Originally Posted by turtleback
But length is relative. In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb. It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game. Cost and time.
And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas. Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.
One, golf would still be as difficult, because if you tone back the equipment, then the golf courses will get smaller, but your distances would still make it difficult, its all relative. This being said, you can't assume time of play will significantly speed up.
Lets say your able to cut down walking distance by 1000 yards. I am not saying golf course length, i am saying walking to each shot and off the 18th green. Your looking at 3000 feet less, at an average walking speed o 4.5 feet per second (pretty typical), your looking at saving about 12 minutes of golfing, not that significant.
Golf has always been expensive. Golf clubs really haven't changed prices in the past decade. Drivers are still 250-400 dollars, and irons sets are still 600-1200 dollars. Golf balls are still maxing out around 50 bucks per dozen. Golf lessons are still 45-60 bucks per half an hour. Nothing has really changed at all.
Building a golf course, lets say your looking at 3 million, USGA says 1.5-4 million. Most courses peak out at what, 6800 yards. I don't see to many 7000+ public golf courses. If that, the usually add a tee box to some holes, which isn't that costly. That's 441 dollars per yard. Lets say they do scale back and the golf courses become maxed out at 6400 yards. Your looking at 175,000 out of 3 million. 5-6% reduction in building cost. Heck, on a project like that, your contingency money to build is probably 10-20% the construction cost. That really isn't that significant.