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Why isn't golf attracting more new players?


newtogolf
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  1. 1. What's the major reason golf isn't attracting many new players

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


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Originally Posted by supoffset

I try to tee off at 530 AM just to avoid the endless waiting after every shot! I am done and home by 10 or 1030 and gives me plenty of time for other things!

Even in the dead of summer, I can't get out before about 6:15 or so.........unless we're playing with glow in the dark balls!

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Okay one more reply and hopefully i will make some sense. i used golfnow on a couple of courses one in my area and when i went to long island played Dougleston. when i use it here its at a country club they offer 1 tee time, well you get stuck between 2 tourneys you could be teeing off the lo behold here comes a foursome out of the wood work 1 behind and 1 in front, wtf now you start slow play, i tried booking this way several times with the same result i wont do that again. of course at Dougleston no body was out there except me and an Asian four some (story in its self). as financial stand point of the courses, don't let it get in bad shape, what happens, they have to dump a lot of financial resources all at once and then they have cash flow problems, no monies in the bank when they need it, hell keeping up with the irrigation systems would help, get the lazy ass grounds people to do something instead of goofing off (management problem) plus some of the courses have huge club houses that put a drain on the resources(those have chefs on staff, huge banquet rooms they can hardly keeped booked) for experience golfers helping out duffers, don't want to ruffle feathers but get out of your comfort zone, be a teacher if you go out with one or two duffers throw you inhibitions away for the day "teach" or try to, some guys are to stuffy to reach out to newbies. when i first went out i played with an old leather ass old man that probably has a 10 hcp if not less, after duffing, swinging my ass off  and not even close to the green he said lets pick up and move along, hell i took no offense because i knew i sucked, but he mentioned a couple of pointers during the round and i thanked him for a good time. that particular time it  did not discourage me from continuing with this game.

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Originally Posted by el shanko

Okay one more reply and hopefully i will make some sense. i used golfnow on a couple of courses one in my area and when i went to long island played Dougleston. when i use it here its at a country club they offer 1 tee time, well you get stuck between 2 tourneys you could be teeing off the lo behold here comes a foursome out of the wood work 1 behind and 1 in front, wtf now you start slow play, i tried booking this way several times with the same result i wont do that again. of course at Dougleston no body was out there except me and an Asian four some (story in its self). as financial stand point of the courses, don't let it get in bad shape, what happens, they have to dump a lot of financial resources all at once and then they have cash flow problems, no monies in the bank when they need it, hell keeping up with the irrigation systems would help, get the lazy ass grounds people to do something instead of goofing off (management problem) plus some of the courses have huge club houses that put a drain on the resources(those have chefs on staff, huge banquet rooms they can hardly keeped booked) for experience golfers helping out duffers, don't want to ruffle feathers but get out of your comfort zone, be a teacher if you go out with one or two duffers throw you inhibitions away for the day "teach" or try to, some guys are to stuffy to reach out to newbies. when i first went out i played with an old leather ass old man that probably has a 10 hcp if not less, after duffing, swinging my ass off  and not even close to the green he said lets pick up and move along, hell i took no offense because i knew i sucked, but he mentioned a couple of pointers during the round and i thanked him for a good time. that particular time it  did not discourage me from continuing with this game.

Sorry I couldn't make it past the 'Asian four some' part.

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Originally Posted by dak4n6

Sorry I couldn't make it past the 'Asian four some' part.

only offering my opinion brother. that foursome they would bust ass down the fairway but once they hit the green i took for ever to putt out, i was waiting on a par 3 it was an elevated tee box no wind break (wind kicking 20 plus at 30 ish degrees) freezing my ass off, waiting on those guy, seems like a few coins was at stake. but talk about some type of slow play....that was slow and i had my son who has never played golf, playing with me and we was slow. get your mind out of the gutter dak J/K

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Originally Posted by el shanko

Quote:

Originally Posted by dak4n6

Sorry I couldn't make it past the 'Asian four some' part.

only offering my opinion brother. that foursome they would bust ass down the fairway but once they hit the green i took for ever to putt out, i was waiting on a par 3 it was an elevated tee box no wind break (wind kicking 20 plus at 30 ish degrees) freezing my ass off, waiting on those guy, seems like a few coins was at stake. but talk about some type of slow play....that was slow and i had my son who has never played golf, playing with me and we was slow. get your mind out of the gutter dak J/K

I was actually referring to my inability to plow through your sea of words, but now that you mention it, how does the fact that they were Asian have any relevancy to anything? And, get my mind out of the gutter???

