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Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link. - Page 2

post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDutch View Post

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.

 

If anything, golf is easier now than it was 25 years ago because of equipment advances.  When I started it was with forged blades because that is all there was.  Guys who feel that it's too hard with their SGI shovels ought to give blades a try for one round just to get a perspective.  The first couple of popularity spurts in the game happened in spite of the difficulty of playing with blades, so I really don't see that as a major factor in the decline.  Issues today are economics and time management.  The economics factor is self explanatory - there is only so much money to go around, and golf can be expensive.  Time management is just as key.  

 

For whatever reason, everyone is in too much of a hurry to do everything possible in the least amount of time.  That may in part be rooted in economic issues too, with people working longer hours to achieve their financial goals than they did 25 or 30 years ago, but those goals seem to be set higher than they once were, and are harder to reach.  We want to do everything at once, so we race around popping 5 Hour Energy shots so that we only have to sleep 4 hours a night, and still can't find the time to do everything that we feel we should.  

 

People who started in the game during the Tiger boom, or in some cases earlier, had to reassess priorities upon getting married and having a couple of kids.  Golf usually loses out - just witness the number of people who join here and the first thing they say is that they played a lot when they were younger, but had to mostly give up the game at some point after college when work, wife and family took up too much time. Now the kids are gone, or nearly so, and they have the disposable income and time to try the game again.  

 

The Sirens never stopped singing, and now you can remove the ear plugs and heed the call again. 

post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

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.

 

I agree.  A course that Phil bought in Scottsdale was called "The Sanctuary" and had a slope of over 120 from the front tees.  It was one of the least playable courses I have had the misery to play.  But Phil and group rebuilt the course into a much more playable track from members' tees and while I have not played it yet I understand it is a much more fun track now.  I believe the course is now called "McDowell Mountain". 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

If anything, golf is easier now than it was 25 years ago because of equipment advances.  When I started it was with forged blades because that is all there was.  Guys who feel that it's too hard with their SGI shovels ought to give blades a try for one round just to get a perspective.  The first couple of popularity spurts in the game happened in spite of the difficulty of playing with blades, so I really don't see that as a major factor in the decline.  Issues today are economics and time management.  The economics factor is self explanatory - there is only so much money to go around, and golf can be expensive.  Time management is just as key.  

 

This also is true.  I kept an old steel shafted wooden driver around just to remind me how difficult it was not too many years back.  I take it to the range now and again to ingrain the lesson.  

 

As to expense I purchase a "city card" every year that yields reduced green fees at the local municipal courses and usually one other discount card for reduced fees at many other courses in the area.  Not a perfect solution for working stiffs that can only play weekends but works OK for old and retired me.  

 

I suppose time isn't quite as important to me since I retired but I get annoyed when rounds begin to take much more time than 4 hours.  The two groups I regularly play with are pretty good at self policing this and if you are habitually the slow player of 4 hour + rounds you will spoken too.  If that doesn't fix the problem you will find yourself always in the last foursome of the day.  If that doesn't work you might have to find a new group to play with.  Having said that everyone has bad days and at times that can slow anyone down.  Just as long as it is not a habit.

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPMPIRE View Post

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?  


I 2nd this Motion. The risk/reward factor has been a huge drug for me. The other is always knowing that I will master this game is far exceeds a video game or other sporting related event.

 

There is no plateu and you only get out what you put into it.

 

This game requires disclipline and thus I find it strange Phil would say something remotely derogatory since he appears to be an excellent student of the game of Golf.

post #22 of 58

There are people who try golf because they watch it on TV and it looks like fun. Golf is not fun unless you have some ability to play it.

I have seen people attempt to play golf and get so frustrated they just flat out quit.  But most of the time it is because of the amount of

money and time it takes to play this game. I think we have all seen beginners out on the course flail away at the ball seldom making pure

contact and sometimes missing it entirely several times in a row. It is tough to watch them while waiting patiently on the tee. Yet imagine

their frustrating and embarrassment being yelled at by other golfers to hurry up and to get moving with many swear works added as well.

