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Hack Golf Initiative - Page 6

post #91 of 114

I kind of agree with the ball idea as well. Don't know if a ball is the actual solution, but just the idea of less skilled players being able to play at a similar pace as the regular players. What drives my wife away from the game, and many beginners for that matter, is that they can't keep up with the regular golfers. When it takes my wife 6 or 7 shots to reach the green on a par 4, she gets discouraged and feels like she's holding me up. I don't mind it because I enjoy playing with her, but she always feels like she's holding me back. It takes away from the experience to move her 150 or 200 yards to begin the hole though because now she feels like she has to cheat to be able to play.

post #92 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
 

I kind of agree with the ball idea as well. Don't know if a ball is the actual solution, but just the idea of less skilled players being able to play at a similar pace as the regular players. What drives my wife away from the game, and many beginners for that matter, is that they can't keep up with the regular golfers. When it takes my wife 6 or 7 shots to reach the green on a par 4, she gets discouraged and feels like she's holding me up. I don't mind it because I enjoy playing with her, but she always feels like she's holding me back. It takes away from the experience to move her 150 or 200 yards to begin the hole though because now she feels like she has to cheat to be able to play.


We used to play one uphill par 5 that my wife always referred to as "that par 10". :-D 

post #93 of 114

there will always be different skill levels and I would assume that you would still be better and faster  even with bigger holes and balls.

post #94 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisMiller View Post
 

 

An argument I believe might work to save time for players on the course and owners money to boot is to eliminate a lot of sand traps. Sand isn't cheap and poorly built bunkers that get rock hard are time wasters. Proponents of this idea claim people take longer to settle in and swing because they don't know what to do in a hard bunker. When they blade the ball 100 yards across the green, the walk to their ball and another shot takes more time than if they took 2 or 3 to get out of a well maintained bunker... BUT... if a bunker was elimated and what remained was a grass bunker with the depression in the ground, a bunker lip, maybe some deeper grass in it... That's a pretty challenging hazard for most people and could be played faster, maintained faster and cheaper, but still provide definition to the green as a target.

 

I could go on and on...

That is the direction a lot of courses around this area are taking. More and more former sand bunkers are now grass bunkers.

 

If I could snap my fingers and invent one thing that I think would make the game more enjoyable for relatively new golfers (like my wife) it would be to come up with a special golf ball that would go farther and straighter so they could play along with better golfers more equally. The most frustrating things for my wife at first were holes where she had absolutely no chance to reach in regulation and sometimes even in a shot over regulation.

 

I don't know if such a ball could be invented but I'm sure my wife, and lots of other beginners, would use them. Another benefit would be that many of the better golfers that I know (that currently don't want to, and will not, play with beginners) might not mind as much if the beginners could keep up a little better.

 

Maybe even a progressive series of golf balls for different skill levels?

 

Not all grass bunkers are created equal (actually bunker is a misnomer - the only bunkers recognized by the rules do not have grass in them).  My home course has converted a couple of bunkers which were tagged with adding to the time required to play their respective holes.  One of them (a fairway bunker on a longish par 4) might have actually helped the pace on the hole by planting it with grass. 

 

The other one has actually done the opposite.  It's a greenside bunker on the most reachable par 5, and the grass has been left long enough (about 6" and thick and matted) that you can actually lose your ball in it even when you know that the ball is in there.  Then playing a shot from it when you do find the ball is more difficult than it would be from a real bunker.  A lot of balls end up in this grass depression (just short and right of the green) because the natural slope and the left to right curve of the hole of the hole tends to funnel shots down into it.  Players who aren't familiar with the course tend to hit it there more often because they are playing away from the quite visible sand bunkers on the left side of the green.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
 

I kind of agree with the ball idea as well. Don't know if a ball is the actual solution, but just the idea of less skilled players being able to play at a similar pace as the regular players. What drives my wife away from the game, and many beginners for that matter, is that they can't keep up with the regular golfers. When it takes my wife 6 or 7 shots to reach the green on a par 4, she gets discouraged and feels like she's holding me up. I don't mind it because I enjoy playing with her, but she always feels like she's holding me back. It takes away from the experience to move her 150 or 200 yards to begin the hole though because now she feels like she has to cheat to be able to play.


We used to play one uphill par 5 that my wife always referred to as "that par 10". :-D 

 

My wife hates par 5 holes, because even from the forward tees they seem to stretch to infinity for her.  She takes a lot of strokes (averages 110-120 for 18 holes), but she still keeps up because she doesn't take much time to play each one.  She is also not above picking up, or dropping on the green side of a hazard when it gets too frustrating.  She loves playing at her Dad's 9 hole rural course in northeastern Colorado because there is only one water hazard and no bunkers.  

post #95 of 114

The "Green" Tees that a few courses are offering is a great solution for beginners, very short hitters, and young golfers.  It offers a legitimate tee box and a player feels like they are really playing the game.  I played a few rounds with my 8 year old grandson and there is no way he was going to tee it up in the middle of the fairway 150 yards out, so he played from the red (ladies).  He did surprisingly well on some holes but would have been more comfortable if green tees were provided with some 180 yard par 4's or 280 yard par 5's.  

