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Golf's future: 'Time and format can be looked at relatively easily' [ The BBC]


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Time will always be a factor with regards to people taking up or giving up golf but this can be worked around. I have a 19 month old son so i normally play 9 holes, its a good compromise, and can normally get to the range for an hour or so.

I also think for many people its the lingering image of golf that puts them off. I have spoken to quite a few people who see golf as stuffy and a sport for retired people or company directors with money to burn and that simply is no longer the case.

Now i dont agree with making the game easier (like 15inch holes) or a more casual dress code, but making it more accessable to newcomers such as free introductory offers like a basket of balls or a taster lesson right up to using 12 hole courses. I think it was Jack Niclaus who once said 18 was too much and 12 was about right.

Golf is a great game and a lot of people forget that it is just that, a game. As soon as you get frustrated and your enjoyment goes then its often game over!

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What do you all think about unrealistic expectations?  I think it has been touched on a bit.

As someone becomes interested in golf or thinks of trying it out, they watch the big guys on TV and think that they can get a game close to that.  But alas the tour pros play a different game than we do so they give up.  Or just the rate of improvement.  It is a hard game and takes so much time to improve and becomes frustrating.

I will admit that I have a problem accepting where I am too.  I get real frustrated at the plateaus and retreats.

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The numbers reflect the birthrate through the years. The birthrate per 1000 in the UK is 12.1 per 1000 which is well below replacement levels. This means less than 2 children per woman in the UK. The total for the EU is 1.5 per woman. Germany is less than one child. Japan and South Korea also have negative birth rates. Consequently we will see fewer kids taking up golf because.... there are fewer kids.

The global population growth is in Africa and southern Asia.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

That is a tough time in life, but worth it.  My son is twenty now, so I'm passed that.  I recommend getting your toddlers plastic golf clubs and create two new golfers!

We're loving it, just not much time for golf.    I got them a plastic set of clubs for Christmas last year but this just came across my newsfeed this morning:

Quote:
So Wilson developed a set for beginning junior golfers called the TLG First Set ($100), aimed at youngsters 18 months to 3 years old. The set includes three ultralight, high-impact plastic training clubs with composite shafts, foam balls, a tiny Sunday bag and an instructional DVD. Most notable are the soft, pre-formed grips designed to place a youngster's hands on the club properly every time.

http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2015/01/how-early-should-you-start-you.html

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Golf is a rich man's game, always will be.

Sorry, but I don't buy this.

That doesn't mean we play golf if we cannot make ends meet. For many people, yes it's overpriced. But just as any other hobby goes, we can usually find ways to do it cheaper - second-hand clubs, recycled golf balls. If you really are addicted to game as I am, buy the least expensive yearly membership you can find in the area and do without some of the other hobbies (I can play golf or a I can buy a used bass boat but I can't do both). If you only afford or only have time to play less often, find the courses and times that are cheapest. Play when you have a few extra bucks and when you have time.

Now if you have to play the finest courses, wear the most expensive golf attire, have the latest equipment technology... then yeah, it's too rich for my blood.

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Sorry, but I don't buy this.  That doesn't mean we play golf if we cannot make ends meet. For many people, yes it's overpriced. But just as any other hobby goes, we can usually find ways to do it cheaper - second-hand clubs, recycled golf balls. If you really are addicted to game as I am, buy the least expensive yearly membership you can find in the area and do without some of the other hobbies (I can play golf or a I can buy a used bass boat but I can't do both). If you only afford or only have time to play less often, find the courses and times that are cheapest. Play when you have a few extra bucks and when you have time. Now if you have to play the finest courses, wear the most expensive golf attire, have the latest equipment technology... then yeah, it's too rich for my blood.

I agree completely, if you are paying $45 for a round of golf then that's your own fault. I have found that I can get tee times on Golfnow (not an endorsement) for very reasonable prices. You may not always get to play the best course or the course that you wanted to but there are always deals out there. Bottom line is if you/I want to play badly enough you/I will find a way. I say this as a man, like many of you, with a 19 month old son with very little spare time so I know it can be done. And you can bet your ass that I plan on making another golf course patron out of him :)

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Lol... Ok... He was trying to make the point you're spending money every time you play golf, unlike most league sports and a one time fee...

I don't, if I don't lose a ball.  Not to and significant degree anyway.  I pay $3 per round if I ride, or $1 if I walk, after my $337 annual membership fee.  That makes for cheap golf.  I realize that not everyone has that option, but there are usually deals of some sort to be had almost everywhere if one just looks around.  It may not be the top rated course in the area, but it's only very recently that public courses were being built and maintained to that level.  For anyone who isn't into status seeking, almost any golf course with puttable greens is going to be playable.  Demanding perfect lies and perfect rough and perfect everything is unrealistic if one wants to play golf on a budget.

Just get out and hit the ball around and most people will find that golf is actually fun on those less manicured tracks.  Sure you'll have funky lies.  So learn to adapt.  Playing every shot from perfect lies gets boring for me.  I actually play worse because I lose focus.  I enjoy the creativity that is what golf really means to me, and a rough course makes for a lot of creativity.  It also makes golf much more affordable.

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Lol... Ok... He was trying to make the point you're spending money every time you play golf, unlike most league sports and a one time fee...


I don't spend the money every time I play. I pay less for a yearly membership than it cost to play a couple of rounds at some courses.

But I understand the point.

When I was younger, I couldn't afford to play because I had other priorities and obligations. I also thought it was more expensive than it really is - I  just didn't know any better. My wife still gives me a hard time because I once made the statement "I can see the addiction to golf, but I'll never spend that kind of money on a hobby".

I'm not saying it's the cheapest hobby or sport out there but it's certainly not the most expensive.

