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Hack Golf Initiative - Page 2

post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Not having read the article referenced in the OP,  can someone explain, is this supposed to be played in conjunction with real golf on existing courses, or does it require it's own, dedicated course?

With a different sized hole, it would seem to be the latter.  If that's the case, it seems like the real challenge in executing the concept will be convincing developers that the hack golf concept will make them more money than a standard golf course will.  That's gonna be an uphill battle.

It's not any one thing. Want to have a big hole? Add one. Don't want to? Do other things.
post #20 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


It's not any one thing. Want to have a big hole? Add one. Don't want to? Do other things.

 

On a standard course, giving the players a choice?  That seems to make a lot of sense.  For the life of me, I can't think of anything "bad" or somehow "disrespectful" to the game.  In that scenario, most of the differences between real golf and the game they're playing would be evident to the hack golfers (I'm not sure that term is gonna be a marketing win.....) too.  They could choose (or not) to convert to real golf anytime they like.

 

Needless to say, pace of play, course care, and etiquette need to be attended to just as in real golf.

post #21 of 110

I think we might have gotten bogged down in some specific aspects of this like non-conforming clubs, balls and bigger holes.  That changes the game a good bit.  And I have no opinion on that or weather or not you would 'disrespect' the game by calling it that.  

 

But I've been to that site and those aspects are only a small part of the discussion.  Other things like making the game faster and more affordable are much more prevalent than the big hole idea.  People have ideas for:

 

- how to speed up play on a regular course

- how to simplify the rules a little

- how to make courses less expensive to maintain

- making shorter courses

- promoting 9-hole play

- making courses much easier - which can speed up play and make it more fun

- making 12 hole courses

etc

 

A lot of these ideas can take you from a $65, seven hour experience round trip to something that won't break the bank and won't take basically all day.  This might not only get more people interested who find it cost/time prohibitive, but might take the once/month golfer and make him a once/week golfer.

 

Or - it could fail altogether. But I won't condemn them for talking about it.  It is just to toss ideas around.  And so far, I like some of those ideas.  And have actually been incorporating them at my home course as a matter of behavior.  

 

Sometimes I want to go play a little.  Since I am a member, I get to walk on for free. So if I only have a couple hours, I'll often go and:

Hit a few balls

Walk the first 4 holes

Cut through to the par 3 course

Play the last 4 holes of the par 3 course

Which ends at the parking lot

 

I'm sure it isn't what the course envisioned and I couldn't pull it off if I wasn't a member.  But I have essentially created a short, easy, playable course for myself for when I want to go bat it around a little - but don't have time to get fully involved in a whole round.

 

And I love it.

post #22 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post


I agree, what some people on this thread ( and lurkers) are not getting is there has been over 5 million walk away from this game since 2008,meanwhile other sports have flourished and grown.  On Golfs age back side older players 55+ due to age & badly damaged financials and retirement have greatly impacted them, especially the middle class. More and more are dropping out or at very least playing fewer and fewer times. On the front side 18-30 years, the tiger factor never ever happened, very few schools if any teach golf in gym class- nothing sustainable has worked.  The first tee isn't working and EA sports is not compelling enough to have them try the real thing. This age group has the fewest participants EVER.

 

The middle 31-54 is also in decline, partly due to the recession but more so the game is complicated, strict rules that are misunderstood and rounds that take too long. This is usually a time where careers flourish and family's are started etc

 

I commend Mark King for taking a stand, funding hack golf and drawing attention to a real problem, that is only getting worse as time goes on. His view is to get more people on the course and interested in any golf. Once there maybe some will aspire to play the real game and rules.  I disagree with people that feel its just a way of making money. Hack golf is website for the exchange of ideas of how to promote, better and get people interested in playing & keep playing golf- from people like us. . A very high number of people that walk away for a year- are gone for good.. 

 



Well said, while it might not be for me, it would be nice to have an alternative to introduce younger kids (including my own) to a version closer to the "real" game sooner. I look at it simplisticly, when my now 11 year old started playing basketball they didn't have them playing on a full court with regulation sized nets/balls. Granted, pitch and puts seem to serve that purpose too, but it would be nice if there was something else in between. Would also love to see more 9 hole 3 pars geared specifically to families out there.
post #23 of 110

I see this as a desperation measure for a manufacturer looking to maintain profits during a natural downturn in their industry.  Did they imagine that growth would continue for ever?  That's impossible.  Eventually there has to be a saturation point.  The Tiger boom is primarily responsible for the current position - too many courses built to accommodate a growth phenomenon, and nobody seemed to realize that it was a phenomenon, not a trend.  I don't know if it was hopeful thinking or just poor judgement, but it was never the trend that they thought it was.  It was a lot of fanboys jumping on Tiger's bandwagon, a large percentage of whom were destined to move on to the next fad once the luster wore off.

