or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link.

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

http://blogs.golf.com/presstent/2012/12/truth-rumors-mickelson-presents-plans-for-redesign-of-torrey-north.html

 

I have never once thought this except when certain hole placements were overly frequent and difficult.

post #2 of 58

 I think it is the economy more than anything and perhaps that video games dominate the younger generations activities. SGI irons and 460cc drivers have helped make it a tad easier if anything.

post #3 of 58

Maybe the North Course at Torrey Pines is too difficult, can't say myself I've never played there.  There are plenty of courses to choose from so I'm finding it hard to believe that Phil believes tough courses are the single most reason golf is in decline.   There are plenty of other reasons that probably rank higher;
 

  1. Economy is down, unemployment is up - means there's less overall disposable income for luxuries like golf
  2. Men are spending more time with their families and less time on the course.  During golfs more popular years, dads didn't play such an integral role within the family beyond being the bread winner.  The men typically played golf while their family did other things.
  3. Professionals spend more time at work and less time working on their game these days.  Golf has always required a certain amount of dedicated time and effort to be good regardless of the course.  If you can't hit the ball well, the course design doesn't matter. 
  4. The surge in golf participation was during Tigers best years, golf doesn't get the media attention and mind share it once did among the non-hardcore players. 
post #4 of 58

Golfers play less or quit because of two primary reasons:

1. Time it takes to play.

2. Cost.

 

That's it. Difficulty has always attracted people to the sport. You almost never hear of someone quitting because it's too difficult.

post #5 of 58

I would agree with Phil in the respect that some courses have been built to get a reputation rather than to encourage play.  They design a course so that players can brag that they played a 140 slope course, yet you rarely hear any of those players say that they had fun while doing so.   I love playing a strategic course as long as it has properly placed tees so that I can play it a length which is still fun for me.  Having to play a course which is both long and difficult just isn't fun.  I can play in the 125-130 slope range and still keep my scores in the low 90's or even high 80's, but add in a course rating at 73 or 74 and it's going to be too long, even at a 120 slope.  The fact that some honored and venerable courses have stood the test of time and still challenge the pros even with modern equipment is great...... for the pros.  But please give is ordinary humans the chance to have fun.

 

Phil is right in that most golfers want to have fun.  They don't want to stagger off the 18th green like they've just been through a shredder.  But I don't necessarily agree that you have make funneling greens to do that.  Make them more open in front so that the player has options for approach shots.  Closing off the front of every green with bunkers or 3 inch rough takes any possibility of creative play out of the equation.  It forces the player to carry the ball all the way to the green on every approach, and that's boring for some, and torture for others.  It's only fun for the few who can actually accomplish it consistently.  Forget target golf - give us options.  Let us decide how we want to play the hole.  Don't force us into your very narrow idea of how the game should be played.  Allowing creativity and potential recovery from an off target shot is more fun than dropping out of a water hazard every time I miss hit a ball.

 

I don't think that difficulty necessarily attracts people to golf.  Maybe once they reach a certain level of ability they seek more challenge, but for many, a course which offers the difficulty of the local muni is all they ever want or hope for.  They go to a golf resort to play a better looking, better maintained course, but at least if they are anything like me, they still want to have fun doing it.  As beautiful and interesting as many of the courses are that the pros play, some don't attract me (places like Sawgrass) because I know that I'd never break 100 on them.  Floundering my way around the course, totally out of my league, isn't a challenge, and it just isn't fun.


Edited by Fourputt - 12/24/12 at 2:41pm
post #6 of 58

Agree. Golf has always been a difficult (probably the most difficult) sport regardless if you play a flat, easy course or hilly, difficult course. I actually got really into golf because of how difficult it was. - basically, it gave a great sense of achievement and was rewarding every time you did something right (GIR, FIR, birdie, etc). Doing any of these achievements on a tough course makes the reward that much sweeter. The course itself is basically one of the variables that you can't control. So why try to?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Golfers play less or quit because of two primary reasons:

1. Time it takes to play.

2. Cost.

 

That's it. Difficulty has always attracted people to the sport. You almost never hear of someone quitting because it's too difficult.

post #7 of 58
Agree with everybody here that difficulty if new courses is not why people aren't golfing. However, in the specific case of Torrey I think it makes a lot of sense to keep the north course easy. If you want to torture yourself, you need only go 20 paces to your left and play the south course. Why not give you the option at that place?
post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 

I don't know... if this is what Phil thinks, he might have a hard time getting elected as a politician. Then again, none of those guys are in tune with the public....

