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Put the good stuff in the "how to grow the game thread" thread.

 

 

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I loved severtheties phrase of an "old millenial" so I am going to steal that because I fit into the same category. I think the era of instant gratification has a lot to do with kids losing interest in the game. Golf is "boring, too long and not exciting" so they don't get into it. They are the youtube generation, who would rather spend all afternoon trying to make a stupid video of one skateboard jump than they would enjoying the sport or trying to improve their skills. Think of the waterbottle flip and how popular it was. 

 

Another aspect that I have noticed in teenagers lately (as their teacher/coach and #1 enemy) that they don't like to try things they won't succeed at right away. They have a huge fear of failure, which has a lot to do with parents and schools not allowing them small failures while they are younger. As a result, they don't like golf, because it's hard and they'll shoot 100 and they don't want to. 

 

That being said, the saying golf needs to change is nonsensical to me. Change what? Equipment? Courses? I don't think either of those are the answer. I think the move to increased technology use on courses (products like arccos and game golf come to mind) as well as professional success of a guy like Wesley Bryan (who also makes trickshot videos) might encourage more of that type of person to try golf. Saying a change is needed without knowing what that change is would be silly. 

 

The inclusion of JR golfers is great, as are forward tee blocks for beginners (we have some at the beginning of the fairway at one local course) and these things will continue to grow the game. But don't cater to the millenial (19-25 year old) because that generation is a bunch of morons who will probably leave their parents basement. Turning golf into something they like would make me hate it.

Excellent post. As the father of two millennial daughters, I can wholeheartedly agree.... especially the bolded part.

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As a millenial I will jump in here. I have a couple different thoughts on this.

 

First off the phrase millenial has come to be a wide spectrum of people from 14-30 which simply doesnt work. I think there is a distinct cut off right around the HS Class of 2009. I am a class of 2007 kid. The biggest thing that influences how you act was your age at 9/11. I was in 7th grade and vividly remember life before and life after 9/11. I remember the change in the country. We became more fearful. Kids who were 5th grade and younger at the time dont really remember life before 9/11. They remember always having a cautious attitude towards people and things.

 

Second. Your generation raised us. We didnt demand trophies for participation. You guys gave them to us. Dont forget who raised Millenials. We didnt come out of the womb entitled.

 

Third in regards to golf. Golf changes. If it didnt we would all be playing hickory shafts wearing vests and ties on the course. They change golf for every generation. If it didnt golf wouldnt survive. Do I think you must change the basics of the sport? No. The cup shouldnt be bigger etc. But I think if a kid likes to listen to music on the course so be it. If its the difference between him wanting to play or not let him. The biggest a**holes I see on the course are not "millenials" they are usually a bunch of middle age guys 

 

Sorry if that rant means I was "triggered"

Another good post. You bring up some good points.

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On the subject of getting kids involved, someone needs to build and open a youth only driving range and par 3 course with teaching professionals. The course doesn't need to be hard or perfectly manicured. Just somewhere they can start learning without any adult golfers who may not treat them right on a full course.

 

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As a millenial I will jump in here. I have a couple different thoughts on this.

 

First off the phrase millenial has come to be a wide spectrum of people from 14-30 which simply doesnt work. I think there is a distinct cut off right around the HS Class of 2009. I am a class of 2007 kid. The biggest thing that influences how you act was your age at 9/11. I was in 7th grade and vividly remember life before and life after 9/11. I remember the change in the country. We became more fearful. Kids who were 5th grade and younger at the time dont really remember life before 9/11. They remember always having a cautious attitude towards people and things.

 

Second. Your generation raised us. We didnt demand trophies for participation. You guys gave them to us. Dont forget who raised Millenials. We didnt come out of the womb entitled.

 

Third in regards to golf. Golf changes. If it didnt we would all be playing hickory shafts wearing vests and ties on the course. They change golf for every generation. If it didnt golf wouldnt survive. Do I think you must change the basics of the sport? No. The cup shouldnt be bigger etc. But I think if a kid likes to listen to music on the course so be it. If its the difference between him wanting to play or not let him. The biggest a**holes I see on the course are not "millenials" they are usually a bunch of middle age guys

 

Sorry if that rant means I was "triggered"

Thank you- Being a baby boomer I can certainly say that if there is an issue with millennials then the apple doesn't fall far. It's our (boomers) fault. Plus we were the most rebellious of all generations and now we have become the most inflexible.

 

The country we live in is a mess because baby boomer politicians refuse to get together with one another and compromise for the common good. For us it's always me, me, me and then there's me of course.

 

The reality is that every generation has its quirks and the world changes.

