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Why isn't golf attracting more new players? - Page 4

Poll Results: What's the major reason golf isn't attracting many new players

 
  • 34% (78)
    Economy - disposable income is down
  • 12% (27)
    A round of golf just takes too long these days
  • 6% (14)
    Bad image - people think golf is for the old and rich
  • 2% (5)
    Tiger isn't playing as well as he used to
  • 0% (2)
    Rules are too complicated
  • 6% (14)
    Golf clubs are too expensive
  • 8% (18)
    Greater time demands from family and job
  • 0% (2)
    USGA is taking the fun out of golf - Anchored stroke ban
  • 10% (23)
    Golf is too hard and frustrating to play
  • 0% (0)
    Not enough qualified instructors for kids
  • 1% (4)
    Lack of public courses in your area
  • 0% (2)
    Not enough golf ranges in your area
  • 0% (2)
    Insufficient coverage by mainstream media
  • 0% (2)
    Fear of playing as single or with strangers
  • 13% (31)
    Golf is doing fine, there are no problems with it.
224 Total Votes  
post #55 of 192

I know a lot of people that play ocassionally, 100 being the score to beat.

 

I don't know anyone with a membership, or who plays more than once a month.

 

I think for them and me, it is having a young family, so time and money isn't there, couldn't make use of a membership to make it economical.

 

Secondly, my experience with some other groups on the golf course is very poor

I am so happy to have people play through, give them a smile and everything, but I get many stuffy responses, not even any thank yous at times. I don't need my butt kissed, but you know I don't have to ask if you want to play through either. I don't want to pay almost a grand to be associated with crappy people like that, so I'll just play at all the different courses I want, monthly or less, on special deals I find, and leave the exclusive memberships and rank attitude to them...

 

 I know of two other people that have gone to play, but also been harranged by these blokes, and neither want to go play again. They were learning and needed some understanding. But most in golf just expect walk up players to know everything.

 

It seems golfers in general are quite tense, many seem to have little humour on the course, and it's all rush rush rush around, tense tense tense. Thinking about it, grumpy old white men seems to sum up the group I have problems with, any younger guys or ladies in general are always more friendly. Somehow, someone else paying to play on a course, just like they have, and isn't getting in their way, is ruining their day.

 

Their attitude seems to be - OMG, there is someone else on MY COURSE! Whatever, it's not like you get exclusive use. I reason, playing golf is like going on the bus, you can pick the people in your group to travel with, but the rest of the bus could be filled with all manner of different people. So just chill, you'll all get there (for a beer) in the end...

 

It would probably help if the ones with a problem just rolled up and say, hey you don't mind if we go in front do you? And then said THANK YOU.

 

I guess the young ones are the only selfish ones around these days!

 

Just my experience and those of a couple others trying out the game.

post #56 of 192

Compare the answers of this thread with the answers of the "do you like to play with new people thread" and there seems to be a pretty obvious correlation yet contradiction in the answers.

 

I'm only just starting to get back in to it after over 10 years of not playing, and when I go out for a round I'll be lucky to get round in anywhere near 100 strokes.  However, as I grew up around golf and have played before I understand most rules (to an extent) and also understand the importance of pace of play and etiquette.

 

Looking at the other thread which is full of comments along the lines of play fast or GTFO, it's easy to understand why someone just starting out could have a genuine interest in taking up golf, go out for a round and get completely turned off by their playing partners snide remarks and the like.  It's not rocket science to understand that people just starting out with golf are going to take a bit more time with things so rather than being dismissive of them and their abilities, why not a little bit of education and assistance and remember that everyone was once at that level?

 

I also find that golfers can be quite an exclusive bunch, and this is on a much lesser level but still relevant in my experience.

 

I'm covered in tattoos, both legs, both arms etc and in general my generation (I'm 27) is much more tattooed than the previous.  Now, in places like golf courses which in general are populated by older generations, this can be a bit of a turn off for some people and can lead to some pretty condescending comments and a lot of staring which could quite easily make a lot of people feel pretty uneasy.  I realise this isn't a problem isolated to golf by any means, but still, it could be a factor for a lot of younger people who don't 'conform' to the golfing norm, and again comes back to my first point that, sometimes golfers just aren't a very welcoming bunch.

