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The Problems With Golf


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To make a course fun and playable for my son I started him at 100 on par 3's, 125 on 4's and 150 on 5's.  I gave him 1 shot on the par 3's and 4's and 2 shots on the par 5's.  He has beaten me a few times and has those score cards laminated to keep for life.

As he has grown, he can now play from the red tees and does pretty good.  He only get 1 shot on the 4 & 5 and nothing on the 3's and does pretty good and has fun playing.  Man I wish today was a vacation day playing with my son!

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Golf had a correction after an irrational period. I don't think it's suffering. After school I see juniors at a local exec course. I see juniors taking lessons on the weekends at a local driving range. Cost???? I can play courses for 20 bucks all the way up to 200+. We had two courses close in the past few years. Iirc both were owned by an individual that cut back on maintenance and had the intention of developing them for houses. 

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Get the kids started young, when they still respect Mom and Dad. All kids like to play outside.

I agree with those who say cost is not (or should not be) a barrier. All kinds of popular activities like snowboarding, quads/dirt bikes, customizing import cars.. all much more expensive than golf. A decent mountain bike is more expensive than a set of clubs. And at least around here a movie ticket & popcorn is comparable to playing at a public course, esp. during off hours.

For young people who are currently enrolled in college/university, take a golf class. Man, I wish I had. You're already in hock up to your eyeballs for tuition, so take advantage of all the resources the school has. What is the add'l fee for those PE classes, $40? $100? That is nothing compared to the cost of private lessons.  

 

 

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Yea, the cost of golf can be very little. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I pay $45/month to play at a run-of-the-mill but well managed course in NC. I get free greens fees M-F and they let me walk any time during those days. Throw in a nice push cart which would be the most expensive part but can last years, a garage set of clubs, and just go in sneakers and a polo, and some cheap golf balls and you're good to go. 

Good exercise to boot :)

But, maybe it's a little different in NC.

 

The problems with golf to me are the current (as they always have been) stigma or stereotype associated with "golfers." The "country club" mentality. You know what I'm talking about. 

It's also a little frustrating as a new golfer with no lessons to make any type of solid contact. People initially expect it's easy as "swinging a stick at a little ball, how hard can that be!?" and easily get frustrated and even embarrassed. 

Edited by jkelley9
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The Problem with playing golf is that it is very difficult to play well.  So many people want 'instant gratification'. Golf is not an 'instant gratification' sport. Golf can be a very humiliating endeavor. Believe me, I know. Most people can not get past this aspect - of the game of Golf.

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 8:58 PM, iacas said:

I've also seen reports that more kids aged 5-18 are playing golf than ever before, with PGA Junior League, Drive, Chip, and Putt, etc.

As an avid golfer I hope your right. The only think that gives me pause is that as we have seen with kids of that age group participation in soccer has not really fueled much growth/interest in the sport into adulthood. We have had pro soccer in this country since the 70's, and most people don't care.

No dig at soccer or their fans intended here, just pointing out  youth participation has not lead to adult interest.

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The junior yearly membership at my club is $175. If you play 30 9 hole rounds that's a little under $6 a round. People drop their kids off at the course when they leave for work and then they stay till they pick them up. Much cheaper than a babysitter and they get to play golf

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9 hours ago, CCC said:

The Problem with playing golf is that it is very difficult to play well.  So many people want 'instant gratification'. Golf is not an 'instant gratification' sport. Golf can be a very humiliating endeavor. Believe me, I know. Most people can not get past this aspect - of the game of Golf.

Of all the people I know that used to play golf and don't now or tried it and didn't like it, this is the reason they cite.  It wasn't cost, or lack of time but simply golf is hard and playing something for 2 - 5 hours that you're not good at isn't fun.  

Golf is unforgiving when it comes to ability or lack there of because you're not competing against similarly skilled players, you're playing against the course, which is most likely designed to be challenging for better players.

I'm not a great baseball player, but I can play lob or modified pitch softball with my buddies.  It's a hour or two of fun and I don't embarrass myself playing.  If there wasn't any softball and I was forced to play fast pitch baseball I'd probably opt out of playing.  I'll play some flag or two hand rough touch with people in my age group but I'm not putting on the pads and playing against college or semi professional players.  

When you factor in how tough and frustrating golf can be with the predominant instant gratification mentality that exists today within the younger generations it's no surprise that participation isn't where we'd like it to be.  

