Jump to content
Papa Steve 55

Does Golf Do Enough to Help Beginners?

42 posts / 1841 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

I was hanging out at the clubhouse yesterday chilling and watching folks on the first tee. A group came in, one guy telling the pro he was teaching a couple friends the game and was now, late afternoon, a good time. Good start I thought. We have three sets of tee's, Blue, white and red. At best they are 10 yards apart on most boxes, usually much less. These guys went to reds, and did what you would expect. But I'm wondering if courses need another set of tee's. Say green for newbies that are 100 yards or more forward? It looked like they hit a few shots then went and played from the experienced players position. Another good move. I have no idea how much range time or lessons they had before coming out or if they were using borrowed clubs, or what the commitment level was. I just wondered if their first time out was a positive one and what can be done to ensure it is, so they can enjoy the game while getting past those early days/months. I wonder if there are any numbers for 'closing the sale' in golf. What % of first timers come back next year, or even the next round?

Start up cost is always going to be a factor, but I think courses have to innovate beyond that to grow the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s nothing that says new players can’t start every hole from the 150 or even 100 yard marker.  A lot of kids programs do just that.  
 

There’s no need to make it any more complicated than that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Some courses have implemented family tees, which tend to be under 220yds or something for every hole.  Op36 has good ideas for progressing.  Beginners/first timers tend to hit range balls first, so courses could have an instructor full time walking the range, talking to people, offering a quick tip or that.  It goes a long way to keeping them coming back and wanting to improve.

There are ton's of player development programs out there. The first step is always about how to attract those that are interested but hesitant.  Pushing the social aspect is just as important as general instruction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Interesting.  I figured that what a new gofer needs most is training wheels.  The people I introduce all seem to get frustrated.  I think you have to be a bit masochistic to take up this sport.  For people who need it on their first round, maybe let them hit off a 5 inch tee on each shot that is not on the green with clubs that have oversized heads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

But I'm wondering if courses need another set of tee's. Say green for newbies that are 100 yards or more forward?

 

1 hour ago, phillyk said:

Some courses have implemented family tees, which tend to be under 220yds or something for every hole.

We have something like that at our muni.  Not on the scorecard and not rated, of course, but marked with flat markers embedded in the fairway of each hole. I think they call them "scoring tees" here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The big problem golf has had is that it isn't easy or cheap for someone to give golf a try on their own.  Maybe a range will have a bucket of loaner clubs, but maybe not. Going out directly on the course alone is a dubious choice that most people wouldn't make.  Investing in clubs or lessons before you even know you enjoy the game is a hard hurdle to overcome.

You almost need a golfing friend to shepherd you into the game.

Maybe this Top Golf stuff will help give people an cheaper and easier way to hit some balls. Perhaps it will whet enough appetites that people will give the real thing a try. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Having only played for half a year, I think a smart move we can make for our friends starting out is to take them to par 3/executive courses. The few in our area are primarily all par 3 with perhaps 1-3 par 4's sprinkled in. A great beginner set up IMHO. I only played about 8-10 rounds last year that were not of the executive length. I must say, I was still quite intimidated on a "regulation course." I can only imagine going to a 6500+ yard course my first time out. 

20 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

Maybe this Top Golf stuff will help give people an cheaper and easier way to hit some balls. Perhaps it will whet enough appetites that people will give the real thing a try. 

 

This. I have taken my daughter and several of her friends as well as my mom to the Top Golf here in Columbus. They have all enjoyed it and expressed interest in trying a round of golf this year. It seems the instant visual feedback and gratification of hitting the ball into a hole that provides yardage/points holds interest. I seriously doubt my 12 year old daughter and friends would last long at a driving range. I'm by no means saying this is a perfect practice facility but one that can help grow the sport by providing an opportunity for many that otherwise would likely never pick up a club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

4 hours ago, David in FL said:

There’s nothing that says new players can’t start every hole from the 150 or even 100 yard marker.  A lot of kids programs do just that.  
 

There’s no need to make it any more complicated than that...

According to industry groups in 2017 the number of golfers 18 to 34 fell over 30% the past 20 years . Business as usual is not working. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if it has anything to do with younger people driving less and the requirement for the most part you need a car to get to a course or range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

44 minutes ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

According to industry groups in 2017 the number of golfers 18 to 34 fell over 30% the past 20 years . Business as usual is not working. 

You missed my point.  You don’t need another set of tees when new golfers can already play from anywhere they want, by any set of rules they want. 
 

I also don’t care about “growing the game” at all.  But that’s a separate topic completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

When I began I didn't care where I teed off or what I shot. I was looking for that 1 shot that would bring me back the next time. I don't really think beginners start off getting down on themselves for shooting a high score.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a set of greenish tees located in front of the red tees about 100 yards or so, not on the score card. I think they are for the kids. Never seen anyone use them, but Im tempted to now to see if my score changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I'm a big believer in par 3 courses for beginners to cut their teef on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

8 hours ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

We have three sets of tee's, Blue, white and red. At best they are 10 yards apart on most boxes, usually much less.

So you have three sets of tees that are, "at best, 10 yards apart" and are "usually much less." Let's assume you've exaggerated, and they're all 15 yards apart. That's only 270 yards over 18 holes, and an absolute maximum of 540 from the shortest to the longest tees. And only if you purposefully misread and inflate your comments.

I find that highly unlikely, unless you play a very short course already, and even then… less than 20 yards from the front tee box to the back on every hole? Really?

Whispering Woods has tees that are 6804, 6475, 6052, 5298, and 4760 yards apart. That's a delta of 329, 423, 754, and 538 yards. Per hole, that's an average of 18+, 23.5, almost 42, and almost 30 yards per hole. 2044 yards from front to back, or almost 115 yards per hole on average.

8 hours ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

But I'm wondering if courses need another set of tee's.

Your course might. Many courses, as others have pointed out, have forward tees. When I was first teaching Natalie, she'd play from wherever my drive went on a particular hole. On par fours, that might be 150 yards out on average. On par threes, she'd play from the forward most tee or the start of the fairway or something.

8 hours ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

I wonder if there are any numbers for 'closing the sale' in golf. What % of first timers come back next year, or even the next round?

Start up cost is always going to be a factor, but I think courses have to innovate beyond that to grow the game.

I think there are a lot of other better ways to introduce golfers to the game.

They should be encouraged to tee up every ball. They should be able to play with larger golf balls and maybe even to a different kind of target on the green - maybe a thing that's attached a few feet up on the flagstick that can be dropped down and the ball is considered "holed" when it hits it. They should get to throw the ball out of any bunkers if they want. Stuff like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I wonder if Topgolf and Drive Shack and the like are bringing a noticeable number of new players to the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, iacas said:

They should get to throw the ball out of any bunkers if they want.

I've seen dudes do that. They say they get a free throw per side. There was a thing a few years ago that I kept reading about that some courses had larger diameter holes, looking like 10 inches or so to help beginners and kids learn the game and enjoy it. I wonder if anyone has seen it on their course. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 minutes ago, snapfade said:

I've seen dudes do that. They say they get a free throw per side. There was a thing a few years ago that I kept reading about that some courses had larger diameter holes, looking like 10 inches or so to help beginners and kids learn the game and enjoy it. I wonder if anyone has seen it on their course. 

Whispering Woods has several big hole tournaments per year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, nevets88 said:

I wonder if Topgolf and Drive Shack and the like are bringing a noticeable number of new players to the game.

Here's an article that might answer that question a little bit. 

https://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/cover_collections/by-some-accounts-golf-is-a-dying-game-but-researchers/article_cf6f431c-4873-11ea-9839-bf164b147ea5.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...