 

Just as an aside, and to contradict my own post.  I've had some great chats while waiting on tees etc with little old ladies who have been spellbound by my tattoos and have been really happy to have different people out there having a whack.

 

my two cents!

post #57 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeMc View Post

Compare the answers of this thread with the answers of the "do you like to play with new people thread" and there seems to be a pretty obvious correlation yet contradiction in the answers.

 

I'm only just starting to get back in to it after over 10 years of not playing, and when I go out for a round I'll be lucky to get round in anywhere near 100 strokes.  However, as I grew up around golf and have played before I understand most rules (to an extent) and also understand the importance of pace of play and etiquette.

 

Looking at the other thread which is full of comments along the lines of play fast or GTFO, it's easy to understand why someone just starting out could have a genuine interest in taking up golf, go out for a round and get completely turned off by their playing partners snide remarks and the like.  It's not rocket science to understand that people just starting out with golf are going to take a bit more time with things so rather than being dismissive of them and their abilities, why not a little bit of education and assistance and remember that everyone was once at that level?

 

I also find that golfers can be quite an exclusive bunch, and this is on a much lesser level but still relevant in my experience.

 

I'm covered in tattoos, both legs, both arms etc and in general my generation (I'm 27) is much more tattooed than the previous.  Now, in places like golf courses which in general are populated by older generations, this can be a bit of a turn off for some people and can lead to some pretty condescending comments and a lot of staring which could quite easily make a lot of people feel pretty uneasy.  I realise this isn't a problem isolated to golf by any means, but still, it could be a factor for a lot of younger people who don't 'conform' to the golfing norm, and again comes back to my first point that, sometimes golfers just aren't a very welcoming bunch.

 

Just as an aside, and to contradict my own post.  I've had some great chats while waiting on tees etc with little old ladies who have been spellbound by my tattoos and have been really happy to have different people out there having a whack.

 

my two cents!

You make some fair points, I know when I started playing seriously I was very self conscious of the time I took, but that's the nature of golf.  You can't expect to hold up the entire course while learning how to play, that's why there are driving ranges and Par 3 courses to practice at.  If you play ready golf and pick up at double par you're likely going to maintain pace if the rest of your group has decent golfers in it.  If you understand going into a round that pace of play is important you set the expectations that if your group falls behind the group in front, you will just pick up the ball and drop where your cart mates next shot is from.

 

As for tattoos that's something the older generations have to adjust to no matter what.  I don't have anything against tattoos but you're right, they seem out of place in a board meeting or a golf course to me.  Do I have anything against people with tattoos, no, most of the people I know that have them are great people, but the ones I know aren't golfers or business people either.  Your generation will probably be the first to have a pro golfer and major corporation CEO with complete "sleeves" and maybe even a few neck tattoos.   By that time the inkless guys like me will be the minority and you can look at us weird when we pull up with our blank canvas arms and legs.   c2_beer.gif

post #58 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

You make some fair points, I know when I started playing seriously I was very self conscious of the time I took, but that's the nature of golf.  You can't expect to hold up the entire course while learning how to play, that's why there are driving ranges and Par 3 courses to practice at.  If you play ready golf and pick up at double par you're likely going to maintain pace if the rest of your group has decent golfers in it.  If you understand going into a round that pace of play is important you set the expectations that if your group falls behind the group in front, you will just pick up the ball and drop where your cart mates next shot is from.

 

That's the point newtogolf, my mates turn up with a hand me down set of clubs to their local course because that's the one the see when they think of wanting to play, and then everyone expects them to know all of this other stuff outside of putting the white dimpled thing in the hole in as little strokes as possible.

 

They just want to play, they don't know anything else other than go to course with clubs and balls and go hit. That's why these experienced players, rather than being doofheads, could make a difference and help them out to learn the ropes, so that they don't cause these 'problems' supposedly ruining the day of other doofheads in future?

