Of all the courses hurting for more players, I would think Torrey isn't one of them.
Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link. - Page 3
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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.
You think tv is bad...what about the internet... Single handily costs business owners more losses than anything.
I absolutely agree with one aspect of Phil's argument: Women's Tees.
Mine and my buddy's wife have started playing golf with us this year. They are both pretty good athletes (my wife in particular, she has already broken 100 legitimately and broken 90 with some friendly scorekeeping), and it's been fun to go together.
However, most of our local courses place the tee markers way too far back for them. On many holes, the "forward" tees are just a few yards ahead of where they put the "blue" markers from where we play. On a 360 yard hole, I may hit driver/SW or 3-wood/PW, while my wife will have to hit driver 5-iron or utility. She manages, because she can keep the ball moving toward the hole pretty well, but it definitely is an issue that could be improved upon.
My original quote that prompted this response from Valleygolfer.
"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."
Some folks need WAY forward tees. I TOTALLY agree with Valleygolfer that golf courses won't turn away golfers and point them to the course or courses I describe\beg for in my quote and that is a big part of the problem. Why don't city golf course managers get together and help each other out in these hard times? Airlines, Colleges, Cell and Cable companies, all MARKET (furthering Valleygolfer's point) to specific peoples and incomes so why don't golf courses listen to their customers, get together and change the paradigm, and do the same? Even Bowling alleys built in something to help beginners. Oh yeah. Golf courses don't ask for nor want to know what we golfers think or feel. Sorry my bad. Valleygolfer's right. I'll just keep "dreaming".
I have to agree with other posters about the cost and the time it takes to play. When I want to go play, I have to schedule it around all the other things that I need to do because it takes anywhere from 3-5 hours to play. As far as cost, that also plays a huge role. All the green fees in this area are about to go sky high (Tampa) because of the arrival of the snow birds. I don't play as much from January thru April because of the cost more than anything else. The courses also get very busy and it takes five hours to play (which I think is ridiculous). My wife and I play on weekends as much as we can at the local muni courses because we can walk and price is reasonable (with membership cards) otherwise I wouldn't swing a club until May.
The demographic Phil is addressing is well heeled ... it's not aimed at the majority of shmoes who worry about time and money.
Drop the price and business would pick right up, but the clientele would be a little less desirable.
.... Serious prices in a down economy.
Torrey Pines North is a 75/135 from the tips, but only 70.8/125 from the whites. I can handle that, but $163 for a weekday non-resident greens fee? And $246-202 for the South?.I'd have to finagle some kind of resident guest ID to feel good about playing there. If everyone pays that, well OK, but a friend of mine who lives there is only paying $45 and he would let me know it..
At the same time, it's like $75 for a weekend round at the local muni, and for a young guy who will drop that much at Olive Garden for his wife and two kids, the money is probably not the issue. It's that there are no free tee times til after 11AM and it;s a 5-6 hour round that has that guy doing other things.
I certainly agree with this. I think the reason my Mrs gave up golf was because she just never could get enough distance to play the course even from the women's tees. I know the LPGA women can drive the ball further than most of us (I don't want to start an argument here that is just statistically so and I'm not to impugn any individual claims here) but the typical lady amateur just can't handle most course from the ladies tees.
I agree with Iacas - time and money are the main things keeping golfers from golfing more. It's not just time to play a round, either . .as I'm sure most of you can relate - I spend a ton of time thinking about golf, reading about golf, watching golf on tv, posting my stupid opinions on golf forums, going to the range and, of course, playing rounds. It takes time and commitment to even think about being good at golf. Golf isn't very much fun when you stink at it. Therefore - I think a lot of guys figure they don't have the time to put in to do more than embarrass themselves once a week, so they don't bother.
So golf is a hard game - and one that takes a lot of time and some money to learn. But it's not the toughness of the courses, in my opinion, that is the issue. Even short, straight holes are hard when you can't swing a club worth a damn. It's always been that way - probably always will be that way. If somebody DID invent a reliable, easy to learn swing, that would pretty much take the fun *out* of it. Easy games don't hold people's interest for very long.
My solution? Build more 9 hole and executive tracks. These take far less time and money to play and generally provide a better experience for the casual or beginner golfers. It also helps keep the hackers off the "serious" courses. I played one of those "serious courses" not too long ago - got my ass handed to me, lol. It was still fun - but I think I'll stick to my usual goat track for my weekly 9 hole round. But this, in no way, means that the "serious courses" should be made easier. They have to exist . .to keep the low cappers off my goat track.
Hard to justify spending $35-$50 a round with the higher sustained cost of living. Higher gas prices, higher food bills, higher unemployment rates so companies can require higher education for jobs to get the pick of the litter in this job market AND pay less, couples have to work more hours or travel more to make the same wages as several years ago, etc. Higher fuel prices are almost as much responsible for the economy as the mortgage debacle. Most people can't pass off the extra cost of filling up to anyone. No reason why we should be paying over $1.50 a gallon. Lower the cost of fuel and you will see economy slowly recover. People will have more $$ to spend.
That's a bargain.
No reason why we should be paying over $1.50 a gallon. Lower the cost of fuel and you will see economy slowly recover.
The price of oil isn't arbitrary ... oilsands and ND fraking isn't economically sustainable below $80WTI.
I'm not talking about those that can easily afford golf. I'm referring to those people struggling to make ends meet these days. At once per week, that 'bargain' of $140-$200 per month (not counting all the rest of the smaller expenses associated with golf) may be the difference between someone keeping their home or losing it. If you've ever been there, recreational activities are the first to go in tough times. I went through a layoff at Delta Airlines years ago and the first two things to go were Golf and beer.
As far as your second statement, the price per barrel of oil doesn't always equate to the price of a gallon of gas. You see runups in gas when oil goes up but when oil starts dropping, gas doesn't always follow suit. Then you have the price of oil and gas are being artificially kept high to keep those with oil interests in record profits. Oil companies may still be keeping their margins at 10% or so profit but 10% of the price these days equals RECORD profits.
It seems pretty elementary to me but if you lower the price of gas, the price of most things SHOULD come down. Then people aren't spending as much on gas or the cost of living therefore they have more disposible income to dump into the economy. Business have more cash flow therefore can expand and increase hiring putting more people to work. More people working increases the tax base, input into the economy, etc. Sure, it isn't that simplistic but saying '80 per barrel' isn't sustainable is off base IMO.
Americans are being bled dry by the price of gas.
It seems pretty elementary to me but if you lower the price of gas, the price of most things SHOULD come down. Then people aren't spending as much on gas or the cost of living therefore they have more disposible income to dump into the economy. Business have more cash flow therefore can expand and increase hiring putting more people to work. More people working increases the tax base, input into the economy, etc.
At the risk of going horribly OT, I'd like to address a couple of your points.
If you change your wording to "... if the price of gas is lower ...", I'd agree with you 100%.
Sure, it isn't that simplistic but saying '80 per barrel' isn't sustainable is off base IMO.
The significant increase in N American oil production is in what's called "marginal" or "enhanced oil recovery" and it is very expensive. EOR includes oilsands, oilshale, fracking and deep water drilling. If the price goes too low ($80WTI seems to be a conservative minimum these days), EOR starts leaving the market driving the price up further.
Easily recoverable oil gets sold in the same market, and record profits are indeed booked ... by some.
That's the facts jack.
Americans are being bled dry by the price of gas.
Exactly. That's part of the problem; speculation is another.
$80 is what they've determined to be the max sustainable point. They've developed a foolproof system. Make sure the politicians are getting rich at the same time and you don't have to worry.
Death of a thousand cuts.....