 

So on to golf and it's "problems." There is no guarantee that anything will continue to grow. Tiger Woods was an incredible phenomena who changed the perception of the game and opened the door of it to new and different people from before. He made it cool at a time that disposable dollars were around.

 

He has disappeared (where have you gone Joe DiMaggio) and the economy tanked. The recovery that has occurred has left folks in the middle behind. Golf does require money and it requires money's cousin, time. It isn't going away but don't over reach to try and fix a perceived problem that is beyond the game's control.

 

Instead make the game more affordable and less time consuming. Four hours is way too long for a round of golf. It doesn't have that kind of entertainment value for most consumers.

 

 

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Lot's a good comments and discussion here in this Post. I haven't seen any Vitriol or hate. Just a healthy discussion by a bunch of intelligent people.With opinions! (except maybe one OLD "crazy" guy in a plaid coat. Hmmm... wonder who that could be? :unsure: ) But this morning I wanted to tell you about a once young radical baby boomer dude I once knew. Ok... it's me.

 

I remember my dad giving me my first real pair of golf shoes. Actually they were his hand-me-downs. But they were golf shoes none the less with metal spikes! So now I could strut around the pro shop clicky-clack and be cool. So the first thing I did after he gave me the shoes was... cut off that goofy looking kilty. You Millennials** might not be familiar with that term. But it's the leather flap thing that folded over the top of the shoe and covered the laces. Anyway, when my Dad saw what I'd done he said, "You ruined those shoes!" No I didn't I said. I improved them. Of course he thought I was an idiot as I recall him saying something. So perhaps I played a small part in changing the game. Even if it was only the look of golf shoes.

 

This post and discussion will eventually run it's course and we'll all move on. But until it does I'm still enjoying reading everyones thoughts and opinions. Regardless of what generation you're identified with.

 

I hope you enjoyed my little "Game Changing" story this morning.

Have a great day everyone.

Oh and by the way... I'm playing later today. Heh! 

 

**guys younger than me with sometimes different opinions.

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Those who don't know me. My post (#4) is tongue in cheek. So don't be hatin on The hater.

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Millennials grew up in a "microwave world", the expectation of instant gratification.   Wisdom comes from age (at my age, I like to think so).  Accordingly, as a group, at some point, I think millennials will realize that not everything is microwave safe and food can taste much better when slow cooked.  So perhaps, its not a case of the game catching up with millennials, but the millennials catching up with the game as they gain the wisdom of age.

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Lot's a good comments and discussion here in this Post. I haven't seen any Vitriol or hate. Just a healthy discussion by a bunch of intelligent people.With opinions! (except maybe one OLD "crazy" guy in a plaid coat. Hmmm... wonder who that could be? :unsure: ) But this morning I wanted to tell you about a once young radical baby boomer dude I once knew. Ok... it's me.

 

I remember my dad giving me my first real pair of golf shoes. Actually they were his hand-me-downs. But they were golf shoes none the less with metal spikes! So now I could strut around the pro shop clicky-clack and be cool. So the first thing I did after he gave me the shoes was... cut off that goofy looking kilty. You Millennials** might not be familiar with that term. But it's the leather flap thing that folded over the top of the shoe and covered the laces. Anyway, when my Dad saw what I'd done he said, "You ruined those shoes!" No I didn't I said. I improved them. Of course he thought I was an idiot as I recall him saying something. So perhaps I played a small part in changing the game. Even if it was only the look of golf shoes.

 

This post and discussion will eventually run it's course and we'll all move on. But until it does I'm still enjoying reading everyones thoughts and opinions. Regardless of what generation you're identified with.

 

I hope you enjoyed my little "Game Changing" story this morning.

Have a great day everyone.

Oh and by the way... I'm playing later today. Heh!

 

**guys younger than me with sometimes different opinions.

It's a great thread, thanks for starting it. I have millennial children, congregants (same thing) and employees (same thing too). I think a lot about the generational stuff.

 

 

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Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

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As someone who "harrumphed" at the OP, I will jump in and state that I did not infer a criticism of all millennials, rather a criticism of those on the GC panel brainstorming changes that they hoped would appeal to the rising generation of millennials.

 

So, to those who bridled at the OP, aren't the panelists who don't think that millennials are capable of learning to love and appreciate the game as it is played today (give or take tweaks here and there), the ones condescending to millennials rather than Mr. PJ? They are the ones who ascribe the attributes to (for shorthand I'll say "your") generation to which you object - and rightfully so, I might add. We all capable of expressing virtue as well as vice, and are not constrained in doing so by our birth date. The largest minority group in the world is the individual, and we are each individuals unbound by our peers or elders, and not merely members of a generation. We can aspire to achieve whatever goals we want.

