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Big money

converting casual — avid golfers

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Did some traveling the last few days and joined up with some great folks on the links.Oddly, the majority were less than a dozen rounds a year golfers.They have the passion for the game but seem to shy away from playing the game avidly.The universal reason I heard was lack of time.Even playing 9 holes doesn’t fit into their schedules.What suggestions would you give to convert casual golfers into avid ones?

Edited by Big money
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I don't know that you can. Or should. People that have a hobby/passion be it photography, bike riding, skiing, fishing, ... golf; always seem to find time for what they really want to do or what is important to them. I know a lot of folks that participate in many things or sports. Their not a one trick pony if you will. And that's great. Sometimes I think to myself that golf is about the only thing I do with my spare time. Well, that's what what I really, really enjoy doing. It never gets old or boring and as hard as I try I'll never be an expert. There's a lot of people that enjoy playing golf 3-4-8-10 times a year and they enjoy that too. They're just not Avid. Fine. People that truly go from casual to avid usually convert themselves IMO. Like many of you readers I've had people many through the years ask, "how do you do that" or how did you get so good". LOL   I just remind them that I play all the time and have been doing so for a very long time. They always say... "oh". 

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Want to convert me from a casual golfer to an avid one? Cut my work time in half, have my kids join less activities, cut greens fees in half, and come do my yard work for me.

I completely understand why folks don't golf more with prices being the way they are, having a job & families that they are committed to, etc. I am as involved as I can in my kids' activities and I will gladly give up rounds of golf to cheer them on at games, competitions, etc.

I also work at a job that doesn't offer much flex time but pays me well and is a great environment to work in. With one kid about to start college and the other heading in as soon as she's done, I like the fact that I have solid employment and I wouldn't dare risk that by calling in "sick" or wasting PTO to play golf during the week.

Once I'm on the course I greatly prefer 9 hole rounds. I can get out, have some fun, play with friends, and still be home to get the grass cut, take my son out to the batting cages, etc. 

From talking with a lot of "casual" golfers, many are in the same boat I am. Let's celebrate the fact that we can still get out there and have fun, instead of pressuring them into playing more, spending more, and taking away what little free time they have. 

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44 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Want to convert me from a casual golfer to an avid one? Cut my work time in half, have my kids join less activities, cut greens fees in half, and come do my yard work for me.

I completely understand why folks don't golf more with prices being the way they are, having a job & families that they are committed to, etc. I am as involved as I can in my kids' activities and I will gladly give up rounds of golf to cheer them on at games, competitions, etc.

I also work at a job that doesn't offer much flex time but pays me well and is a great environment to work in. With one kid about to start college and the other heading in as soon as she's done, I like the fact that I have solid employment and I wouldn't dare risk that by calling in "sick" or wasting PTO to play golf during the week.

Once I'm on the course I greatly prefer 9 hole rounds. I can get out, have some fun, play with friends, and still be home to get the grass cut, take my son out to the batting cages, etc. 

From talking with a lot of "casual" golfers, many are in the same boat I am. Let's celebrate the fact that we can still get out there and have fun, instead of pressuring them into playing more, spending more, and taking away what little free time they have. 

Well said. It's all about priorities - especially while in the workforce and with kids. On the other hand once you retire.......

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Income is what keeps me from playing more. I play a fair amount as it is ...20- 30 rounds a year, plus league . Sometimes I feel guilty about playing when I know the money should be going to more important things. I love golf, so I'll just have to deal with feeling guilty. 😎

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I actually think that part of the secret to growing golf is to create more casual golfers.

If golf needs to be grown that is. :)


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On 5/24/2019 at 7:43 AM, tony@CIC said:

Well said. It's all about priorities - especially while in the workforce and with kids. On the other hand once you retire.......

Exactly. A good friend was telling me how he wishes we could both get out on the course more, but there will be plenty of time for that once the kids are out of our houses. I fully agree. I want to enjoy what few years left I have with them in the house, and once they're off on their own my free time will hopefully be filled with plenty of golf. 

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4 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Exactly. A good friend was telling me how he wishes we could both get out on the course more, but there will be plenty of time for that once the kids are out of our houses. I fully agree. I want to enjoy what few years left I have with them in the house, and once they're off on their own my free time will hopefully be filled with plenty of golf. 

Yup enjoy them while you can - once they go to College and then married - they'll be leading their own lives. 

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6 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Exactly. A good friend was telling me how he wishes we could both get out on the course more, but there will be plenty of time for that once the kids are out of our houses. I fully agree. I want to enjoy what few years left I have with them in the house, and once they're off on their own my free time will hopefully be filled with plenty of golf. 

