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Was listening to a podcast from Mike Davis our USGA president.He gave current and possible solutions for getting more involved in this great game of ours.They loosened up the rules.And was even considering having courses put a tee off  area at the 200 yard markers of par 4’s.They also are considering allowing players to have 3 hole scores for handicap purposes.Some of these ideas were just speculation of course.But in non tourist areas.Where golf is really hurting.What else can the USGA truly do for getting more in this game?Its unfortunate not all can see how great golf really is.But was else can be possibly done that they haven’t tried luring new players? 

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Society needs to get away from the instant gratification of technology and embrace challenge. Kids need to be encouraged to play outside and do things that don’t involve their phones or video games. That everyone doesn’t get a trophy and win.

 

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If you could convince schools at any level to participate in a golf program for boys and girls either during gym class or after school, having clubs for those who don't have any, there's a strong possibility of drawing more to golf.

Just my 2 cents.

Chris

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Posted (edited)

We have a great facility here that has 39 holes of golf.Two regulation 18’s, and 3 holes for casual play.The 3 hole course has gotten so busy on the weekends.That the pro is actually taking tee times for it.Tons of families come out and just duff it around for the 3 holes and have a blast.They are regulation par 4’s that even have tees by the 125 plates  if you want to play as a par 3.Many a time I’ve saw people in line to play the 3 holes.And hardly no one on the 36 hole regulation courses.I think the 3 hole idea is a smart one.But the USGA has to be careful.Altering the golden rules too much will take away from the integrity and history of this great game.The idea is making the hole larger and I even heard allowing certain handicaps a chance improving lies with no penalty isn’t golf.If that is the case why not just let people tee off 100 yards from the green and play from that location.Nothing wrong with teeing way forward.But putting tee makers at the 200 yard plates  on a par 4 is a little ridiculous. 

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I've recently bought into the Longleaf Tee System. I suppose it has a lot to do with my involvement with youth golf. But, quite frankly every course ought to consider this. The USGA should endorse this. Perhaps there could be some sort of incentive for employing the system. They're (USGA) always concerned about the state of the game and how to attract more players. Well, this could certainly do it IMO. Way more than "tweaking" the rules.

https://www.uskidsgolf.com/play-and-learn/longleaf-tee-system

 

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I've recently bought into the Longleaf Tee System. I suppose it has a lot to do with my involvement with youth golf. But, quite frankly every course ought to consider this. The USGA should endorse this. Perhaps there could be some sort of incentive for employing the system. They're (USGA) always concerned about the state of the game and how to attract more players. Well, this could certainly do it IMO. Way more than "tweaking" the rules.
https://www.uskidsgolf.com/play-and-learn/longleaf-tee-system
 


Actually I think this is a key - from the cashier to the starter to reminders on the score card and first tee signage getting people on the proper set of tees is helpful as it makes the game more enjoyable.

I’m not playing today because we have a guy in our league along with a foursome that are beyond slow. I would quit the sport in a heart beat if I had to play with or behind him/them all the time. My group today was going to be a three some - Pass - not taking that chance. I’ve told them we either need to play half an hour earlier or an hour later. :(

Golf has never had universal appeal and that’s okay - it could do better though - the more people introduced to it the more that will stick,






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5 minutes ago, revkev said:

 


Actually I think this is a key - from the cashier to the starter to reminders on the score card and first tee signage getting people on the proper set of tees is helpful as it makes the game more enjoyable.

I’m not playing today because we have a guy in our league along with a foursome that are beyond slow. I would quit the sport in a heart beat if I had to play with or behind him/them all the time. My group today was going to be a three some - Pass - not taking that chance. I’ve told them we either need to play half an hour earlier or an hour later. 😞

Golf has never had universal appeal and that’s okay - it could do better though - the more people introduced to it the more that will stick,






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Interestingly - at least on our course, slow play is more attributable to 'machismo' than players with physical limitations. 

Maybe if we renamed the tee boxes it would drive faster play; Blues (tips) = girlie tee,  Whiles = old folks tee , Gold = best players tee, Green (forward) = Manly tee. (read; sarcasm).