 

 If you were trying something new and it was frustrating, cost a lot of money to buy the equipment and also to play the "game" AND it took

4-5 hours out of your day away from your family and all your honey do jobs........ would you keep trying to play the game. Probably not. Most

of us who do play this game have some athletic ability, time and money so we get hooked on the game and can't imagine why others would

walk away from it.

post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanksalot View Post
.... all your honey do jobs........ would you keep trying to play the game.......?

 

Ummmm YES YES YES!!! You unlocked the secret to Golf and Men. Now lets lock this forum before word gets out~~

 

 

c3_clap.giff3_laugh.gif

post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

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.

I'm sitting with my brother right now, he's virtually quit from being a 7 or 8 guy because he says it was too soul destroying to turn up and shoot a 75 then shoot 85 the next day.....inexplicably. Another friend in Melbourne is a victim of the "tips industry". Every new coach would tell him this or that, to the point that he didn't know what to do ....he quit.......Just sayin!

 

Iacas, i'm not trying to push my "bizarre"swing method. I kinda think that you as a golf industry insider should be pushing it. I mean it may not be for the low handicap golfers that contribute on this site but I'm sure it could have a place in the world of the mid handicapper. It could make golf more satisfying and rewarding for some folks. 

post #25 of 58

On the one point, I agree with my man Phil. I think TPC courses should have a 126 slope and below course for amateurs who want to have fun and have the 136 slope and above course for the amateurs that want that "tour experience". Why should ANYONE pay triple digit prices to score 90 and above??

 

I think every city (depending on size) needs a course or two that FAMILIES (everyone from 90plus years old to 10 years old) can play so that the rest of us averaging 30 - 58 rounds per year or more can play 4 hour 30 min rounds (or quicker). I heard that "everyone is in a hurry" so since the game take so much time out of our lives we quit or don't play often. I can't prove this but I think that If we avid golfers really want to play, we like minded golfers, gravitate to a course or two with a reputation for good pace of play that's within our price range.

 

Lastly, The cost of the game is tremendous in time and money. One of the reasons I post here is so I can be as much as an ambassador to the game here as I am in San Antonio, TX. I have helped many newbies save money because no one was there for me when I spent my first $3000 and countless hours learning the game. Let's spread the word that brand new clubs aren't the best answer (until we are forced to due to groove and putter rule changes). Let's spread the word that paying full price for green fees is not wise and ignorance of city/county/age/military/internet golf discounts are no longer acceptable (dramatic, but it means they didn't even look or try). And let's talk newbies in to getting instructions from good and economical teaching pros we know so that they get a good foundation (and some golf etiquette) and a reason to keep coming back.

post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by logman View Post

I'm sitting with my brother right now, he's virtually quit from being a 7 or 8 guy because he says it was too soul destroying to turn up and shoot a 75 then shoot 85 the next day.....inexplicably. Another friend in Melbourne is a victim of the "tips industry". Every new coach would tell him this or that, to the point that he didn't know what to do ....he quit.......Just sayin!

 

Oh my! Two people (one of whom didn't even actually quit)!

 

My point stands. Let's move on. I've told you and others I don't think most golf instructors are very good either, but since so very few golfers actually take lessons it is not a reason why they quit.

post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by logman View Post

Iacas, i'm not trying to push my "bizarre"swing method. I kinda think that you as a golf industry insider should be pushing it. I mean it may not be for the low handicap golfers that contribute on this site but I'm sure it could have a place in the world of the mid handicapper. It could make golf more satisfying and rewarding for some folks. 