Great posts russtopherb. I for one really regret some major life events that I missed due to playing golf.Would golf every major holiday and play 150 plus rounds a year.Looking back, I wish I would’ve left the clubs in the trunk more.Those moments only come around once 

good luck to you.You will be an Avid golfer soon enough 

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43 minutes ago, Big money said:

Great posts russtopherb. I for one really regret some major life events that I missed due to playing golf.Would golf every major holiday and play 150 plus rounds a year.Looking back, I wish I would’ve left the clubs in the trunk more.Those moments only come around once 

This is it right here. A few years ago I was at a school concert and a friend's son was in it. Afterwards I went up to him to congratulate him on doing a good job and asked where his dad was, because I hadn't seen him. He immediately looked at his feet and said "Oh he's not here... he went golfing with some friends. It's ok though... I just stood in the back and didn't really do anything. So he didn't miss much". I never, ever, EVER want my kids to feel that way about me. So I'm 100% fine with being a 21 hdcp casual golfer for now, I'll have plenty of time later (god willing) for golf.

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"Oh he's not here... he went golfing with some friends. It's ok though... I just stood in the back and didn't really do anything. So he didn't miss much".

What a sad story - shame on that parent.

We were at every concert and athletic event just to show support.


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What a sad story - shame on that parent.

We were at every concert and athletic event just to show support.


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To be fair to my friend, it was a charity event that he paid good money to be in well in advance of the concert being scheduled. But his kid was still bummed out that his dad wasn’t there.


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10 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Exactly. A good friend was telling me how he wishes we could both get out on the course more, but there will be plenty of time for that once the kids are out of our houses. I fully agree. I want to enjoy what few years left I have with them in the house, and once they're off on their own my free time will hopefully be filled with plenty of golf. 

Get the kids out on the course with you!  There's nothing in the world like sharing golf with your kids.  I play with my kids every chance that I get, and I hardly play without them these days.  I'd be in the 10 rounds a year club if it weren't for my daughters.

But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to play even more than I do.  I've thrown various takes on this idea out there, but courses need to stop thinking about golf as either 18 or 9 holes.  Why not 6, or even 4?  Andy at The Fried Egg is convinced that 4 hole rounds would replace trips to the gym, and I agree with him.  Do something to keep people in touch with golf until they have the time/money to start playing more frequently.

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I am hoping the key to getting him to be an avid golfer is starting him early gents woke him up from a nap so he could see it, 7 months old when Tiger won number 15. #growthegame
IMG_0267.JPG


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Yup enjoy them while you can - once they go to College and then married - they'll be leading their own lives. 


Probably back in your house with you. :)


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11 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

but courses need to stop thinking about golf as either 18 or 9 holesWhy not 6, or even 4? 

Totally agree! But... Unfortunately.... It seems to me that most courses would have to be re-built to accommodate this .. ie. $$$$ .. and muni courses especially most likely could not get budgeting for such a project....

There are a few companies proposing tech solutions, eg. GPS tagging for the pro shop to track each group; pay by the hole; etc. But again, more $$$ to implement.

 

One thing I'd like to see experimented with, for an 18 hole public course, is to divide it - in terms of playing "profile" - into a "Fast" 9-hole loop plus an "Open" 9-hole loop ....

"Fast" would be for better players and those willing to finish within a time constraint; for 18 they could replay the same 9 (subject to the same time constraint). It's possible, too, that if all groups were to move along that tee times could even be compressed closer together (eg. more people on the Fast loop = more revenue).

"Open" is essentially keep doing what they're doing now in terms of tee times, marshalling, etc.

 

There's a course in a State Park near me that has 3 x 9-hole loops; each day of the week one is dedicated to 9 hole rounds while the other two are combined for an 18.

I'd like to play there more often, but .. I just don't have the patience as on any nice day a 9-hole round can actually be 3 to 3 1/2 hours.........

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Totally agree! But... Unfortunately.... It seems to me that most courses would have to be re-built to accommodate this .. ie. $$$$ .. and muni courses especially most likely could not get budgeting for such a project....
There are a few companies proposing tech solutions, eg. GPS tagging for the pro shop to track each group; pay by the hole; etc. But again, more $$$ to implement.
 
One thing I'd like to see experimented with, for an 18 hole public course, is to divide it - in terms of playing "profile" - into a "Fast" 9-hole loop plus an "Open" 9-hole loop ....
"Fast" would be for better players and those willing to finish within a time constraint; for 18 they could replay the same 9 (subject to the same time constraint). It's possible, too, that if all groups were to move along that tee times could even be compressed closer together (eg. more people on the Fast loop = more revenue).
"Open" is essentially keep doing what they're doing now in terms of tee times, marshalling, etc.
 
There's a course in a State Park near me that has 3 x 9-hole loops; each day of the week one is dedicated to 9 hole rounds while the other two are combined for an 18.
I'd like to play there more often, but .. I just don't have the patience as on any nice day a 9-hole round can actually be 3 to 3 1/2 hours.........

Playing 9 in 3-3 1/2 hours - that would be very painful.


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