 

There is no reason to use special balls, add larger holes, or non-conforming clubs.  Stick to the rules of golf and play the tees (including greens) that allow you to play at a good pace and get some satisfaction knowing you are playing golf.

post #96 of 114
Playing from the green tees on my home course is actually a lot of fun. If you are a better golfer all of a sudden you have things like hybrids to par 4 greens and tricky shots on some par3s. Get out there and play them with new people to bring them into the game!
post #97 of 114
Quote:
If I could snap my fingers and invent one thing that I think would make the game more enjoyable for relatively new golfers (like my wife) it would be to come up with a special golf ball that would go farther and straighter so they could play along with better golfers more equally.

 

I thought a non-conforming ball like that had been invented, to some extent, and is now readily available?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/sports/golf/10ball.html?_r=0

 

 

I've never hit one (although I'd like to, just once, to see what they are like, but I could never bring myself to buy one - and I've never found one on the course, perhaps for obvious reasons).

 

From what I've read, though, they do actually work, if your desire is for a ball that is nigh on impossible to slice.

post #98 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJpatbee View Post
 

The "Green" Tees that a few courses are offering is a great solution for beginners, very short hitters, and young golfers.  It offers a legitimate tee box and a player feels like they are really playing the game.  I played a few rounds with my 8 year old grandson and there is no way he was going to tee it up in the middle of the fairway 150 yards out, so he played from the red (ladies).  He did surprisingly well on some holes but would have been more comfortable if green tees were provided with some 180 yard par 4's or 280 yard par 5's.  

 

There is no reason to use special balls, add larger holes, or non-conforming clubs.  Stick to the rules of golf and play the tees (including greens) that allow you to play at a good pace and get some satisfaction knowing you are playing golf.


 I agree with you 100%!

 

Maybe I'm just lucky where I live but there are so many options for beginners in my area with par3 and executive courses. I often wonder why some people drag their beginner kids/wives/buddies out to a regulation course when there are so many other options available,(again, at least in my area)! My son started out on these short courses at age 5 and played on them for 3 years before he was able to hit the ball far enough to comfortably handle a regulation course. 

    Maybe there are some that don't want to play these pitch and putt courses with their beginner associates, but I'll say I had a blast taking my son to these places and got a lot of good wedge practice in during those 3 years.

 

People should really think and research their area before they just take a beginner out to their home course. Odds are there are a lot better options out there for a beginner and if there isn't, there's nothing stopping you from letting them tee off at the 200 or 150 markers to make everyone's experience more enjoyable. There's no need to turn golf into "Goofy Golf" when there are better options.

 

I'm not a skier but have many friends that are. I've talked about giving it a try and have been out to the beginner slope and it looks like something I could handle. They have shown me pictures of some of the "Double Black" slopes they have skied and my thought is there is no f*@%$ way I'm getting up on that thing. Well, although golf doesn't have the same fear factor as skiing, it's still the same when you take beginners out to a 6200-7000 yard course is a "Double Black" slope to them!

post #99 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker0065 View Post


 I agree with you 100%!

Maybe I'm just lucky where I live but there are so many options for beginners in my area with par3 and executive courses. I often wonder why some people drag their beginner kids/wives/buddies out to a regulation course when there are so many other options available,(again, at least in my area)! My son started out on these short courses at age 5 and played on them for 3 years before he was able to hit the ball far enough to comfortably handle a regulation course. 
    Maybe there are some that don't want to play these pitch and putt courses with their beginner associates, but I'll say I had a blast taking my son to these places and got a lot of good wedge practice in during those 3 years.

People should really think and research their area before they just take a beginner out to their home course. Odds are there are a lot better options out there for a beginner and if there isn't, there's nothing stopping you from letting them tee off at the 200 or 150 markers to make everyone's experience more enjoyable. There's no need to turn golf into "Goofy Golf" when there are better options.

I'm not a skier but have many friends that are. I've talked about giving it a try and have been out to the beginner slope and it looks like something I could handle. They have shown me pictures of some of the "Double Black" slopes they have skied and my thought is there is no f*@%$ way I'm getting up on that thing. Well, although golf doesn't have the same fear factor as skiing, it's still the same when you take beginners out to a 6200-7000 yard course is a "Double Black" slope to them!


After 6 pages of discussions about how to attract non golfers to either play a golf course or play a version of golf, I am curious what are your better options are that you mentioned. The over sized hole brought up by hack golf, was an idea to make the game easier, it was not inclusive of changing the hole game to silly golf- one might think of it as opening up to all ideas. I happen to think if there was a grass roots attempt of teach golf in every gym class, including non traditional golf exercises and games (think big break glass breaking) could be an idea to spark some interest. But taking a kid to a PGA instructor at 40 bucks and hour I believe is part of the problem. Take snowboarding or skiing as an example, you go to one mountain big or small and their is an army of instructors with a plan to make it fun to learn. IMO I don't believe you get that experience at club.