 

That peak was hit without the necessity of making any changes to the game.  Now that the boom is over and participation is dropping back to where it probably would have been without Tiger's influence, panic is setting in.  Let's change the game to Goofy Golf and get more players again.  Of course those players won't be playing golf.  They won't be interested in golf.  They'll only be interested in whatever weird game this ends up being.  And they will be as quick to desert as the Tiger boomers when something else catches their interest.  

 

This idea will do nothing to help save the current troubled standard courses.  Since one of the supposed reasons for the game's decline is time spent playing, trying to combine both forms on one course can't work.  The real golfers will simply get in the way of the goofy golfers, slowing them to the pace of a normal round.  The two forms are like oil and water - they won't mix.  And can you see the reaction of the fans of real golf if their home course decides to switch over?  What if it's a tax supported muni?  Who do the politicians and bureaucrats want to piss off the least?   

 

There is nothing sympathetic or altruistic about this idea.  It is aimed solely at maintaining or increasing TM's bottom line.  If TaylorMade wants to press this issue, then they need to step up and buy a bankrupt course, modify it for their game, and see if a bunch of non-golfing hacks flock to it.  And see how long they actually stay with it.  I wish them luck with such an experiment.

 

Yes you can call me skeptical.  And disinterested.  :sleep: 

post #24 of 110

The people that I know that gave golf a try and quickly gave it up usually quit because they felt uncomfortable with trying to match the pace of play of other people on the course and felt out of place.

 

It becomes evident very quickly that they are rarely included in the golf outings of better players. I've seen the better players plan such outings right in front of the weaker players, that I knew wanted to participate if asked, only to be ignored as if they weren't there.

 

I was lucky when I started that I was included in a group of people (and good players) that didn't care how badly I played as long as I could keep up, and that was no problem at all because they also knew that the key to that was to always play match play rounds. They didn't have to stand around and watch me try to make double bogeys because I had already picked my ball up before that point.

 

It helped me to not feel like a burden on their game, actually compete with them on the holes I played well, and not go through the disgrace of putting up huge numbers whenever I fell apart on a hole.

post #25 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

I see this as a desperation measure for a manufacturer looking to maintain profits during a natural downturn in their industry.  Did they imagine that growth would continue for ever?  That's impossible.  Eventually there has to be a saturation point.  The Tiger boom is primarily responsible for the current position - too many courses built to accommodate a growth phenomenon, and nobody seemed to realize that it was a phenomenon, not a trend.  I don't know if it was hopeful thinking or just poor judgement, but it was never the trend that they thought it was.  It was a lot of fanboys jumping on Tiger's bandwagon, a large percentage of whom were destined to move on to the next fad once the luster wore off.

 

That peak was hit without the necessity of making any changes to the game.  Now that the boom is over and participation is dropping back to where it probably would have been without Tiger's influence, panic is setting in.  Let's change the game to Goofy Golf and get more players again.  Of course those players won't be playing golf.  They won't be interested in golf.  They'll only be interested in whatever weird game this ends up being.  And they will be as quick to desert as the Tiger boomers when something else catches their interest.

 

This idea will do nothing to help save the current troubled standard courses.  Since one of the supposed reasons for the game's decline is time spent playing, trying to combine both forms on one course can't work.  The real golfers will simply get in the way of the goofy golfers, slowing them to the pace of a normal round.  The two forms are like oil and water - they won't mix.  And can you see the reaction of the fans of real golf if their home course decides to switch over?  What if it's a tax supported muni?  Who do the politicians and bureaucrats want to piss off the least? 

 

There is nothing sympathetic or altruistic about this idea.  It is aimed solely at maintaining or increasing TM's bottom line.  If TaylorMade wants to press this issue, then they need to step up and buy a bankrupt course, modify it for their game, and see if a bunch of non-golfing hacks flock to it.  And see how long they actually stay with it.  I wish them luck with such an experiment.

