I think courses that have very challenging sets of tees should discourage players from playing from these tees unless they can prove their ability level. The tips at my course are 142 and on the card they only recommend players at 4.5 or below should play from here. I think unless a current index could be shown then an additional charge could be added for the potential slower play.
Phil thinks golf is too hard? Causing a decline in play. Weigh in on this link. - Page 4
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Multiple factors which are contributing to the decline in golf participation, among them the economic recession and the emergence of helicopter parents and designer children: in many families, adult time disappears from birth to college graduation of the kids.
I would mention another factor none have mentioned, the fading of the American caddie.
When I grew up, most working-class and middle-class kids got their start in golf as caddies. In the late 1960s, electric golf carts start showing up at the ritzier clubs. By 1970s, most clubs have them, and more and more golfers are using them. By the late 1970s, caddies are pretty well gone at all but the upper-scale clubs. Caddies got to play Monday mornings at many clubs, and that was your introduction to the game.
Also, caddies underwent a socialization and golf-immersion experience. Caddies felt that they might, besides earning some money, learn the secrets of upward mobility by associating with upper-crust golfers. And, many of us had visions of eventually turning pro, or getting rich and returning to the club as a member-player someday. While most of us fell short of millionaire status, and even fewer of us turned pro, we found out that golfdom provided a wonderful world. A fun sport to play, the trees framing the green fairways, the thunk of a greenside bunker shot as the hefty wedge lofts the ball toward the pin. And, you found that group of people who enjoyed the game as dearly as you did.
I sense that the First Tee program may help expose non-wealthy kids to the immersion experience of golf, and maybe help stem the drop in participation.
Caddie economics in 1967: Caddied 18 holes - carried double: ($4 x 2 bags = $8) - (50 cents for a hot dog + 20 cents for a soda) = $7.30 net profit
I agree with the posters who think women's tees are especially out of whack. I play with a pretty good women golfer occasionally, average drive 175. I average 225. On a hole where I hit drive 5 iron she hits driver 5 wood, if it is into the wind she can't reach it. I see courses all the time where the women's tees on par 5s are 440. The better women can move back to the whites if in need of a challenge.
I do believe the number of courses built as real estate development amenity first, good golf course about priority 12 has resulted in many courses which are designed with length as the primary challenge. Because distances between tees are lengthened, to maximize lots, routing is similarly compromised. The resulting courses are very expensive to build and maintain, take to long to play and are boring. ...
Some play-by-play of real estate developments: My home course of the past two years is built through a subdivision with nature-preserve patches here and there. At course "A" we have twelve holes with out-of-bounds both left and right, and the remaining six have at least one OB side.
Other area subdivision golf clubs B and C have two or three tee boxes each about a quarter-mile from the previous green. That makes walking virtually impossible - people in carts will run you into the ground.
Course "C" has a back-9 adventure where you ride 400 yds. to the next tee box, play the hole, and ride another 400 yds. to the following tee box. If the management would just reverse direction on these two holes, you could eliminate both 400 yd. rides. But not my problem, as course C is at the bottom of my "like to play" sites.