Too often on weekends my wife and I will be behind a foursome of young/middle age bucks on the first tee driving off the tips (roughly 260 to carry the water). If  I had a nickel.......no make that a penny for everyone that drove it in the water............. 

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This is a tough one.  As revkev said golf has never had a universal appeal.  Things like the Tiger boom era are organic, rare, and cannot be forced.  Like any other sport/hobby/activity, there is an ebb and flow to its popularity.  Golf is in a lull right now.  Top Golf is quite popular and is a natural gateway to get people out on an actual golf course.  Perhaps that could be leveraged in some way?   I'm not exactly sure how you leverage that but someone out there could figure it out.

Taking a higher level view, start with the old adage, "get 'em while they're young."  I'd guess most people take up the game as a kid or even as a teen.  However, I'm not sure demographics are on our side.  Gen Z (14 & under) is shaping up to be much smaller than Millennials (15-34).  While they are a huge generation, many Millennials are worse off financially than previous generations.  Some are starting to show up in the housing market and have kids but new parents/homeowners are not a good target market for golf.  Gen X is also quite small and still at that in between age range (35-54) where if they haven't taken up golf I don't know if they will yet.  It's a tough sell to try to get people with jobs, a kid (or two), and/or debt payments to take up an expensive, difficult, and time consuming hobby. 

Golf will always have that "old men in funny pants" stigma, but perhaps directing some marketing toward empty-nesters and retirees is a good idea.  A lot of marketers tend to ignore older people, but Baby-Boomers have a bunch of money and if you can get more of them involved (even at Top Golf?), perhaps they will help get the grandkids involved in the sport.  A bit of a stretch but worth a shot I think.

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Interestingly - at least on our course, slow play is more attributable to 'machismo' than players with physical limitations. 
Maybe if we renamed the tee boxes it would drive faster play; Blues (tips) = girlie tee,  Whiles = old folks tee , Gold = best players tee, Green (forward) = Manly tee. (read; sarcasm).
Too often on weekends my wife and I will be behind a foursome of young/middle age bucks on the first tee driving off the tips (roughly 260 to carry the water). If  I had a nickel.......no make that a penny for everyone that drove it in the water............. 


Ouch - one wonders about a courses design when it forces a 260 yard carry over water off the first tee. Is it a private club?


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Golf is never going to be football or soccer.  It's a niche sport/activity that doesn't appeal to the majority of society.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It's still a billion dollar industry worldwide.  In my personal opinion, the USGA is throwing anything against the wall, hoping something sticks in an effort to replace the "Tiger effect"!  The golf industry across the board overbuilt during the Tiger boom and the game is going to revert back to a more sustainable level.

With that said, I love the Longleaf mode.  My club has been doing something similar for some time now.

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On 8/25/2019 at 6:02 PM, PlaidJacket said:

I've recently bought into the Longleaf Tee System. I suppose it has a lot to do with my involvement with youth golf. But, quite frankly every course ought to consider this. The USGA should endorse this. Perhaps there could be some sort of incentive for employing the system. They're (USGA) always concerned about the state of the game and how to attract more players. Well, this could certainly do it IMO. Way more than "tweaking" the rules.

https://www.uskidsgolf.com/play-and-learn/longleaf-tee-system

 

One of three courses we play regularly is considering this system right now.  I do think, however, that the promotional materials downplay the cost of additional tees plus the additional maintenance (a lot faster to just mow the area as fairway or rough).  That cost is now the stumbling block locally.

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4 hours ago, revkev said:

 


Ouch - one wonders about a courses design when it forces a 260 yard carry over water off the first tee. Is it a private club?


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Yes - but that's from the tips. 

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It's always good for a governing body to be concerned with trying to expand and grow what they are in charge of. Part of the role is to make the game better for the current players, while finding ways to attract more people to the sport.

I am a big proponent of allowing/encouraging rounds of golf that are less than the 9 or 18 hole round. Allowing players to choose a 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, or 18 hole round may cause some logistical struggles for the golf course, it can bring people to the game or keep them in the game.

