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Taylormade CEO Fuming! - Wants New Rules For Hackers

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I agree that the Tiger factor has diminished and many of the newbies have left the game. It will take a player that captures the public's imagination the way Tiger did before we see another growth spurt like that.

 

Also, the costs associated with golf are DEFINITELY a huge factor. Clubs you can work around if you are diligent. Beginners should buy used clubs that suit their game. But green fees have yet to retreat with the rest of the economy. I make an average wage and used to play 40 rounds a year...Now it's closer to 25 to 30 and it's primarily money driven. To play well, I need to practice and most ranges are 9-10 bucks a pop for a decent sized bucket. Go out and play and it's an average of $40 (in my area) for an acceptable course. $60-$80 for a good course. The $25-30 rounds are gone and that's the price point where people will play regularly on daily fee courses. On weekends I expect to pay more but seeing golf courses empty during the week should be a tip off that prices need to come down. I AM seeing some specials this winter for the upcoming season that are encouraging. Courses are fighting for rounds to stay open and this should be the year we see prices retreat.

 

Club wise, the costs have skyrocketed in the last decade. Premium drivers are $299-399 for the latest models. Not too long ago that was the cost of a set of good irons. Good current irons are $800-$1200 now. It's nuts. The current economy can't sustain that. Cost conscious consumers buy 2nd generation clubs regularly now ($199 drivers and $499 irons). Even putters have gone crazy. You could buy a good range of putters for $50 before. Now it's $100-$300. Some manufacturers are getting it. Cleveland's bronze line of putters are reasonably priced and nicely finished.

 

To sum up, Taylor's CEO is dead wrong on many counts. He's merely marketing here. I don't want larger holes or free drops. I want to play at reasonably priced courses with properly priced equipment that performs. Time for CEO's to stop looking at Hatteras and start looking at Sea Rays and realign their products and goals.

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Lets see... People can play baseball in the park on Saturday and have a good time with a cheap bat, glove and ball, or heck in some cases a stick and a rock. They don't expect to play like the Yankees and nobody cares.

 

People can have a pick-up game of basketball at the schoolyard and have a good time even if they play with a volleyball instead of a b-ball and $10 vs $200 shoes. They don't expect to be in a class like Shak/Lebron/Koby/MJ/Malone/Wilt. They laugh when they completely miss the basket/backboard.

 

People can have a Sunday game of football and have a great day in tennis shoes and shorts with rags for flags hanging off their sides instead of cleats and pads and helmets. They probably aren't playing up to the caliber of Packers vs Steelers. They laugh when they miss a pass and fall in a mud puddle.

 

But in our sport those who play well complain about those who don't taking too much time and slowing them down. Club makers tell us we suck and we MUST play their $400 club to be better. Ball manufacturers tell us we don't hit it far enough so they make a $5 ball just for us. Our so-called buddies tell us we need to go spend weeks at the practice range so we will be "good enough" to play with them. Country Clubs tell us if we can't "afford" to join them, we can't play on their hallowed grass. For God's sake, do NOT try to play golf at "our" establishment in a T-shirt and tennis shoes. AND TURN OFF THAT DAMNED CELL PHONE!!

 

To be "good" at our sport, you have to drive like Couples, look like Poulter, scramble like Mickleson, putt like Kaymer and act like Palmer. And by the way, if you aren't "good" at it, it is NOT allowed to be fun.

 

I wonder why anyone would want to leave this sport????

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Sprinklerhead; Well said. In this area we have a lot of retirees. In the past courses sorta shunned the locals even members during prime season. Well in the past couple of years the tourist rounds have been down sharply due to the economy. A lot of the courses down here have gone to management groups and so they have have been sharply discounting membership rates and local rates. Friends from out of town say they get something in the mail every week from down here advertising good golf and hotel rates. I know the city of Myrtle Beach owns Whispering Pines golf course down here and they were in the paper the other day talking about leasing it out The city claims they lost money on it last year. I do know they lost quite a few of their local members this year due to the big golf groups with 5 or more courses were offering so much better deals for the money.There is a lot of competition for the golf dollar here now.

