get discounts on tee times at all of the participating courses. The program might even encourage new players to get involved since they are getting some cheap instruction on the game from a pro and learning the etiquette which can be quite daunting for a new golfer who is scared of pissing off long-time golfers.

post #167 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

And you expect the experienced golfer, the one that doesn't give a damn himself, to be the one to teach new golfers that which he doesn't practice?

Ok..... You're right. We disagree on this one.
Yup, no biggie. a1_smile.gif
post #168 of 188

As I've let this idea marinate a bit, it's starting to sound better. Don't think about it as a nation-wide thing at this point. Think more local.

 

An individual course could have all players take a brief etiquette test of maybe 10 to 15 questions. If they market it correctly, it can differentiate that course from the other public courses in the area. You don't just advertise the course and the rates, you advertise your own patrons. Send would-be golfers the message that your course is the place where serious golfers play their rounds in reasonable time and take care of the course. Maybe you can space out the tee times a little bit and make up for it with slightly higher rates. Obviously a little extra attention to maintenance and actual working rangers go hand-in-hand with this.

 

If everyone else is ramming courses full of any jerk with a 9-iron, this is an opportunity.   

post #169 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

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.  :-)

 

It isn't like it was when I was starting out.  Those that care now have a huge amount of resources to draw on for anything they want to know.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToblaT View Post

 

A lot of people seem to think that they will have to take the test even if they have played golf for a long time already. That is not the case, the test is ONLY for new golfers who have never played golf before.

 

 

But that doesn't really solve the problem since the problem isn't so much as newbys as the veterans who don't know or don't care.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post


What sort of damage are you talking about, divots, ball marks? How many times have you been behind a group of experienced golfers and still needed to repair damage that wasn't your own or wait because they were taking too long? Should they all have to take the test?
 

 

Yeah, what is the chance that the ballmark was left by a newby?

post #170 of 188
I like the idea of some sort of licence given by the USGA which provides an incentive when you pass the test. I think the incentive would have to be monetary in nature in order to get involvement from a greater number of people. Something like up to $25 off a greens fee at participating courses I think may generate enough interest for casual golfers to learn about the basic rules and etiquitte of golf.

The problem I see with imposing restrictions (limited tee selections or tee times) on people that don't have a licence is that it may turn people away from the game completely. Although it would be nice for more serious golfers, it will be bad for business and the game of golf in the long run.
post #171 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

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.

being from Germany and now living in Switzerland, I actually went through all those tests and license things. Even we have those discussions quite often and as always there are two sides to it.
on one hand, the license system ensures that people know what they do on the course and with a maximum handicap of 36, clubs are able to schedule 7min tee time rhythms while ensuring rounds of 4 hours walking. On the other hand, it scares people from actually stating to play the sport since it involves practice times with a pro and extra costs before you are even able to experience golf itself on the course.
from my point of view, the system definitely needs a change since it is coming out the young generation, but if course some kind of control is always good to keep safety and speed alive (normal human sense would assume that somebody only would go on the course when he is able to control his game)
post #172 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

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.  :-)

 

It isn't like it was when I was starting out.  Those that care now have a huge amount of resources to draw on for anything they want to know.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToblaT View Post

 

A lot of people seem to think that they will have to take the test even if they have played golf for a long time already. That is not the case, the test is ONLY for new golfers who have never played golf before.

 

 

But that doesn't really solve the problem since the problem isn't so much as newbys as the veterans who don't know or don't care.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post


What sort of damage are you talking about, divots, ball marks? How many times have you been behind a group of experienced golfers and still needed to repair damage that wasn't your own or wait because they were taking too long? Should they all have to take the test?
 

 

Yeah, what is the chance that the ballmark was left by a newby?

 

Maybe so, the odds are much greater that that honking big divot trench was left by a beginner.  :doh:

post #173 of 188
I see it works in a few countries with 100 and 900 courses respectively. I doubt very much it would work here. My state alone has roughly 200 or more courses. It would create a huge divide between those that chose to implement it and those that say ya right come play here with no license. Basically it would become the second coming of the private elite course vs the public/muni track. Golf is on the decline in this country and especially with the younger generations. Why do something that could make it worse.
post #174 of 188

Going back to that "elite" status would hurt golf. I think a much better approach would be for courses to be proactive in recruiting new players and doing so with instruction provided. A nice little package that includes 9 holes, instruction on etiquette, how to repair a ball mark or divot, pace of play, etc. We've discussed many times in other threads that golf is a little too expensive for many people. It seems to me that requiring a test to play means I first also need to go take lessons from a pro. How else can I learn all this stuff? And that's yet another thing that is pricing me out before I even begin. 

post #175 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post
 

Going back to that "elite" status would hurt golf. I think a much better approach would be for courses to be proactive in recruiting new players and doing so with instruction provided. A nice little package that includes 9 holes, instruction on etiquette, how to repair a ball mark or divot, pace of play, etc. We've discussed many times in other threads that golf is a little too expensive for many people. It seems to me that requiring a test to play means I first also need to go take lessons from a pro. How else can I learn all this stuff? And that's yet another thing that is pricing me out before I even begin. 