Another thing that I think would help bring people to the game is having more pitch and putt type courses at a regular course. It would be a less intimidating way to introduce people to the game, as well as provide a quick fix for those with time constraints.

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6 hours ago, bellairemi said:

One of three courses we play regularly is considering this system right now.  I do think, however, that the promotional materials downplay the cost of additional tees plus the additional maintenance (a lot faster to just mow the area as fairway or rough).  That cost is now the stumbling block locally.

Cost should be minimal, only cost of tee markers. Courses in may area just put the tee markers in the fairways additional tees are not built and frankly are not needed. 

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8 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Cost should be minimal, only cost of tee markers. Courses in may area just put the tee markers in the fairways additional tees are not built and frankly are not needed. 

I was referring specifically to the Longleaf system.  It does include separate tee boxes which is the only way to get the other distances slope rated (at least according to the owner of the one course).  In the presentation I saw, the implication of tees being located in the fairway was those players were second-class citizens.  My kids definitely thought that when they had to play short tees marked in the fairway.  I do not profess to be an expert on this, just relating what the course owner and greenskeeper told me.

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On 8/25/2019 at 1:10 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

Society needs to get away from the instant gratification of technology and embrace challenge. Kids need to be encouraged to play outside and do things that don’t involve their phones or video games. That everyone doesn’t get a trophy and win.

 

Winner, winner chicken dinner!  I'm hopeful this trend reverses and honestly think I'm seeing that happen; albeit slowly.  The myopic love affair with the electric binky has changed much about life today - and more so our youth.  I have seen more courses adding "junior golf" tee markers and offering special range and play rates for kids.  Hopefully the PGA's "First Tee" program continues to grow and reach more and more areas around the nation... they often just need a spark to ignite a hobby/sport that lasts their lifetime.  If there was a program near me that I could volunteer for, I'd be all over it.

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4 hours ago, bellairemi said:

I was referring specifically to the Longleaf system.  It does include separate tee boxes which is the only way to get the other distances slope rated (at least according to the owner of the one course).  In the presentation I saw, the implication of tees being located in the fairway was those players were second-class citizens.  My kids definitely thought that when they had to play short tees marked in the fairway.  I do not profess to be an expert on this, just relating what the course owner and greenskeeper told me.

Interesting. The rating part doesn’t make any sense, as far as I know there is no definition of what a tee box must look like or be built as according to the USGA. The other part is going to be detrimental to any growth of the game. First as you pointed out courses are not going to build that many tees and last if they do and are treated like “second-class citizens” they will not play from there anyway. 

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11 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Winner, winner chicken dinner!  I'm hopeful this trend reverses and honestly think I'm seeing that happen; albeit slowly.  The myopic love affair with the electric binky has changed much about life today - and more so our youth.  I have seen more courses adding "junior golf" tee markers and offering special range and play rates for kids.  Hopefully the PGA's "First Tee" program continues to grow and reach more and more areas around the nation... they often just need a spark to ignite a hobby/sport that lasts their lifetime.  If there was a program near me that I could volunteer for, I'd be all over it.

Our local course sets up their PGA Jr tees at the beginning of the season and leaves them up for quite a while afterwards so the kids can continue to tee off from there when out golfing with their families. It adds a lot of enjoyment for them, and the tee positions still put hazards into play, making the kids think about club selection and course management. I've seen other kids not in the program using those tees as well when out golfing on the weekends.

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20 hours ago, bellairemi said:

One of three courses we play regularly is considering this system right now.

I had the same thought myself. I can certainly see that the most forward tees could just be closely mown fairway tee boxes and perhaps constructing a few of the others as actual tee boxes. None the less... the idea and concept is a solid one IMO.

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Society needs to get away from the instant gratification of technology and embrace challenge. Kids need to be encouraged to play outside and do things that don’t involve their phones or video games. That everyone doesn’t get a trophy and win.
 


We are considering instituting an elementary school policy, no homework in exchange for an hour of outdoor play daily - seriously.


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