 

I guess if I had to play a course that had some extremely difficult signature hole, as my home course I might get tired of play it, but there is too much variety of courses out there to say this is the defining fact I quit or don't play golf.

 

Golf however is obviously very difficult to start playing well out right. The curve is steep and people could easily say f this game and quit.

post #9 of 58

First, I think the overall gloomy economy and gloomier outlook for the next few years has far more to do with how many people are playing than course layouts.

 

That said, I think a golf course needs to be designed with its intended audience in mind.  i.e. a municipal course really ought to be laid out to be challenging but not too hard on the average Joe/Jane who may be turning up to play.  Ditto for private clubs, but with the proviso that they can tailor the layout (to some extent at least) to the desires of the membership.  But a good course architect should be able to lay out a course that is both fun for the average person and challenging for the better golfers.  They definitely should NOT be designing holes just to make people cringe with they look out from the tee, and given some of the pictures I've seen I wouldn't doubt there is some of that going on out there.

post #10 of 58
Golf, tennis, hockey (field or ice), and many other 'secondary' sports require time and money to play and practice.

There are so many other larger funded organized sports (basketball, baseball, football, softball) and activities that pull kids focus and attention away from these secondary sports.

I grew up in a rural area where football, basketball and baseball had organized team sports from ages 7 and older. But no golf teams or organized teams until High School (13/14 yr olds). So these major sports reach our children earlier than golf, unless the parent or outside role model plays a role by introducing the game to the child.

The sport needs more men and women who coordinate with courses and practice facilities to provide formalized access to these kids. I know the First Tee does this, but it is still a tiny organization that barely reaches many of the larger metro areas. Leaving many children with no access.
post #11 of 58

I played both the north and south for the first time in 2012.  The south was a hard course, the North was much easier.   The course ratings tell you that.  

72/7227/139/76.1 (blue tee)South    -    

72/6601/128/72.1 (blue tee) North

My local muni is 72/6700/125/72.5... pretty close to the North course difficulty.

 

They were both a lot of fun to play because of where you are.  I dont think the North needs renovation to make it easier.  If the course is too hard, tee it forward.

post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Golfers play less or quit because of two primary reasons:

1. Time it takes to play.

2. Cost.

 

That's it. Difficulty has always attracted people to the sport. You almost never hear of someone quitting because it's too difficult.

 

Spot on.

 

The runup on the price of golf happened just like it did with the housing market. The bubble burst on that just it's doing on golf.

 

I guess we'll see further decline until the price of golf comes back down or the economy recovers.

post #13 of 58

I'll agree that some of the public courses get in way over their heads as far as design goes.  There are many great courses in the Chicago area.  Most are reasonably priced, but there are a few.....one in particular, that I have no interest in playing again due to the difficulty of the greens.  There needs to be at least some of the green that's relatively flat!

 

I think it comes down to building a course that suits the type of golfer your looking to attract.  There are public courses that wanna charge only 30 bucks, which is obviously catering toward weekend warriors and casual players, yet attempt to make the most difficult course in the world.  If that isn't bad enough, the $30 fees are not going to cover proper maintenance so now your left with a difficult course that's even more difficult due to the terrible conditions.

post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Golfers play less or quit because of two primary reasons:

1. Time it takes to play.

2. Cost.

 

That's it. Difficulty has always attracted people to the sport. You almost never hear of someone quitting because it's too difficult.

I reckon you could add another couple to the list : frustration with the lack of consistency in their golf swings and a feeling that they're never going to improve.

but,that's the nature of the traditional golf swing; hard to learn, hard to maintain,

The golf industry and the coaching industry have got a lot to answer for.

post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by logman View Post

I reckon you could add another couple to the list : frustration with the lack of consistency in their golf swings and a feeling that they're never going to improve.

but,that's the nature of the traditional golf swing; hard to learn, hard to maintain,

The golf industry and the coaching industry have got a lot to answer for.

 

That's almost never cited as a reason. And most people don't take lessons so blaming the "traditional golf swing" and the "golf industry" is just another way for you to push your bizarre swing method.

post #16 of 58

I can understand that people quit because they get frustrated. But this has nothing to do with golf getting less populair. The game is difficult and always has been.

post #17 of 58

Agree with Erik, time and money.  Add slow play as icing.

post #18 of 58

If there's a decline in popularity in golf recently, I don't think it has anything to do with how difficult the game is. It's always been hard. But what is different now versus say 10-15 years ago is, people by & large have less discretionary spending. With less discretionary spending, less is spent on things like golf.

 

So people are playing less golf not because they want to, but because they have to.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link.