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never mind then continue on, this why some people dont post because of the turn off "Plowing through words", sorry that my mind does not translate to my fingers as some of you find very easy to do, as in the ending a mention "J/K"  just kidding.  o well another stuffy forum by by.

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in my experience golfnow is the exact same price as what the course offers. This is in the Phoenix area. Golfnow may have started as a way to offer discount rates and/or it may still be that way in other areas, but pretty much every public course is on there in/around Phoenix and the prices are pretty much exactly what you'd pay at the course. Actually one course (imo) is smart and charges a slightly higher rate on golfnow than it has listed on its website.

Also, I highly doubt golfnow is taking $20 of your $25 tee time. More like golfnow takes 10% max and really probably a set fee of $3 or less. Courses would never sign up otherwise b/c it'd be cheaper to advertise on tv/radio/billboards etc. I agree golfnow is a great tool, but it's still all about the golf course.

edit Golfnow shows these as "discount rates" but this discount is off of the astronomical winter rack rate in Phoenix. I'm not sure if other areas of the country have such staggering differences in greens fees between fall/winter/spring and summer.

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The courses set the price for golfnow, it can be whatever they want. Here it ranges from being the same as walking in to deep discounts at offpeak times to specials that include carts and lunch. Most if not all of the big discounts in this area are offered by courses that are out of the way. We have some very nice courses that just don't bring in the people because they are too far from the metro area. Even the far out courses not using GN are affordable compared to the metro courses, especially after 1PM when all they see after that is locals. I play a great course about 20 minutes from home that offers $22/18 hole rates with GPS carts after 4PM on GN.

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I'm late to the thread, so my apologies if this has been covered...

I voted "too difficult", but I really think it's a combination of too difficult, too expensive, and takes too long.  If the game was easier, and beginners were quicker to hit those satisfying shots that make us addicts, then I could see them finding a way to justify the cost and the time away from family.  But, golf is pretty frustrating to learn, and the newbie usually has to spend time really learning the game to get to the point where the financial and time costs are justified by the enjoyment returned...

For example, I work in a field (medicine, anesthesia to be precise) that traditionally has a large number of golfers.  I can't think of another golfer under the age of 50 in my work circle of colleagues (an OR staff of about 50 anesthesiologists and around 100 surgeons, plus many nurses and techs that are potential golfers).    Plenty of older guys golf, but most of the younger guys are into cycling, tennis, running, adult basketball or soccer leagues.  These are all sports where they can quickly do their thing after work or on a weekend morning, then still be home to get the kids/wife to whatever activity it is that day.  I can think of maybe 3 or 4 guys that have tried to pick up the game, only to quit after their first year.  The reason?  They had more fun doing other things that they could excel at with less practice.  They had fun golfing, but not ENOUGH fun to justify the time, and they didn't see themselves having the time to practice and get to the point where every round was worth finding a way to make the free time.

Similarly, if I make the argument that joining a club would reduce the time obstacle (generally faster rounds vs. public courses, and free access to practice facilities), the money obstacle takes over.  Not enough disposable income to justify anywhere from $6k to $15k/year (at least in our area), on a sport that they aren't fully committed to (yet).

Oddly, I know about 6 guys, all under 40, that grew up golfing (via parents at a country club), and at one point in their life were pretty good at it.  They are now successful in their careers, have the disposable income, enjoy the game, but just don't have the time to play regularly.  Wives, kids, career, etc...

