Whose responsibility?

slimjim32

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Another thread got me thinking. Who is responsible for growing the game of golf? Is it the tour pros, the local PGA Professional, the competitive amateur, the everyday player or someone else?

I think the everyday player plays a very vital role in growing the game/helping get people interested. From seeing someone new on the course and offering tips or assistance so that individual(s) enjoys the game and themselves, to talking about golf to coworkers and others and making golf seem interesting.

But it obviously doesn’t squarely fall on the everyday player’s shoulders. A local PGA Professional, I think, should be engaged and engaging enough that new players feel welcome and have a good time. And the pro should help to drive the desire of new players to want to come back for more.

But what do you all think? Is it even anyone’s responsibility to try to grow this game we know and love?
 

robrandalgz

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Honestly, I think it has to be more of a grass roots movement which, in turn, leaves a big part of the responsibility in our hands. Yes, local pros should be more engaging and it would be in their own best interests to do so. But let's face it. Golf pros aren't heroes to young kids, well, until they start to golf really. So, I'm not sure exactly what different approach they or the PGA should take.

That's the one thing about Tiger Woods that so often gets overlooked (especially since he no longer dominates the tour as he did when he took the PGA by storm). The excitement about Tiger Woods completely transcended the sport, itself. He was like Jordan, Ali, Payton. He actually brought people to the sport that had little to no interest prior to their dominance.

Golf, otherwise, isn't really a spectator's sport unless you golf and until another golfer creates a Tiger like buzz, I think the most effective way to grow the game is up to us individually, to be honest.
 

rollin

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I dont think the game has to grow in the first place, and I don't think its anyones responsibility other than those who make money from it. And the only real reason they have responsibility is that they earn money from it so its only by default they should want to grow the game.

Equipment makers, apparel makers, makers of perishable golf goods, instructors, course owners, practice centers and ranges, club fitters, store owners and or corporations, future tour pros , anyone working for any of those mentioned things, etc, etc,.. all have a real personal interest in growing the game or at least seeing to it that it doesn't fail because if it does they are no longer earning money from it.

Lets face it, the major things many us average avid players do for the newbie is tell them how they must play quickly enough. Tell them they are on the wrong tees, should take lessons, and even tell them not to play until they can master the game much better than they currently do. Not to mention when to talk and how to maintain etiquettes. Not that i don't understand the need for some those things but we with them we tend to basically make the game less attractive.

But again, imho it doesn't need to grow and unless you make money from it, its not really anyone's responsibility. Honestly I get kind of tired of constantly hearing the term "grow the game". If one has an interest to grow it then by all means go ahead and try to do so.
 

rollin

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Honestly, I think it has to be more of a grass roots movement which, in turn, leaves a big part of the responsibility in our hands. Yes, local pros should be more engaging and it would be in their own best interests to do so. But let's face it. Golf pros aren't heroes to young kids, well, until they start to golf really. So, I'm not sure exactly what different approach they or the PGA should take.

That's the one thing about Tiger Woods that so often gets overlooked (especially since he no longer dominates the tour as he did when he took the PGA by storm). The excitement about Tiger Woods completely transcended the sport, itself. He was like Jordan, Ali, Payton. He actually brought people to the sport that had little to no interest prior to their dominance.

Golf, otherwise, isn't really a spectator's sport unless you golf and until another golfer creates a Tiger like buzz, I think the most effective way to grow the game is up to us individually, to be honest.
hero? why should golf pro or any athlete / player of any game be anyone's hero? Idol perhaps, or mentor, or even an inspiration, but not a hero. I knew what you meant but the word hero imo gets thrown around too much nowadays.
 

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I think it is clear we all have a vested interest. Otherwise, courses close, prices go up, and the game dies. But clearly we are but one of several groups with a vested interest. Golf course operators, equipment manufacturers, retailers, teaching professionals, course operators. There are a lot of groups with a vested interest and who share in the benefits and consequences of the health of this game.

A couple of weeks ago I played with a couple of guys I know and a young lady friend of one of them who is a capable player. After the round everyone was talking about how much fun we all had. Then the lady, Sam, went on about how rare it is for her to experience acceptance like this out on the course. Everything from being put down, objectified, or clearly treated as an outsider. This is sad and needs to change. I hear this from too many women as well as beginners.

No, as players it isn't all or even mostly on us to grow the game. But on these points I just raised, it HAS to come from us.
 
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Maric

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Rollin are you telling me that as a new golfer I shouldn't be on the course unless I can hit the ball 200 yards, know all the rules and etiquette? Sorry to disappoint you but most of the people I play with have been golfing less that 3 years. We golf because its fun. Most of us drive about 100 to 150, rarely do we make par even from the "ladies" tees. We don't play speed golf but we can usually finish a hole in about 10 minutes if it's not CPO (and we know to let faster golfers play through if we are lagging behind). We are faster than a lot of the "old" golfers around here.