I think activities like Top Golf are good for the sport because it combines fun and golf in a setting that is less intimidating if you're not very good.  

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30 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

Of all the people I know that used to play golf and don't now or tried it and didn't like it, this is the reason they cite.  It wasn't cost, or lack of time but simply golf is hard and playing something for 2 - 5 hours that you're not good at isn't fun.  

Golf is unforgiving when it comes to ability or lack there of because you're not competing against similarly skilled players, you're playing against the course, which is most likely designed to be challenging for better players.

I'm not a great baseball player, but I can play lob or modified pitch softball with my buddies.  It's a hour or two of fun and I don't embarrass myself playing.  If there wasn't any softball and I was forced to play fast pitch baseball I'd probably opt out of playing.  I'll play some flag or two hand rough touch with people in my age group but I'm not putting on the pads and playing against college or semi professional players.  

When you factor in how tough and frustrating golf can be with the predominant instant gratification mentality that exists today within the younger generations it's no surprise that participation isn't where we'd like it to be.  

I think activities like Top Golf are good for the sport because it combines fun and golf in a setting that is less intimidating if you're not very good.  

That was a great write up that I think summarizes golf/sports and people in general.

I am lucky as I am pretty athletic.  I played baseball, football, basketball, soccer and track growing up and never golfed till 5 -6 years ago.  I had a rough first season and was worried about embarrassing myself so I didn't even hit a course my first year.  I spent the entire summer at the driving range practicing my woods, irons and putting.  It was a really nice place so I got to do it all rather than just smashing a bucket with the driver.

The next season I went out to the course and shot a 114 for my first round.  Sure I was a little frustrated as my friend shot an 89.  Well with more practice I was able to break 100 that first season and the good shots started coming and I am hooked on golf now and forever!

So if you don't want to put in any time to get better you can still have fun hacking it around on the weekend with your buddies drinking some cold ones.  That's what is great about golf.

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4 hours ago, newtogolf said:

Of all the people I know that used to play golf and don't now or tried it and didn't like it, this is the reason they cite.  It wasn't cost, or lack of time but simply golf is hard and playing something for 2 - 5 hours that you're not good at isn't fun.  

Golf is unforgiving when it comes to ability or lack there of because you're not competing against similarly skilled players, you're playing against the course, which is most likely designed to be challenging for better players.

I'm not a great baseball player, but I can play lob or modified pitch softball with my buddies.  It's a hour or two of fun and I don't embarrass myself playing.  If there wasn't any softball and I was forced to play fast pitch baseball I'd probably opt out of playing.  I'll play some flag or two hand rough touch with people in my age group but I'm not putting on the pads and playing against college or semi professional players.  

When you factor in how tough and frustrating golf can be with the predominant instant gratification mentality that exists today within the younger generations it's no surprise that participation isn't where we'd like it to be.  

I think activities like Top Golf are good for the sport because it combines fun and golf in a setting that is less intimidating if you're not very good.  

Surfing is also like golf in this way.  Beginners often get beat up by the waves for an hour and never catch a wave or even stand up.

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The ease of access to golf seems to be the biggest issue for younger ones (below driving age). A lot of people are citing cost and time but no one has really mentioned actually access to a course. It's a lot harder for an 8 year old to get to a golf course than it is to walk into their front yard to play football with a few friends.

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For most people the threshold for quitting anything is quite low, i.e., if they can't be good at something, they won't do it. 

Golf Instruction has been discussed here many times. From a beginners perspective, so many things are misleading. For example, the golf "swing" is really a series of critical moves, like dance steps. It's not a swing like a rec league softball swing, or like trying to hit a pinata (or whatever). 

 

Edited by Kalnoky
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1 hour ago, JxQx said:

The ease of access to golf seems to be the biggest issue for younger ones (below driving age). A lot of people are citing cost and time but no one has really mentioned actually access to a course. It's a lot harder for an 8 year old to get to a golf course than it is to walk into their front yard to play football with a few friends.