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I have never been a TM or Mark King fan, but the proverbial cow dung has hit the fan.

He is absolutely dead on about amateur and professionals having different rules. I have been in the golf business my entire adult life in every single aspect , going on 35 years now. Public golf, private clubs,

equipment sales etc. The game is dead. NGF ,, a group I have never been fond of ,reports that we are now losing 2 golfers for everyone 1 we gain. Do the math. The game as we know it is toast. Do the elitist at the USGA really want to grow the game ? I have to 2nd guess that.

I sometimes wonder if they would not rather it revert back to a game of Kings and land barons as it originated.

The game is too damn hard, takes too long and is too expensive for most. A prominent golf figure says,, 8,000 yards for tour professionals is like 6,400 yards for the avg. am. What does that tell you? It's like rolling up to the Daytona 500 starting line in your Yugo.

Sports do come and go in popularity, at least spectator wise. Boxing- dead, horse racing-dead, tennis - dead, Indy car - dead, bowling -dead. Golf is on life support right now. Do we want it to be only for the few ? Do we want it to be as big as the NFL, not hardly. Do we need it to support the thousands of people currently trying to make a living out of it ? I don't think so. But, it could easily go the way of so many great past times. If you love it, let it evolve. After all it is still simply the joy of a ball in flight after being well struck. Does it matter how or with what ?

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My private course has had to go public/private in order to survive. We now have 5 plus hour rounds. There easily could be two cups on a hole. One standard and one 8 inches. All double digit handicappers would have to use the 8 inch hole and single digit the standard hole. This would help cut down on time of a round.

 

If a double digit handicappers ball goes into a standard hole, they could pull it out and place it within six inches of the hole and continue to play out to the bigger cup. If a single digit handicappers ball roles into the larger hole, they do the same. It would cure a lot of course back-up problems.

 

To those that will argue tradition: We are not playing with wood shafts and feather balls. Golf needs this quick to survive or we all will only have fond memories of the game.

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To be "good" at our sport, you have to drive like Couples, look like Poulter, scramble like Mickleson, putt like Kaymer and act like Palmer. And by the way, if you aren't "good" at it, it is NOT allowed to be fun.

 

I wonder why anyone would want to leave this sport????

 

+a bajillion to you Cheymike and The Hump. I'm barely out of the starting gates in this game and even I can see it's losing people hand over fist, even out here where there's a lot of golfers. And lordly how I wish people would stop trying to play like they're on tour. You drive the ball 250 tops, you don't need to play from seven-fricken-thousand yards. You don't need to go all Furyk like over a put, your career doesn't depend on the shot. Ho hum.

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Geoff Shackelford has an excellent book, The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How To Get It Back. In it, he says:

Golf's future is far from certain, but it can thrive again with a more balanced approach to architecture, technology, maintenance, and courses. Is is even possible that affordable and fun golf could play an integral role in rejuvenating the spirit of community that so many Americans long for.

 

Shackelford is a proponent of rolling back the ball. This would, in theory, also reign in the 7,000+ yard courses that are too expensive to maintain (which gets reflected in our greens fees) and painful to play.

 

He also suggests the use (or rather, overuse) of trees is a golf-killer. I should explain that one a bit... trees are good for obvious reasons, but too many on a golf course takes away options for the golfer. The trees dictate how the hole should be played, instead of giving us the ability to come up with creative (and possibly faster) solutions. It's also a maintenance issue, though the pace and style of play issue is far greater.

 

Here's a great quote about equipment (p. 222):

An end to the distance chase stops the madness of golf existing primarily as a consumption pastime revolving around the marketing and quarterly profit margin needs of a few manufacturers obligated to no one but their stockholders. Shifting the focus back to the sport itself will benefit the shareholders who matter most: golfers.

 

Did I mention that this book is excellent? It is, and there's a few points in it that are in line with what Big Stu and Cheymike said earlier (by the way, +abunch to both of you). Frank Thomas's Just Hit It is another like Shackelford's book. I definitely recommend both to anyone.

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