 

Yes you can call me skeptical.  And disinterested.  :sleep:

 

This is the over-riding question/concern for me too.  If the two forms can somehow coexist on the same course, I can't find any issue with it.  Like you,  I'm not completely sure that they can though......

post #26 of 110
Im fairly new to the game so I still remember how paranoid I was to even set foot on a REAL golf course. The last thing I wanted to do was to hold anyone up or do anything against golf etiquette. Mixing in brand new players on a real course to me is not the answer. Thats a good way to drive away what little real golfers we have left. If my favorite course incorporates this clown golf, I will definitely play elsewhere. It's funny to me that Taylormade wants to hack golf to attract new golfers. I think they themselves are part of the problem with $400 driver releases and silly distance claims every six minutes. I myself dont have the answers, but I doubt that TM has them either.

P.S. I cant wear Cargo Shorts but Im supposed to be ok with a 10-inch cup and clown face to aim through on the green?
post #27 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTheSavage View Post
 
I think they themselves are part of the problem with $400 driver releases and silly distance claims every six minutes. I myself dont have the answers, but I doubt that TM has them either.

P.S. I cant wear Cargo Shorts but Im supposed to be ok with a 10-inch cup and clown face to aim through on the green?

 

This^^  

 

TM and the other manufacturers could go a long way just by offering gear that you could buy without having to take out a second mortgage.  Even 3 or 3 year old used clubs are outrageously priced most places.  Even most members here buy with an eye to resale value, meaning that they get their money's worth out of it, then expect to recoup most of their investment.  A halfway decent rental set will run $25 and up for 18 holes, so that isn't much of an option for someone wanting to have a go at the game.

post #28 of 110

Just read the Gary McCord interview in Golf Mag.  He echoes pretty much what everyone says about the current state of golf:  It costs too much, takes too long and in general, is a very difficult game.

 

That said, ideas like 'short loops' of 5, 6 or nine holes; making the cup larger, extreme oversized clubs and anything else being bandied about doesn't fix the expensive, time-consuming and difficult to master aspects of the game. It's still golf and it's still difficult for the masses to see much success for the time and money investment.

 

To continue to grow golf, passing it along to the younger set (grade-schoolers through HS kids) under normal rules and conditions and for FREE is still the best option, IMO.

 

dave

post #29 of 110

I would much rather see an increase in Pitch & Putt than this rubbish of non-conforming clubs, and a hole the size of a bucket or what-have-you.

 

At least Pitch & Putt is actual golf, played with conforming equipment. It is a great way into the game, especially for juniors.

 

It seems to me it would solve a lot of problems for beginner golfers (it's quick: a 9 hole course with holes no longer than 80 yards is easily walked; it's cheap: a 9 iron or PW and a putter are all you need; it's informal and great for families; it needn't be too difficult - there's no need to set up a Pitch & Putt course with a load of hazards, but fun little courses can still have challenges).

 

It saddens me to read of ideas for "dumbing down" golf, because to my mind, the product of that process isn't golf, whereas Pitch & Putt is golf, reduced in scale.

post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

I see this as a desperation measure for a manufacturer looking to maintain profits during a natural downturn in their industry.  Did they imagine that growth would continue for ever?  That's impossible.  Eventually there has to be a saturation point.  The Tiger boom is primarily responsible for the current position - too many courses built to accommodate a growth phenomenon, and nobody seemed to realize that it was a phenomenon, not a trend.  I don't know if it was hopeful thinking or just poor judgement, but it was never the trend that they thought it was.  It was a lot of fanboys jumping on Tiger's bandwagon, a large percentage of whom were destined to move on to the next fad once the luster wore off.

 

That peak was hit without the necessity of making any changes to the game.  Now that the boom is over and participation is dropping back to where it probably would have been without Tiger's influence, panic is setting in.  Let's change the game to Goofy Golf and get more players again.  Of course those players won't be playing golf.  They won't be interested in golf.  They'll only be interested in whatever weird game this ends up being.  And they will be as quick to desert as the Tiger boomers when something else catches their interest.  

 

This idea will do nothing to help save the current troubled standard courses.  Since one of the supposed reasons for the game's decline is time spent playing, trying to combine both forms on one course can't work.  The real golfers will simply get in the way of the goofy golfers, slowing them to the pace of a normal round.  The two forms are like oil and water - they won't mix.  And can you see the reaction of the fans of real golf if their home course decides to switch over?  What if it's a tax supported muni?  Who do the politicians and bureaucrats want to piss off the least?   