I agree completely, if you are paying $45 for a round of golf then that's your own fault.

I have found that I can get tee times on Golfnow (not an endorsement) for very reasonable prices. You may not always get to play the best course or the course that you wanted to but there are always deals out there.

Bottom line is if you/I want to play badly enough you/I will find a way.

I say this as a man, like many of you, with a 19 month old son with very little spare time so I know it can be done.

And you can bet your ass that I plan on making another golf course patron out of him :)

Now that will limit your playing time. Good for you, though. You'll likely have a playing partner for many years.

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Lol... Ok... He was trying to make the point you're spending money every time you play golf, unlike most league sports and a one time fee...

League sports for adults can get pretty expensive too.  My flag football league was $500 per season for 15 weeks which pays for a lot of golf.  Not to mention the cost for turf shoes, gloves, team shirts, cold gear, etc.

I know a bunch of guys that won't play golf because it's too expensive but smoke 1 - 2 packs of cigarettes a day, which in NY is $14.50 - $29 a day.  They could play a round of golf every day with money left over if they kicked the habit.  It's all about what people justify spending their money on.

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Lol... Ok you're right. Golf is cheap. Our adult leagues (soccer/softball) are $45 for the entire summer... Justify your playing golf, but you're the loud minority and just don't get it obviously. You quite frankly sound like a short sighted moron. I wish golf was cheap too, but you're an idiot if you think you can convince anyone Golf isn't expensive... $3 a round? Not Losing balls? I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for your thought process...the whole premise is golf is expensive, always has been always will be, just the way it is. I can try to justify my new 2015 BMW M5 too (had to with my wife) but in the end I was being an idiot trying to justify it as a less expensive option than x or y and twisting things around.... I was in denial too, but just like golf... It's a rich mans sport.... It's a high end item in its class (automobiles) just like golf is a high end item in its class (sports) Everything is relative. But when you are thinking big picture (not just your own little world) it's simple. The thoughts are not around sneaking beers in your bag to save money etcetera... It's simply stating golfs high end status is causing concern and obvious downturn...
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Lol... Ok you're right. Golf is cheap. Our adult leagues (soccer/softball) are $45 for the entire summer... Justify your playing golf, but you're the loud minority and just don't get it obviously. You quite frankly sound like a short sighted moron.

I wish golf was cheap too, but you're an idiot if you think you can convince anyone Golf isn't expensive... $3 a round? Not Losing balls? I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for your thought process...the whole premise is golf is expensive, always has been always will be, just the way it is. I can try to justify my new 2015 BMW M5 too (had to with my wife) but in the end I was being an idiot trying to justify it as a less expensive option than x or y and twisting things around.... I was in denial too, but just like golf... It's a rich mans sport.... It's a high end item in its class (automobiles) just like golf is a high end item in its class (sports) Everything is relative. But when you are thinking big picture (not just your own little world) it's simple. The thoughts are not around sneaking beers in your bag to save money etcetera... It's simply stating golfs high end status is causing concern and obvious downturn...

http://caberfaepeaks.com/golf/membership-info/

You seem like an intelligent guy and with that HI, obviously a very good player who knows a few things about the game. But it's unfortunate that you feel the need to insult others when they have a different opinion. There are the occasional posts and viewpoints on the site that are moronic - his simply isn't one of them and you were wrong to respond that way.

In some ways you're right about golf being for the rich. Certainly when looked at by those living in impoverished, war-torn countries, it's a ridiculous luxury. But in my little world , it's certainly attainable for anyone who is passionate enough about the game to do without some other ridiculous luxury.

I'm not made of money and I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to spending what little I have. If not for the options available (see link above), or the fact that most of the people I've played with are of middle-class income at best, I might even agree with you.

I have no idea why the game of golf is in decline. Maybe it's as simple as people no longer thinking its a fun game??? I have played in men's softball and flag football leagues. It was cool and you're right, a bit less expensive. But for me, those activities just don't compare to golf.

By the way, congrats on your Buckeyes' National Championship.

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HI and Gracias. Agree Golf is wonderful. I also called myself an idiot as well... about my recent automobile purchase. (You forgot to bold that one for some reason) It's all in jest, but seriously we both know, guys trying to say golf is not expensive is.......well.... not very smart. That's all. Cheers mate.
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Many of the arguments in this post for the decline in golf have been around for a long time, especially those that related to expense and length of time to play the game. So, to me, that is a constant. So then, what has changed in the last 5 years that would influence a decline in the number of golfers?

First and foremost is the economy. I agree that could be a legitimate factor in golf's decline. However, I don't think the economy would have effected the "golf nuts" like myself who have been playing for a number of years. The ones that might have been most effected are those just starting to golf, especially those from age 18-30. Forbes.com says that, "Nearly half of grads from four-year colleges are working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree." So, you know that they will not have the disposable capital to invest in golf.

Here's a question to ponder: Is the decline in golf at all related to the decline of Tiger Woods? Let's look at Tiger's record in the last 5 years. 63 starts (260 weeks in 5 years), so in essence he had played an average of once every 4 weeks. 8 wins (5 wins were in 2013) and 12 top three finishes. Zero majors. When Tiger isn't in the field or makes a cut, TV ratings go down. Personally, I don't believe we can put this all on Tiger, but I have seen the enthusiasm that Tiger generates in the postings of TST. He excited people about the game of golf, and his decline is a factor that has to be included.

With the decline in golf, courses are not raising costs (at least in my area), and websites like GolfNow.com have provided discount prices. With the exception of weekend mornings, there are always numerous tee times available if you really want to play. Therefore, golf courses are doing their best to get people to play. Where golf is headed for the rest of this decade will be interesting to see.

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