 

Then people like those I know who have been turned off are far more likely to want to play in future. I like the sound of ColeMC's little old lady fans, that's the approach I'd prefer.

 

But, it's my opinion.

post #59 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleur View Post

I know a lot of people that play ocassionally, 100 being the score to beat.

 

I don't know anyone with a membership, or who plays more than once a month.

 

I think for them and me, it is having a young family, so time and money isn't there, couldn't make use of a membership to make it economical.

 

Secondly, my experience with some other groups on the golf course is very poor

I am so happy to have people play through, give them a smile and everything, but I get many stuffy responses, not even any thank yous at times. I don't need my butt kissed, but you know I don't have to ask if you want to play through either. I don't want to pay almost a grand to be associated with crappy people like that, so I'll just play at all the different courses I want, monthly or less, on special deals I find, and leave the exclusive memberships and rank attitude to them...

 

 I know of two other people that have gone to play, but also been harranged by these blokes, and neither want to go play again. They were learning and needed some understanding. But most in golf just expect walk up players to know everything.

 

It seems golfers in general are quite tense, many seem to have little humour on the course, and it's all rush rush rush around, tense tense tense. Thinking about it, grumpy old white men seems to sum up the group I have problems with, any younger guys or ladies in general are always more friendly. Somehow, someone else paying to play on a course, just like they have, and isn't getting in their way, is ruining their day.

 

Their attitude seems to be - OMG, there is someone else on MY COURSE! Whatever, it's not like you get exclusive use. I reason, playing golf is like going on the bus, you can pick the people in your group to travel with, but the rest of the bus could be filled with all manner of different people. So just chill, you'll all get there (for a beer) in the end...

 

It would probably help if the ones with a problem just rolled up and say, hey you don't mind if we go in front do you? And then said THANK YOU.

 

I guess the young ones are the only selfish ones around these days!

 

Just my experience and those of a couple others trying out the game.


My guess is that those that treat like that are wanna be snobs.  I see them around here too.  I often see them at the muni where they are members.  They are all retired and pay like $600/yr for their membership and by God they are going to get their moneys worth.  And don't even think about being near the course between 8-10AM when they think they own the place.  I just laugh them off because it's actually pitiful how elite they think they are.  They have no concept of how real money and real members act at real clubs.

 

Then I see the grumpy old guys that have been lifelong members at semi-privates.  20 years ago their club was the best in the area.  But limited membership and rising expenses made them open it to the public.  Now it's open 7 days a week with limited maintenance and any Joe off the street can walk on with jeans or cut offs.  They've gone from a nice place to a joke and they don't like it, but they also weren't willing to pay up when it counted either.  A buddy and I walked 18 there 2 weeks ago(Feb in Indiana). Those members were allowed out in carts and literally were tearing up their own course with ruts.  Pretty sad.  We too were offered carts and I was shocked they were allowed at all with no cart paths.  But those places will do whatever it takes to make a green fee without regard to long term good of the course.

 

Just take it in stride and don't let them bug you.  I usually only play those places in the winter when I get the bug because the better courses are smart enough to close in the winter.

post #60 of 192

Some of you guys that are having issues with golfers not accepting you should come and play with us at my CC.  I am a member of a CC that is like the working class club.  We probably are considered to be lower than the other CC around, but I don't care.  Everyone I play with is cool, and are more than willing to help each other out.  I will show up and play as a single and everyone I have met so far is cool.  I just referred a member who has a bunch of tatoos, and he is one of the coolest guys I know.  We have a few snobs there but they are in the minority.

 

If I ever play with someone who doesn't know what they are doing I take it upon myself to help them out. 

post #61 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by flintcreek6412 View Post


My guess is that those that treat like that are wanna be snobs.  I see them around here too.  I often see them at the muni where they are members.  They are all retired and pay like $600/yr for their membership and by God they are going to get their moneys worth.  And don't even think about being near the course between 8-10AM when they think they own the place.  I just laugh them off because it's actually pitiful how elite they think they are.  They have no concept of how real money and real members act at real clubs.