 

I would submit that what some find objectionable to the panel discussion was the advocacy of large scale change for a marginal (and potentially nonexistent) benefit of growth on the margin, coupled with changes that seem to appeal not to virtue, but to vice.

 

I would also like to gently suggest that references to (I realize no direct accusation was leveled), bigotry and racism are defamatory and frequently are used to stifle discussion rather than persuade. Please, let us persuade each other.

 

I hope this makes some sense, kinda dashed it off.

 

Peace.

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News flash for Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, The Silent Generation and anyone else on MGS worried about the game of golf....it was here before you were born and it will be here after you're gone. There is nothing to worry about. There is a lot of hand-wringing "oh how is the game going to survive" talk, but don't worry, it's gonna be alright.

Exactly. This just shows here, like every where else, that what has worked just fine has to be redone for some new group, class, or social bs constuck. Boo Hoo media will NEVER point out that every Real Estate group chasing bigger dollars got into the golf course game in the Tiger era. Every wanna be 'investor" smelled the money and the saw the generational and racial implications, and, again, smelled the money to be made. Could it be that there might just be to many golf courses out there? Could it be that there might just be to many vendors selling golf gear of every kind out there? Could it be that "golf" was put on the same growth charts and pie charts and and every other board room chart to show why we need to grow grow grow? And when it is not 'performing' as expected the sky is fallig too? Kids play football and the rest because its easy. Golf isnt, never was. For every Pro out there there is another that is all over the "youth' or the "juniors'. And sure as shanking selling them clubs, balls, shoes and the rest. Giving them lessons and having mom come down to the shop and "see" what johnny needs. Because as is also baked in the cake johnny cant be left to feel 'with-out' or not part of per his latest whim or endeavor. Golf has gone money first, and fools second. And if it is dying or whatever it has no one but itself to blame. Kids that love it and the personal challenge that it provides will find a way to play and continue to play.

Leave golf alone or turn it into a sideshow like the rest of corporate sports, and those that want to play and get better will. When the 120 a round corporate tracks have to put you on for half that, then you know golf is in trouble. The rest is just whining about a corporate demographic that isnt forking over their money, I mean time, as planned.

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I played a round barefoot once, it was fantastic!

I used to play barefooted all the time when I was a kid at the old man's course. BTW he could not stand it

 

Now today I would have second thoughts about it. A guy I knew in Charlotte lived on a course and used to walk a few holes barefooted in the evenings. He ended up getting sick. After numerous tests they discovered he got some kind of parasite from walking barefoot and possibably stepping in goose poop. Back in my youth Canadian Geese were non existant in my area. Things have changed. They are all over the place even here now. In fact they breed and hatch here

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Accommodating generational consumer habits is and always has been what keeps industries viable.

 

 

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Accommodating generational consumer habits is and always has been what keeps industries viable.

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Fair enough. But accommodations need to be data driven lest an industry alienate their existing clientele.

 

Or, as others have indicated, be less mass market and become aspirational in nature.

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Accommodating generational consumer habits is and always has been what keeps industries viable.

 

Fair enough. But accommodations need to be data driven lest an industry alienate their existing clientele.

 

Or, as others have indicated, be less mass market and become aspirational in nature.

I've kept up with this thread, and I'm starting to wonder just what changes people think are needed to attract millennials, or any other group.  I'll list a few that have come up:

Less time,

Less money

Less "snobbery"

Easier 

I believe there are already options that address each of these, at least for beginners.  There are short courses and 9 hole units to take less time. There are lower-priced courses, and courses that market to every "class" of individual.  There are shorter courses and shorter tees to make things easier.  And if the current rules make it tough, ignore them while you're learning the game.  

But as with any recreational activity, as a person becomes more interested, and more skilled, there is a need to spend more money, and time.  Golf isn't easy, and its definitely not easy to change and improve in golf.  I see that as the biggest problem, its nearly impossible to really "succeed" at golf as a newcomer, it takes time and effort.  And the one generalization I'll make, as an old curmudgeon, is that younger generations seem to have less patience, are more interested in immediate gratification, than I think us oldsters were.  Of course there are exceptions, we have a fair number of young golfers at our club who are interested in working to become better, but its not for everyone.  Of course, its wasn't for everyone when I started, lots of my friends tried it and just didn't enjoy it.  

I think many discussions of this type are like discussions about the rules.  Its one thing to dislike a certain rule.  Its quite another to come up with a replacement that's both effective, and holds true to the general principles of golf.  My question, to those who believe change is necessary, what specifically do you think needs to be changed?  And exactly how would you propose to change it?