Fact 13-25 years old playing golf or being introduced to golf is at an all time low.
25-54 is declining, 55+ is declining due to financial situations, death etc.
Women playing golf is improving, mostly college educated 35 years +business women.
post #100 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

... I was thinking that courses could get more people into the game by making it more affordable.  I like this aspect. But growing the market and it becoming more expensive will price me out of the game.

 

In many areas of the USA, golf courses have significant excess capacity. That means several foursome slots go unused each day, at most of the courses.

 

A veteran pro who works for Walters Golf Management told me how things are different now than circa 1998, when he started working at an upscale semi-private course. Back then, greens fees were $75 a player at full price. He said all day long he ran credit cards putting $300 foursomes onto the course. He said you might have one tee-off time an hour that was vacant.

 

Now, he says that between the Recession and over-capacity, it's $45 a person or $180 a foursome, and half the tee-off slots are open. So, the courses are missing out on some serious money.

 

This means you can grow the market quite a bit without running out of time slots for people to play in. The courses likely would keep prices fairly steady to keep filling up the excess time slots.

 

If St. Louis area courses suddenly ran short of tee-off times, then the prices might go up due to insufficient capacity for golf rounds. (market scarcity)

 

I suspect that in the next few years, even with a rebound in the economy and more people playing golf, you will have a shakeout. That means owners will close down the marginal courses. Candidates for closure include those courses which had design problems that would be costly to fix, or which would make owners more $$ as a housing development or an industrial park. 

post #101 of 114
That is very optimistic, but the truth of the matter is although there are more golf courses in you area, there are fewer and fewer golfers. The data supports fewer rounds played and fewer golfers that play more than 6-10 times per year and lots of golfers that just don't play at all anymore and fewer playing for the first time.


There will be more closings than openings next year. Most courses relied on a business model for so many rounds at a certain price per round in order to be profitable. Rounds are drastically down despite great fall weather conditions nationally. Even if Economic uncertainty were to turn positive, there still isn't enough golfers or interest in the pipeline to recover and support many of the courses built.
post #102 of 114

I think that players have also made their own bed to some extent.  It wasn't all that long ago when a public course didn't have to be pristine to get good reviews and to provide an enjoyable round of golf.  This era of fairways cut to what used to be green height and greens that roll like billiard felt has increased costs for maintenance, and that just jacks the price for per round.  If players would settle for some brown spots instead of this uniform green, costs for the courses could be reduced.  I don't have any numbers, but cutting the number of mowings in half, and reducing the amount of irrigation would have to cut costs.  

 

Amateurs have allowed themselves to become spoiled, and it seems that they would rather see a course closed than, God forbid, have to play from a brown spot in the fairway. :blink: 

post #103 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

I think that players have also made their own bed to some extent.  It wasn't all that long ago when a public course didn't have to be pristine to get good reviews and to provide an enjoyable round of golf.  This era of fairways cut to what used to be green height and greens that roll like billiard felt has increased costs for maintenance, and that just jacks the price for per round.  If players would settle for some brown spots instead of this uniform green, costs for the courses could be reduced.  I don't have any numbers, but cutting the number of mowings in half, and reducing the amount of irrigation would have to cut costs.  

 

Amateurs have allowed themselves to become spoiled, and it seems that they would rather see a course closed than, God forbid, have to play from a brown spot in the fairway. :blink: 


Or the courses should just close?

post #104 of 114
One suggestion I'd have is that courses add par three tees... Charge less for the par three course. Also a similar thought is charge more for the longer tees, it would discourage people from playing over their skill.
post #105 of 114
I was playing with someone yesterday who was mentoring a kid he knew from his building in golf. Showing him around the course and also a little bit about the different facets of the game. Maybe something good to do to grow the game would be a mentoring program at clubs where established golfers play 3-4 times with people who want to know about the game but see a barrier.

I like the initiative to create a golfer it his year from this site. This would be a way for people who express an interest to help out.
post #106 of 114
Merged into an existing thread.
post #107 of 114

Are these the same guys with the 15 inch cups to make putting easier?  Pretty ridiculous imo.  I was even joking about this with a guy in my group yesterday, the majority of most people's problems are probably everywhere before the green.

post #108 of 114

Costs is number one people will play more rounds and stay with golf if they can afford it. It is easier to retain golfers if they can afford to play at least once a week. Course set up is number two and also helps with cost, no one likes to have to buy a dozen balls every week to play because of water carry's or rough so high you cant find your ball. also greens so fast and holes set up on slopes so that all missed putts end up off the greens is also a big turn off. Unfriendly golfers most people avoid places where they feel unwanted. How about special times and prices advertised for beginners that stress to the better golfers they can take advantage of them too just don't be asses. Dress code I have seen acceptable plaid pants that I think are god ugly on courses that don't allow very nice cargo shorts what looks nice is a matter of opinion. I think as long as clothes are not dirty, torn, cut off or have obnoxious sayings on them any thing else is fair game. Another big one is make the rules simpler. 

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