 

Then I see the grumpy old guys that have been lifelong members at semi-privates.  20 years ago their club was the best in the area.  But limited membership and rising expenses made them open it to the public.  Now it's open 7 days a week with limited maintenance and any Joe off the street can walk on with jeans or cut offs.  They've gone from a nice place to a joke and they don't like it, but they also weren't willing to pay up when it counted either.  A buddy and I walked 18 there 2 weeks ago(Feb in Indiana). Those members were allowed out in carts and literally were tearing up their own course with ruts.  Pretty sad.  We too were offered carts and I was shocked they were allowed at all with no cart paths.  But those places will do whatever it takes to make a green fee without regard to long term good of the course.

 

Just take it in stride and don't let them bug you.  I usually only play those places in the winter when I get the bug because the better courses are smart enough to close in the winter.

Unfortunately, this seems to describe a lot of semi-private courses I have seen. Dont get me wrong, there are cry babies at the private courses, but I've seen more snobbery and blatant disregard for the course by *members* of semi-privates than by anyone else.

post #62 of 192
A lot of valid reasons. It takes too long to play.younger people with both spouses working don't have the time. And if they both work, the idea the one of them can't take off for 6 hours for a round of golf is just not going to work as in the past when only 1 spouse worked.
A lot of young people spend time in front of computers and do not play sports.

Finally, I once saw statistics that showed the percentage of people who try golf and quit because it is too hard. Or to put it another way, they don't pick up the game and don't have the time, money or interest to engage in the amount or practice required to become decent or even acceptable. Plus, if you do not start golf before you are 20, the time, money and interest required to become decent is much greater. It is like flying. A lot of people take a few flying lessons because they see it is fun. When they learn how much time, study, work and practice is required they drop out.
I have talked many friends into trying golf. Only 1 still plays, 1 time a week at most in The Summer. It is a hard game.
post #63 of 192

Having taken many younger ones to the golf range, I can tell you what I have come to understand.

 

The younger ones are predominantly drawn to that which provides more immediate pleasure. Video games require a few hours to learn and provide dozens of hours of enjoyment each week.  Most haven't hit a golf ball in their life, and those that do feel like losers. They can play video games on the internet and talk to people around the globe - team up with people and play competitively without leaving their dorm room, shared apartment, or parent's house. If they start a game and have a bad start, they just hit restart. They don't walk for hours and suffer through a frustrating round.

 

When they start to hit some balls on the range, they are shocked to drop $6 on a bucket and not feel good about their performance. They grew up getting ribbons and trophies for showing up for soccer games and the like.  In golf they are fully exposed and psychologically unprepared for the rush of feelings when they hit a couple of balls okay and then shank five in a row. 

 

My four children participated in the junior golf program and enjoyed it. But with the economics of the situation, they are/have poured all their finances into college expenses. 

post #64 of 192

Time and money in a changing world...

 

Time:

 

Today, you can rent a movie in 2 minutes by turning on the TV and pressing play.....so many things are on demand....

Huge opportunity cost in giving up 6 hours of your day off - 20 minute drive to and from, 20 minute warm-up, and at least a 5 hour round, and this is best case scenario on a weekend.

Many courses don't enforce a realistic pace of play.

I can hook up with a friend, have lunch, practice for 2 hours at the range (range games, short game challenge), have more fun than a round of golf, no waiting, and do all that in 3 hours (half the time)

Most other sports I can play in half the time, including travel time, and all of them cost less money (basketball, football, tennis, beach volleyball, anything)

 

Money:

 

$40 green fee, $5 range balls, $10 cart, $10 worth of golf balls, $10 for soda/gatoraide/hotdog, $10 fuel......cheap round at $85, and it goes up if you like cold beer....$4 for a can beer.....

Many are underemployed, and even with small increases, the cost of fuel/goods has limited disposable income....$4 gallon of gas, same for a gallon of milk....

Equipment is expensive.....bag, clubs, balls, etc....many of us started the game due to free clubs we got from our father or grandfather.....so there is a definite barrier for folks that have never played.