And yet I got basically that exact thing for free in Sweden, as explained in my previous post. The problem as I see it is how to get enough courses to do it, rather than the test itself. As @John Friedel said, it will probably not get implemented on enough courses for it to work nationwide. I do however think its possible for it to be implemented state by state.

post #176 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post
 

Going back to that "elite" status would hurt golf. I think a much better approach would be for courses to be proactive in recruiting new players and doing so with instruction provided. A nice little package that includes 9 holes, instruction on etiquette, how to repair a ball mark or divot, pace of play, etc. We've discussed many times in other threads that golf is a little too expensive for many people. It seems to me that requiring a test to play means I first also need to go take lessons from a pro. How else can I learn all this stuff? And that's yet another thing that is pricing me out before I even begin.

I'm not specifically directing this at you, but in general, what does that it's another thing that is pricing you out?  I get that's it's cool to beat up on the 1%'ers and their lifestyle, but I constantly hear about the "high cost" of golf but I think that is more perception than reality or a lack of information.

 

If you want to buy the latest and greatest clubs, dress to the nines and belong to a private country club then yes, it's going to be expensive.  If you're willing to start off a bit more modestly you can;

  • Borrow or buy pre-owned clubs or box set, cost - $0 - $200
  • If you play public or muni, regular summer clothes are usually approved, shorts, t-shirt or collared shirt, $0
  • Play public or muni courses off peak hours, use a service like golfnow, or play 9 holes, cost $15 - $35 per round
  • Buy a cheap pair of golf shoes or wear sneakers, cost $0 - $50
  • Range balls - $10 - $15 for 120 balls
  • Get lessons from Evolvr - $40 setup includes 1st month, $39 per month after

 

If you borrow the clubs or get them at a garage sale you're looking at a minimal investment to get started.  With the cost of a round between at $15 - $35, (which is less than most spend at happy hour or on one dinner) we're not talking lifestyles of the rich and famous.

post #177 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

I'm not specifically directing this at you, but in general, what does that it's another thing that is pricing you out?  I get that's it's cool to beat up on the 1%'ers and their lifestyle, but I constantly hear about the "high cost" of golf but I think that is more perception than reality or a lack of information.

 

If you want to buy the latest and greatest clubs, dress to the nines and belong to a private country club then yes, it's going to be expensive.  If you're willing to start off a bit more modestly you can;

  • Borrow or buy pre-owned clubs or box set, cost - $0 - $200
  • If you play public or muni, regular summer clothes are usually approved, shorts, t-shirt or collared shirt, $0
  • Play public or muni courses off peak hours, use a service like golfnow, or play 9 holes, cost $15 - $35 per round
  • Buy a cheap pair of golf shoes or wear sneakers, cost $0 - $50
  • Range balls - $10 - $15 for 120 balls
  • Get lessons from Evolvr - $79 setup plus 1st month, $39 per month after

 

If you borrow the clubs or get them at a garage sale you're looking at a minimal investment to get started.  With the cost of a round between at $15 - $35, (which is less than most spend at happy hour or on one dinner) we're not talking lifestyles of the rich and famous.

 

I get that it isn't a million dollars, but just going on your figures, an average person is looking to TRY golf at about $350 just to get started. That's a lot of money for a lot of people. That's a car payment. That's the monthly grocey bill (with coupons). It's well more than a month of utilities. I'm not suggesting that golf should be "free." Nothing is free, and everyone has to prioritize their recreation and entertainment. 

 

The beauty of golf, to me, is that anyone can do it. You don't play against anyone but yourself and the course. And no matter how new or bad you are at it, you can always aim to be one stroke better than the last time. You can enjoy the triumph of hitting your drives just a little bit longer than you did last time. You can be proud you finished a round 20 minutes quicker than before. There are a thousand ways to recognize your improvement, and be encouraged by it. That means there are a thousand reasons to keep coming back. But before that, you have to GET STARTED. And if getting started is prohibitively expensive, less people will do it. Adding a test just to let you in will discourage even more. 

post #178 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post

I get that it isn't a million dollars, but just going on your figures, an average person is looking to TRY golf at about $350 just to get started.

Nope. Many courses have rentals. Friends can loan you balls and even clubs.

Those costs are if you know you want to start playing golf (on your own).

Recreation is expensive. I play hockey. Sticks cost $50-$200. Etc .
post #179 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


Nope. Many courses have rentals. Friends can loan you balls and even clubs.

Those costs are if you know you want to start playing golf (on your own).

Recreation is expensive. I play hockey. Sticks cost $50-$200. Etc .

 

dude, I get that. I just gave my brother-in-law a sack of wiffle practice balls and a dozen pristine golf balls to practice with for a round he's going to play in October. He didn't want to embarrass himself, so I threw in. But I don't know if you take into account how rare golf is in many areas. I personally know ONE person who plays golf regularly who lives in my vicinity. ONE. No doubt there are many more, but I personally only know ONE person. So the prospect of friends and buddies, and inlaws and outlaws giving you hand-me-down golf equipment is rare indeed. 

post #180 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie Dawn View Post

dude, I get that. I just gave my brother-in-law a sack of wiffle practice balls and a dozen pristine golf balls to practice with for a round he's going to play in October. He didn't want to embarrass himself, so I threw in. But I don't know if you take into account how rare golf is in many areas. I personally know ONE person who plays golf regularly who lives in my vicinity. ONE. No doubt there are many more, but I personally only know ONE person. So the prospect of friends and buddies, and inlaws and outlaws giving you hand-me-down golf equipment is rare indeed. 

If you say so.
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