True.  Im not sure i want my son spending 4-5 hours at a time golfing, anyway. Probably even more than that if you throw in practice. I'll take it instead of sitting in front of a TV all day, but i think id rather have my son spending outside time playing a ball sport with friends.  Im going to try introducing my boy to golf at some point, but probably not until he's a teenager. I know alot of golfing parents that feel similar and that could be adding to golf's low participation numbers. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine
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15 hours ago, newtogolf said:

I think activities like Top Golf are good for the sport because it combines fun and golf in a setting that is less intimidating if you're not very good.  

Well said in your whole post and the above, plus they have beer to drown the sorrows of frustration or help you not care! (but don't share with the kids).

9 hours ago, JxQx said:

The ease of access to golf seems to be the biggest issue for younger ones (below driving age). A lot of people are citing cost and time but no one has really mentioned actually access to a course. It's a lot harder for an 8 year old to get to a golf course than it is to walk into their front yard to play football with a few friends.

Good point. But quite a few higher population locales do have public buses that could take a kid to the course pretty cheaply. Plus biking to the course to play 9 or hit some balls - that's some good exercise.

Edited by natureboy
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“Don't take life so serious, son...it ain't no how permanent.

--Porky Pine, June 19-24, 1950” 
― Walt Kelly, Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder

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  • 9 months later...
On 14/11/2016 at 1:48 AM, natureboy said:

I agree the time it takes can be hard on family participation vs. years ago. There's also likely an issue with modern kids' electronics focused attention spans both on time of rounds and difficulty of the game. I wonder if all sports are in a bit of decline vs. peak participation rates - not just golf.

I disagree that golf is hugely inaccessible on cost. Certain courses and brand new high-end clubs sure. But my first set of clubs (bought as an adult) was garage sale special for $40. My current set was bought used on the internet for a reasonable amount. Granted slightly more expensive than a new soccer or basket ball. Lots of kids are in position to inherit old sets from relatives if their interest is peaked.

Multiple local municipal courses and some public access private courses have reasonable greens fees. I'd doubt whether course fees have gone up a whole lot in real dollars since Tiger's heyday and even since the 60's. Maybe there used to be more of the cheap, local 9-holer type course that had a low rate for kids?

I agree completely with you about the affordability of golf... The equipment is a no-brainer, used clubs are extremely cheap and usually very good quality.  I live in Scotland and the public courses here are cheap.  A junior golfer up to 15 years old can play on up to 3 courses in my local authority area for £56 per year.  Then if they enjoy the game they can feel less pressured about wanting to splurge some cash as they get older...

Even as an adult golfer you don't need a membership anymore.  App's like Tee off Times are great and get you massive discounts for rounds of good private courses for around £15-30 per round.

You hear all the time about how the financial crisis affected golf club membership - yet I don't know many clubs that actually didn't manage to successfully negotiate the economic uncertainty.  Most of them reduced green-fees or came up with some other way to get folk in the door.  Think it's quite hard to actually comment on whether people are turning away from golf, where I'm from anyway.

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Golf can still be enjoyable even if you completely suck.  It also doesn't have to represent thousands of dollars as fee for entry into the game.  Case in point.

Yesterday, I played the longest 9-hole round of my life.  Didn't matter, wife was at sister's pool all day and I had 4 hours to play, clean up and make our dinner plans.

In front of my 3-some was 2 women.  In front of them 4 guys representing the final 4-some in a golf outing that went off around noon.  We caught both groups on the par-3 5th and par-5 6th holes.  Trust me when I say there wasn't enough talent between the six of them to break 60 on the front nine.

But you know what?  Everyone hacking and stinking up the place was having fun.  From the younger women ahead of us teeing up balls 'til she got one she liked to the guys in front of them hitting pop-ups and straight-right squibbers off the tee, they were having fun and enjoying themselves.  We weren't going anywhere and I was in no hurry to finish so what was going on around me didn't affect me one bit.

The biggest barrier to golf I experience is people who think the game is easy to be good at and drop it like a bag of dirt when they find out it's NOT easy to be anything CLOSE to mediocre within a couple rounds or a couple of seasons if they happen to be a real 'go-getter.'

My wife is the best example of squeezing every ounce of enjoyment from golf.  She enjoys being outside, sharing the company of others, marveling at the beauty of a golf course on a gorgeous day, drinking a few adult beverages if she feels like it.  Shooting 100-120 is the least of her worries during a round of golf.

Go out.  Hack it around.  Enjoy yourself.  But don't hold up the rest of the course.  That's my free advice.

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Note: This thread is 1146 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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