I'm fortunate enough to have some financial flexibility and a supportive wife, but I see a day in the next few years, as the kids' activities increase, that my rounds per year will go WAY down.  Then, if I'm only playing 5-10x per year, giving it up completely isn't that far off.  Golf is incredibly fun when you're playing well.  Hacking your way through a case of balls over 6 hours?  No thanks...

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I work with mostly 20 year olds and the reason they have no attraction to play golf is the time. Most people these days can't spend 5 hours away from their phones, computers, TV, or what  have you. The cost will always be an issue. Some people can't see spending $1000 for clubs, bag, balls and so on. But, it is so easy to buy used these days. My first set was used. I got everything for $200 at most. I used those for a year before I saved enough for a proper set. I sold those and went back to used clubs, but they are nice.  My wife bought me a new bag last year, and Dick's always has nice deals. So, with patience, you can get into golf pretty cheap.

It is a tough game, no doubt, but if you do not have the time to devote to golf, you will not be any good at it. So, it being a tough game to me flls back on not having tme.

Rules too complicated; well they can be. But, you can still go out on a cheap public course and just count your strokes. If I lose a ball, drop and continue. If you are out there having fun...I do not see the issue with worrying about all the rules. I am sure some here does nt like this, but my playing partner uses his foot often in a round. Let him have fun...I will count all my strokes. And at the end of the day, I know who won.

The amount of location to play/practice can be an issue, but I grew up in Boca Raton and now live in San Antonio. BR is nearly half golf courses, and SA has a TON of public courses that you can play for less that $50...and a few are really nice.

Anyways, I think the biggset deterance is time. I  love golf, but sometimes I am too busy to play. I would love to be able to play golf at night.

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When I was a kid (20-25 years ago), and told people I played golf-the response from my peers usually ranged between teasing and derogatory digs .  'Do you wear plaid pants too'? Brilliant.  Then Tiger came along and made it cool.  This brought in a huge influx of new players, many of whom thought they could just practice their way onto the tour.  I can't tell you how many times I hear people say that if they could practice like a tour pro-they could play at least scratch golf.  My response now is usually: 'you played organized hockey from ages 5-19, why didn't you make the NHL'?  My point being-all these new players found out golf is damn hard and expensive and are slowly leaving the game.  Am I a bad person, if this doesn't bother me in the least?

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Since I set up the poll, I've spent more time talking to people I know that don't play and asked them why.  The responses have been interesting in that I didn't anticipate some or the combinations of reasons they gave.  Here are a few of more unique responses;

  • Why would I want to sit out in the hot sun, sweat and chase a little ball all over a course just to knock it into 18 little cups?
  • It's too much of a commitment, 9 or 18 holes takes too long to play, I might try it if I could just go play a few holes and go home.
  • What's fun about golf, don't you spend more time waiting than playing?
  • It looks boring on television and old men play it so how tough can it be?
  • It's too expensive, don't golf clubs cost like $2500?
  • I thought you had to belong to a country club and be rich to play

It's interesting that here in NY there are so many misconceptions about the game and the costs associated with playing it.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Since I set up the poll, I've spent more time talking to people I know that don't play and asked them why.  The responses have been interesting in that I didn't anticipate some or the combinations of reasons they gave.  Here are a few of more unique responses;

Why would I want to sit out in the hot sun, sweat and chase a little ball all over a course just to knock it into 18 little cups?

I here this all the time from my daughters.  They're just not interested.  They have too many other choices that are (in their minds) more appealing.  They cannot understand why I love to play, especially since I have so much trouble getting the ball into the "little cups."

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I have a new thought about this after talking this over with my high school students.  I would say close to 90-95% of the kids I talked to about golf have had only 1 way to experience golf so far, and that is on TV.  The overhwelming majority of them said that it is one of the most boring things they have ever watched, so why would we go out and try a sport that appears to be the most boring thing on the planet.  I don't know how they could improve on golf coverage to make it more exciting to novice/new/young people.  I doubt there is anything they can do to make it more appealing but it is a reality that could be hindering new/young players from entering the game.  I never thought of it in that light before.  I have always liked golf, but even sometimes I find golf boring on TV.  I do understand where they are coming from.

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