 

There is nothing sympathetic or altruistic about this idea.  It is aimed solely at maintaining or increasing TM's bottom line.  If TaylorMade wants to press this issue, then they need to step up and buy a bankrupt course, modify it for their game, and see if a bunch of non-golfing hacks flock to it.  And see how long they actually stay with it.  I wish them luck with such an experiment.

 

Yes you can call me skeptical.  And disinterested.  :sleep: 

I agree with @Fourputt .  The USGA has started two programs, Play it Forward and While We're Young, to address issues with difficulty and pace of play.  These are two of the reasons that may have contributed to the decline as some articles suggest. We haven't even given them time to work.  Play it Forward is ideal for reducing difficulty IMO.  Some courses need to add more forward tees for woman and seniors.  Woman are half the population and a huge growth opportunity.  

 

One of my local courses is starting to do this.  On some par 3 holes, my wife would have to use a driver to my 7 iron, and I am not a long hitter.  They are adding more tees to make the club choice more even and reduce difficulty.  This is the key to adding woman to the game.  And marketing toward women is almost negligible.

 

I believe there are more reasons for decline, like economics and the explosion of many new sports in the last 20 years.  Adding a new way to play with different equipment will hinder more than help IMO.

post #31 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

I agree with @Fourputt
 .  The USGA has started two programs, Play it Forward and While We're Young, to address issues with difficulty and pace of play.  These are two of the reasons that may have contributed to the decline as some articles suggest. We haven't even given them time to work.  Play it Forward is ideal for reducing difficulty IMO.  Some courses need to add more forward tees for woman and seniors.  Woman are half the population and a huge growth opportunity.  

One of my local courses is starting to do this.  On some par 3 holes, my wife would have to use a driver to my 7 iron, and I am not a long hitter.  They are adding more tees to make the club choice more even and reduce difficulty.  This is the key to adding woman to the game.  And marketing toward women is almost negligible.

I believe there are more reasons for decline, like economics and the explosion of many new sports in the last 20 years.  Adding a new way to play with different equipment will hinder more than help IMO.

Both of those iniatives are for existing golfers, four putt on the other hand is terribly misinformed on his assessment of the games & status, your club on the other hand should be commended for its efforts.

There isn't a great CEO of any company in America that does not look out for its long term growth......why that is considered bad to some people, consumers at that is beyond my comprehension. Is this an occupy wall street mentality????
post #32 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post

Both of those iniatives are for existing golfers, four putt on the other hand is terribly misinformed on his assessment of the games & status, your club on the other hand should be commended for its efforts.

There isn't a great CEO of any company in America that does not look out for its long term growth......why that is considered bad to some people, consumers at that is beyond my comprehension. Is this an occupy wall street mentality????

Well... That's the first time I've seen the golfer with traditional views being referred to as the 99%....

How about this, let's assume:
Golf = Wall Street
I don't want TM buying up Wall Street and turning it into a street of oversized and non conforming strip joints. It would ruin a beautiful street.

I am a golf fan not a TM shareholder, the CEO is perfectly entitled to do whatever he wants to maximise revenue/profits... But I'd like to think its ok to voice concerns over the game being bastardised... As I see this "idea" potentially doing to the game.
post #33 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

I see this as a desperation measure for a manufacturer looking to maintain profits during a natural downturn in their industry.

 

Yes, by giving $5M to the project, they're clearly just being greedy. Dude, let me clue you in: golf is in a decline. It takes too long, is too difficult, and costs a lot. People won't play "GOLF-with-a-capital-G" is they don't get interested in the game to begin with.

 

Does TaylorMade likely expect to get something out of it in the end? Yeah, but it's not the top goal. Probably not the top five.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Eventually there has to be a saturation point. 

 

Golf is in a DECLINE. So by definition we're somewhere BELOW the saturation point.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

It was a lot of fanboys jumping on Tiger's bandwagon, a large percentage of whom were destined to move on to the next fad once the luster wore off.

 

You're over-stating the importance of Tiger on the small growth of the game in the 80s and 90s.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Let's change the game to Goofy Golf and get more players again.

 

They're not suggesting you change the game. They're simply proposing ways to get NEW players INTERESTED, as if they stick with it they'll eventually convert over to your version of "golf."