If it's not for low handicappers, then why would mid-handicappers be inclined to switch their swing?  Most high and mid cappers who take lessons are trying to improve to become low handicappers, so I don't see how they would want to (pardon the pun) handicap themselves with a mediocre swing.  (Don't take offense ... I'm calling it a mediocre swing because you yourself said its only for mid and high cappers)

post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

If it's not for low handicappers, then why would mid-handicappers be inclined to switch their swing?  Most high and mid cappers who take lessons are trying to improve to become low handicappers, so I don't see how they would want to (pardon the pun) handicap themselves with a mediocre swing.  (Don't take offense ... I'm calling it a mediocre swing because you yourself said its only for mid and high cappers)

sorry golfingdad just can't go there. I just feel it causes so much antagonism 

post #29 of 58
Thread Starter 
 
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAGolfLuvr View Post

On the one point, I agree with my man Phil. I think TPC courses should have a 126 slope and below course for amateurs who want to have fun and have the 136 slope and above course for the amateurs that want that "tour experience". Why should ANYONE pay triple digit prices to score 90 and above??

 

I think every city (depending on size) needs a course or two that FAMILIES (everyone from 90plus years old to 10 years old) can play so that the rest of us averaging 30 - 58 rounds per year or more can play 4 hour 30 min rounds (or quicker). I heard that "everyone is in a hurry" so since the game take so much time out of our lives we quit or don't play often. I can't prove this but I think that If we avid golfers really want to play, we like minded golfers, gravitate to a course or two with a reputation for good pace of play that's within our price range.

I really don't think we can control who plays what course. We have a perfect course for beginners here but do you think it is marketed for it? Do you think a golf course will turn away golfers? That is what the forward tees are for but not used effectively.

post #30 of 58

Enough of the OT stuff, thanks. :)

post #31 of 58

I think some people make golf more difficult on themselves than it needs to be when faced with a challenging course simply because they can't handle damaging their ego.

 

If you're playing a very difficult course, play from the whites.  If its got US Open-style rough, maybe going for it in two from 240 is not such a good idea.  Layup and take a par.

 

That's not to say it's still not more difficult than your weekend course, but a lot of golfers walk off the course feeling beat down simply because they played right into the course's hands.

post #32 of 58

I'd like to see golf courses encourage playing 9 holes over playing 18. Typically 9 holes is not half the price of 18, but more like 2/3 to 3/4 of the price of 18. I can't imagine the marginal cost of the extra 9 holes is that much less than the first 9. Also, not all golf courses offer a 9 hole rate. If more golfers played 9 holes instead of 18, I'd think pace of play would improve too. I know my back 9s typically take longer than my front because I'm tired, less focused, etc.

post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgreen85 View Post

I'd like to see golf courses encourage playing 9 holes over playing 18. Typically 9 holes is not half the price of 18, but more like 2/3 to 3/4 of the price of 18. I can't imagine the marginal cost of the extra 9 holes is that much less than the first 9. Also, not all golf courses offer a 9 hole rate. If more golfers played 9 holes instead of 18, I'd think pace of play would improve too. I know my back 9s typically take longer than my front because I'm tired, less focused, etc.


My course encourages 9 hole play in the early morning as a local's special. The cool thing about it is that you really get to bond with the 8am'ers and 9am'ers (usually Seniors). Another thing you really get to do is interact with the groundkeeping crew. They are very respectful and sometimes will give a tip or two (or get a laugh or two as I hit multiple driver shots into either the water or the airfield). a3_biggrin.gif

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgreen85 View Post

I'd like to see golf courses encourage playing 9 holes over playing 18. Typically 9 holes is not half the price of 18, but more like 2/3 to 3/4 of the price of 18. I can't imagine the marginal cost of the extra 9 holes is that much less than the first 9. Also, not all golf courses offer a 9 hole rate. If more golfers played 9 holes instead of 18, I'd think pace of play would improve too. I know my back 9s typically take longer than my front because I'm tired, less focused, etc.