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I've kept up with this thread, and I'm starting to wonder just what changes people think are needed to attract millennials, or any other group.  I'll list a few that have come up:

Less time,

Less money

Less "snobbery"

Easier 

I believe there are already options that address each of these, at least for beginners.  There are short courses and 9 hole units to take less time. There are lower-priced courses, and courses that market to every "class" of individual.  There are shorter courses and shorter tees to make things easier.  And if the current rules make it tough, ignore them while you're learning the game.  

But as with any recreational activity, as a person becomes more interested, and more skilled, there is a need to spend more money, and time.  Golf isn't easy, and its definitely not easy to change and improve in golf.  I see that as the biggest problem, its nearly impossible to really "succeed" at golf as a newcomer, it takes time and effort.  And the one generalization I'll make, as an old curmudgeon, is that younger generations seem to have less patience, are more interested in immediate gratification, than I think us oldsters were.  Of course there are exceptions, we have a fair number of young golfers at our club who are interested in working to become better, but its not for everyone.  Of course, its wasn't for everyone when I started, lots of my friends tried it and just didn't enjoy it.  

I think many discussions of this type are like discussions about the rules.  Its one thing to dislike a certain rule.  Its quite another to come up with a replacement that's both effective, and holds true to the general principles of golf.  My question, to those who believe change is necessary, what specifically do you think needs to be changed?  And exactly how would you propose to change it?

 

Very good Dave. I was just thinking about some of your ideas/suggestions before I read your post. A day or so ago some members thought this post/topic/discussion was veering off the prescribed path for MGS by not being all rainbows and unicorns. There's no need to shut down discussion or close our eyes. This all seems pretty healthy to me. I'd like to see those that have chosen to ignore this discussion and called for others do the same to jump back in with their suggestions for golf. Like you Dave and others have.

 

Just the other day I was out practicing at the club and there was a young man (the only) who looked to be perhaps 12-13. He was on his own as far as I could tell and he was going through a nice practice session. On my way out as walked past him I said nice swing and kept walking. He turned and said... thanks. There were also a mom, dad, and daughter warming up prior to what I assume was going to be a 9-hole round. The daughter looked to be about 8-10. I really enjoy seeing this kind of stuff. Again, golf isn't for everyone. Some days it's not for me either! LOL

 

What generational group do those two kids fit into? X? Y? Z?? You got me. At this point in their young lives they're probably not even interested in such identifications. And who knows, they might become the group that laughs at the geezers like me (probably already do) and scoffs at the Gen X'ers and beard wearing tattoo'd Millennials. When I was young and smarter than everyone else that's what I did. Then something changed.

Have a great day all you old guys and hackers. And all you other X'ers and Millennials too.

Hope to see y'all at the course. That's where I'll be.

:)

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                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

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This is an interesting .. yes, sometimes "spirited" .. discussion. There are clearly some strong opinions. But that's just it: it's your opinion, you're allowed to have it, you're free to express it. It cannot be "wrong" as it's an opinion, but it cannot be "right" either. No one "owns" right. I don't have to agree with your​ opinion but I respect and defend your right to have, and to voice, your opinion.

 

OK, that said.. my opinion is I agree with @deejaid who said the game of golf was around a few hundred years before any of us .. of any age, any generation, any ((whatever label or characteristic we are given or give to ourselves)) .. any of us who are reading or posting in this thread .. .. and hopefully the game will continue on many hundreds of years hence....

 

I'm pretty sure the game as we play it today looks somewhat different than the way it was played two or three hundred years ago. I'm also pretty sure that some of those way-back-when guys in their heavy wool suits and ties would be amazed to see how the game is played today! They'd instantly recognize it as golf, of course, but marvel at someone like a Jason Day (heck they probably never even heard of Australia) taking an iron and hitting a ball 100+ feet high and 200+ yards far. They'd look in awe at the slick greens and manicured fairways.

 

Would they approve? Would they agree golf has changed for the better??

 

Who knows?

 

But my thinking here is that over time .. golf _has_ changed. It has changed over many past generations. And so it seems inevitable that golf will change (in ways we cannot currently predict) over many future generations.....

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So... Personally, I enjoy the challenge of golf and try to make improvement in some aspect of this multi-faceted game each time I get a chance to get out. I enjoy outdoor activities. I enjoy going out with my wife when we can, or taking a trip together and trying new courses. I enjoy going out solo, and i also enjoy the company of *friendly* players.

 

I haven't been playing long but I respect the traditions of the game itself. I've made an attempt to read the rules - well, an illustrated guide to the rules! - and play within them.