 

Rick, to get my kid interested, we let her throw the ball, we let her stop playing whenever she wanted, we let her re-do shots, whatever the heck we had to do to make sure she had fun ON a golf course. This is like that, but for people who aren't my kid.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

Of course those players won't be playing golf.  They won't be interested in golf.  They'll only be interested in whatever weird game this ends up being.

 

:doh:

 

My kid, btw, won both of the tournaments last year, and pointed out how many of the girls against which she was competing didn't know the Rules.

 

Seriously, Rick, couldn't disagree with your take on this much more than I already do. But you go on and keep playing the grumpy old man card. :-D

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

The two forms are like oil and water - they won't mix.

 

My daughter and wife played "goofy golf" alongside me for a few years. Right there in the same group!

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

There is nothing sympathetic or altruistic about this idea.  It is aimed solely at maintaining or increasing TM's bottom line.

 

It's awfully easy to have such a cynical viewpoint.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post
 

I would much rather see an increase in Pitch & Putt than this rubbish of non-conforming clubs, and a hole the size of a bucket or what-have-you.

 

Pitch and putt courses have a LOT of the expenses of normal courses. The greens are expensive. The tees are expensive. The fairways aren't terribly expensive, and that's what's removed - you still have the expensive parts to maintain. That's why most short courses don't last long.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post
 

At least Pitch & Putt is actual golf, played with conforming equipment. It is a great way into the game, especially for juniors.

 

I think that the point remains: whiffing and taking a 12 on a 90-yard hole isn't terribly fun either.

 

For those and other reasons, Pitch & Putt courses are not the "solution" IMO.

 


 

I guess I'm in the minority on this one. That's really disappointing. I love golf and want to introduce it to many people. If someone's enjoying a game like golf on a golf course, cool. That's great.

 

"But it's not real golf!!!" Seriously?

post #34 of 110

I would be awfully surprised if this idea didn't meet the resistance being exhibited here.

 

I'm ok with it as long as it doesn't affect the game I play (I can't imagine how it would), but I'm a little worried it would lead to more crowded course after these "goofy golfers" become "real golfers". Based on the traffic I see on courses I play, I wouldn't have guess golf was in a decline. Don't mind me tho, I'm just a selfish somebody.

post #35 of 110

The quicker a novice or new golfer hits the ball in the air, the more likely they are to stick with it. Nobody is going to stick with a game when they are missing the ball and dribbling it along the ground.

 

When I learn't golf, I was forced to tee up on all shots, not by choice, it was the clubs policy that ALL social players tee up ( a social player is anyone who is not a member or not playing in a competition, 90% of golf played by members is played in a competition or tournament in Australia).

 

I really think if this rule was more widely adopted, the new golfer would experience the "light bulb" moment (a sweet shot in the air) far quicker and would be more likely to stick with the game. 

post #36 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

The quicker a novice or new golfer hits the ball in the air, the more likely they are to stick with it. Nobody is going to stick with a game when they are missing the ball and dribbling it along the ground.

 

When I learn't golf, I was forced to tee up on all shots, not by choice, it was the clubs policy that ALL social players tee up ( a social player is anyone who is not a member or not playing in a competition, 90% of golf played by members is played in a competition or tournament in Australia).

 

I really think if this rule was more widely adopted, the new golfer would experience the "light bulb" moment (a sweet shot in the air) far quicker and would be more likely to stick with the game. 


I agree with you. Partly because I work at a course and more play benefits me and partly because I just don't want to see any more courses shut down.

 

Courses in this area are hanging on by a thin thread. If it weren't for the fact that most beginners, and some of the team choose up games, play what is called in this thread a "bastardized" version of golf most of them would quit the game.

 

When they adopt "special rules" for their friendly games that include improving lies, considering OB as a lateral hazard, and a double bogey limit they aren't doing it to try to cheat anybody because they are all playing by the same rules. None of them are keeping a handicap anyway. Most people around here don't even think about getting an official handicap until they start playing well enough to think about traveling around and playing in some tournaments. Once they get to that level they start playing by the rules of golf.

 

I even think that we might get a little bit more play in the winter if we furnished pieces of carpet to hit the ball of. I've talked to several people lately away from the course that said they simply weren't going to play anymore until the grass turned green because it's too hard to play off of the wet dormant Bermuda.

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