 

Because 9 hole play on an 18 hole course ultimately results in loss of revenue.  When you put a group of players out on the first tee at 11 AM they then leave the course after 9 holes and you've lost that revenue for the second 9 that an 18 hole group would have generated.  There is no guarantee that another 9 hole group will be available to pick up that back 9 at 1 PM, so the course has just lost that income.  Do it too often and the course goes broke.  This is why some daily fee courses don't even allow 9 hole play at all except for the first couple of hours on the back 9 and late in the day.  It's a losing proposition for the course.

 

My home course added a 9 hole Executive course to take up that traffic, and it's busy most days.  When I was a starter there, if I couldn't find a back 9 opening for a 9 hole group, I'd recommend that they play the short course.  Some guys just didn't want to play a par 31 course, and I was sort in that camp most of the time (although I never cared for just playing 9 holes - always felt like I left something unfinished).  Most courses with 27 holes have one 9 each day designated as the 9 hole course, while the remaining 18 holes are played as such.  This is the best of both worlds, but the majority of public courses just don't have that luxury.

post #35 of 58
So is the decline due to the amount of practice time required, the amount of time it takes to play a round, or, likely, both. Encouraging 9 hole play, similar to how they're pushing tee it forward, would solve the problem surrounding time to play a round. I understand the "loss of revenue" position, but that relies on your assumption "that there is no guarantee that someone picks up that back 9." Neither of us know what would happen because 9 holes only is not encouraged. Like you said, you "always felt like you left something unfinished." I agree. I feel that way a lot of times too. I also feel like I get ripped off paying $25 for 9 when I could pay $35 for 18. It's all mental. If the course could show how the marginal cost of that back 9 is less than half the front then I'd feel better. I'd imagine if the pro tours played 9 hole rounds, you'd never feel like you left something unfinished. It's all in the marketing and there being a collective push across the industry. Personally I think 9 holes would do much more than tee it forward to improve pace of play and increase participation. 2hrs is a movie, for example, while 4hrs is pretty much the whole day.

Just thought of this idea (I'm sure it's been considered before tho), what if a course offered an 18 hole rate that allows a person to split their 9 holes? Even charge a slight premium. So instead of paying $35, you'd pay $40 for the privilege to play your 9s on two separate days. Just ideas, it seems like every course is pay for 18, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of creativity. It's like they just want everyone to come back with no change on the part of the golf industry. What do they say about doing the same thing and expecting a different results.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

If anything, golf is easier now than it was 25 years ago because of equipment advances.  When I started it was with forged blades because that is all there was.  Guys who feel that it's too hard with their SGI shovels ought to give blades a try for one round just to get a perspective.  The first couple of popularity spurts in the game happened in spite of the difficulty of playing with blades, so I really don't see that as a major factor in the decline.  Issues today are economics and time management.  The economics factor is self explanatory - there is only so much money to go around, and golf can be expensive.  Time management is just as key.  

 

For whatever reason, everyone is in too much of a hurry to do everything possible in the least amount of time.  That may in part be rooted in economic issues too, with people working longer hours to achieve their financial goals than they did 25 or 30 years ago, but those goals seem to be set higher than they once were, and are harder to reach.  We want to do everything at once, so we race around popping 5 Hour Energy shots so that we only have to sleep 4 hours a night, and still can't find the time to do everything that we feel we should.  

 

People who started in the game during the Tiger boom, or in some cases earlier, had to reassess priorities upon getting married and having a couple of kids.  Golf usually loses out - just witness the number of people who join here and the first thing they say is that they played a lot when they were younger, but had to mostly give up the game at some point after college when work, wife and family took up too much time. Now the kids are gone, or nearly so, and they have the disposable income and time to try the game again.  

 

The Sirens never stopped singing, and now you can remove the ear plugs and heed the call again. 

Very astute observations IMO. Just wanted to add a sidebar regarding work and to-do stuff and time management: about 20 yrs ago when my income was pretty feeble, our TV broke down and we spent an entire summer without TV - it was amazing how much surplus time I had and how much got done around the house. Conclusion: the damn idiot box consumes so much of our available time and we are not really cognizant of it.

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