 

But, no: golf as the way it's played today and the way the rules currently stand .. it's not for everybody. And that's fine.

 

IMO .. so if someone doesn't like traditional golf on an outdoor course .. .. there are already existing "golf-like" alternatives .. eg. indoor sims you can rent by the hour (and bring a cooler and lounge on a couch) seem to becoming more commonplace; or Top Golf seems to be (popular, and) expanding their presence.

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WITB of an "aspiring" 😉 play-ah ...

Tour Edge Exotics EXS 3W/HL (17*; Tensei CK Blue)
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 7W (Tensei CK Blue)

Callaway Big Bertha 4H (Recoil ZTR)
Tour Edge HL4 #4 iron-wood (UST Mamiya)
Callaway Big Bertha CF19 6i (Recoil ZTR) / Apex CF16 7i-PW (Recoil ES 760)
Hogan Equalizer 50/54/58 black (Recoil ES 760 black SmacWrap)
Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g)

...all in a Datrek Hybrid bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push cart.

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Had an interesting conversation with an actual millenial yesterday - my youngest son - on this very topic. He kinda scoffed at the instant gratification thing - and as we talked it occurred to both of us that instant gratification is probably more cultural than it is generational. We have have iPhones that we just expect to work, because they were designed to work and be easy to use. We have computers that we expect to work and bring us places we never dreamed we could visit. We can look up anything within seconds instead of going to the library to look at an encyclopedia that may or may not be out of date. We have a zillion TV channels that we can flip through with a hand held device until we find something that pleases us or reinforces whatever beliefs or ideologies we have, and we don't have to watch, listen to or read anything we disagree with or challenges us. We can flip our music to shuffle mode and skip anything that doesn't please us, and hardly anyone listens to albums anymore. Anyone here over the age of 40 ever get frustrated when your internet is slow?? 

 

In regards to golf, he had an interesting perspective: he has little interest in watching it on TV - biggest reason is he (and according to him, his peer group and his impression of his generation) prefer watching sports with more action. He'll watch football and basketball intently - but baseball and golf, not so much.  Made me think about my own sports-watching habits.  Early rounds of tourney I'm in an out, and only the majors are appointment viewing. Didn't watch a minute of the Player's this weekend, but if it had been football season, I'd have watch the Pats and maybe one or two other games and would have done a great job of holding the couch down.

 

He also said he didn't see any real personalities in golf that would appeal to him - which makes me think the PGA may not be doing the best of jobs promoting their stars, and maybe there aren't that many really compelling personalities in the game anymore anyway. We talked about Jordan Spieth, but he had no idea how old Spieth was -- and besides, Spieth may very well be a 40 year man in a 24 year old body.  He knew who Rory McIlroy is, but knows nothing about him - as far as my son is concerned, the tour is a bunch of bland, white faces.

 

When it comes to playing - he enjoys going out a handful of times with his buddies and playing for fun - not even keeping score, just having fun with his friends. There's a 9 hole Par 3 near us that he plays, he can dress in shorts and a t-shirt and hack around and not worry that some old fart is going to scold him for not wearing proper golf attire or not respecting the games traditions.  He's smart enough to know the difference between "fun" courses and what he called serious golf courses, and he knows if he ever played one of those he'd dress and act the part, but he said that's off in the future for him. Pretty sure as he gets older he'll take up the game and play it for the rest of his life, but by then it'll be the millennials game, and however it evolves it'll have happened by then -- he figures mainstream golf will be less formal and more fun.

 

 

On a side note, my nephew runs sports marketing and services for Instagram - he says they focus their efforts on sports that have the most worldwide attention. The biggest money-makers for them: soccer, basketball and Extreme Sports - those are played, participated in and watched all over the world and are huge money-makers for them.  Golf isn't even on their radar.

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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Had an interesting conversation with an actual millenial yesterday - my youngest son - on this very topic. He kinda scoffed at the instant gratification thing - and as we talked it occurred to both of us that instant gratification is probably more cultural than it is generational.

.. (etc.)..

 

Great perspectives .. as always!! Thanks for those insights!

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WITB of an "aspiring" 😉 play-ah ...

Tour Edge Exotics EXS 3W/HL (17*; Tensei CK Blue)
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 7W (Tensei CK Blue)

Callaway Big Bertha 4H (Recoil ZTR)
Tour Edge HL4 #4 iron-wood (UST Mamiya)
Callaway Big Bertha CF19 6i (Recoil ZTR) / Apex CF16 7i-PW (Recoil ES 760)
Hogan Equalizer 50/54/58 black (Recoil ES 760 black SmacWrap)
Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g)

...all in a Datrek Hybrid bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push cart.

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