 

At least 6 hours of my day and $60, all expenses included, for the cheapest round at the closest course......and what happens if I get paid with a couple of idiots, or the round takes 6 hours itself.....I know I'm going to have a great time with my family, or enjoying practice time at the range with my buds, smoking a nice cigar.......

 

The fix:

 

Golf courses have to enforce a 4 hour round, period.....space out the tee times another minute each and enforce a 4 hour rounds......

One rate for morning rounds, discount at 11am, another at 1pm, and another at 3pm....keep the course full and available to different pay scales...

They need to offer a discounted 9 hole rate, say 60% of an 18 hole round....back 9 for early weekend rounds and the same on slower days/afternoons...

Bigger and better kept practice areas.....keep players coming out, even just for practice, and offer refreshments at a both profitable and reasonable price...get that range money....

Offer free lessons once a week on Wednesday afternoons/nights......while helping people get better, also educate them on how to improve pace of play/etiquette...

Throw a club tourney every two months.....encourage players to want to improve and invest in your course and their game...

And a host of other good stuff that their own staff can think of that will build value at a small price...

post #65 of 192

I wanted to click other and say that one of the possible reasons is because equipment is considered obsolete after 6 months and it really is just aggravating to see people waste all their money on the newest stuff every 6 months and then have no money left to even play with the clubs they have bought.

post #66 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I was torn when I created it to allow one or multiple responses.  If everyone thinks multiple answers would be better and Erik can change the setting I'd be fine with it. 

Well the economy question and golf costing too much are the same question.

 

BUT...perhaps the answer is a combination of everything. Time, money, rules, frustration etc.

 

IF golf was free, you would still have the problems of time, rules, frustration....if golf only last half an hour you would still have the cost, rules, frustation factors to deal with so in essence there is no one reason for more people not playing golf.

 

Regards

 

Mailman

post #67 of 192

Do we 'need' for golf to attract more new players, and if so, why?

post #68 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

Do we 'need' for golf to attract more new players, and if so, why?

Of course we need new golfers. Every day we are losing golfers due to age, financial situation or time.

Many courses are close to being not financially viable.

Without new bodies, there will be fewer places to play and costs that will make it prohibitive for more people.
post #69 of 192

In this economy it all comes down to money.

 

I'm grateful there is an Air Force course near where I live that allows civilians to play and is cheap, otherwise I'd have to cut back on my golf. I can't afford $35 green fee, $15 cart fee and all the rest of it at the semi-private courses. The Air Force course charges $15 walking or $23 with a cart. So I walk a lot when it's cooler.

 

I also hope the civilian green fees help keep the course open for the Airmen.

post #70 of 192

My two cents and probably worth less:

 

Golf has a fairly narrow target demographic - white males, upper-middle to upper class income bracket and usually 30+.  Yes, we all know folks who don't fit in this limited demographic who play golf, but I'm talking about the largest majority of current golfers.

 

With the middle-class and baby boom generations shrinking and the increase of minority population - the target demographic is getting smaller at an increasing rate.

 

So, if golf wants to grow, it has to appeal to a wider target demographic.  Nearly all of the items listed in the poll alienate some group in some way.  But, since several of those items dealt with perceived high-cost (time/money) or lack of sufficient resources (time/money) – I'd think those are the items that would result in widening the target demographic the most.

 

How to do that is a different discussion in itself.

post #71 of 192

I dunno, in my neck of the woods, it seems supply and demand are fairly balanced. We had a bunch of new courses built about 20 years ago (I count 6 within a 30 mi radius) and all are still healthy and alive today along with the older established courses. And, getting tee times is still difficult and courses are backed up and it's hard to find a spot on the range. I find myself somtimes wishing golf were not so popular..

post #72 of 192

Perhaps the only solution is to find profitability in cheaper courses. That may mean building fewer upmarket courses spread over huge areas of land surrounding expensive housing developments, and find a way of making money from shorter, cheaper, 9 hole courses instead. Get back to golf for golf's sake, rather than the pre-recession idea of golf as a means for marketing real estate.

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