As for the need to grow the game, yes there is a need. Courses are expensive to maintain, without new golfers there would be not place for you to play or it would be too expensive. R&D on equipment is expensive you will end up paying more for clubs.

Luckily here in Myrtle Beach we have Shecaddie for new women golfers and now Project Golf has started up for juniors and disabled vets.
Growing the game is the responsibility of current golfers, the PGA/USGA, manufacturers of equipment and local pros.

How to grow the game?
Current golfers - be inclusive, grab a non-golfing friend and take them to the range or play 9 holes with them.
Local Pros - offer clinics for new players, discounts for the first lesson
Equipment manufacturers - quite frankly your websites suck for women golfers - it looks like we are always an afterthought.
Retail golf stores - train all your staff to assist new golfers in club and ball selection. When I made my first purchase of clubs (box set) I asked the staffer what the difference between a TourEdge boxed set and a Wilson boxed set - his answer was one is blue and the other is purple. I asked if these would work for someone my height, he said all women's clubs were standard length.
Courses - forward tees please!
 

slimjim32

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Rollin are you telling me that as a new golfer I shouldn't be on the course unless I can hit the ball 200 yards, know all the rules and etiquette? Sorry to disappoint you but most of the people I play with have been golfing less that 3 years. We golf because its fun. Most of us drive about 100 to 150, rarely do we make par even from the "ladies" tees. We don't play speed golf but we can usually finish a hole in about 10 minutes if it's not CPO (and we know to let faster golfers play through if we are lagging behind). We are faster than a lot of the "old" golfers around here.

As for the need to grow the game, yes there is a need. Courses are expensive to maintain, without new golfers there would be not place for you to play or it would be too expensive. R&D on equipment is expensive you will end up paying more for clubs.

Luckily here in Myrtle Beach we have Shecaddie for new women golfers and now Project Golf has started up for juniors and disabled vets.
Growing the game is the responsibility of current golfers, the PGA/USGA, manufacturers of equipment and local pros.

How to grow the game?
Current golfers - be inclusive, grab a non-golfing friend and take them to the range or play 9 holes with them.
Local Pros - offer clinics for new players, discounts for the first lesson
Equipment manufacturers - quite frankly your websites suck for women golfers - it looks like we are always an afterthought.
Retail golf stores - train all your staff to assist new golfers in club and ball selection. When I made my first purchase of clubs (box set) I asked the staffer what the difference between a TourEdge boxed set and a Wilson boxed set - his answer was one is blue and the other is purple. I asked if these would work for someone my height, he said all women's clubs were standard length.
Courses - forward tees please!
Ugh. I’m still trying to figure out a response, but that is exactly how I took that response too.

But those are some great points about helping to grow the game. It’s not just about getting people to play. Growing the game is about helping those that may be newer or struggling, and making it so that they want to come back
 

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I dont think the game has to grow in the first place, and I don't think its anyones responsibility other than those who make money from it. And the only real reason they have responsibility is that they earn money from it so its only by default they should want to grow the game.

Equipment makers, apparel makers, makers of perishable golf goods, instructors, course owners, practice centers and ranges, club fitters, store owners and or corporations, future tour pros , anyone working for any of those mentioned things, etc, etc,.. all have a real personal interest in growing the game or at least seeing to it that it doesn't fail because if it does they are no longer earning money from it.

Lets face it, the major things many us average avid players do for the newbie is tell them how they must play quickly enough. Tell them they are on the wrong tees, should take lessons, and even tell them not to play until they can master the game much better than they currently do. Not to mention when to talk and how to maintain etiquettes. Not that i don't understand the need for some those things but we with them we tend to basically make the game less attractive.

But again, imho it doesn't need to grow and unless you make money from it, its not really anyone's responsibility. Honestly I get kind of tired of constantly hearing the term "grow the game". If one has an interest to grow it then by all means go ahead and try to do so.
You are one cranky guy huh rollin?

Always back to pace of play.

Everyone was a beginner/newb/learning something once or twice

What is the harm to help someone with good sound advice and help them get passionate and into the game of golf?

So I should tell every beginner/kid/etc to show up keep up shutup?

Golf is a social game, it’s a competitive game, it’s a fun game and to take the stance that you have taken goes against the fundamental spirit of the game

If you don’t keep the interest up and the game relevant all those charities that rely on the PGA don’t get the over a $1 billion in donations

Courses will close and the game will fade away or be left to a small number of people it’s an $84 billion business- if we (everyone) can make it over $100 billion the average golfer should benefit
 

LLIB

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Rollin are you telling me that as a new golfer I shouldn't be on the course unless I can hit the ball 200 yards, know all the rules and etiquette? Sorry to disappoint you but most of the people I play with have been golfing less that 3 years. We golf because its fun. Most of us drive about 100 to 150, rarely do we make par even from the "ladies" tees. We don't play speed golf but we can usually finish a hole in about 10 minutes if it's not CPO (and we know to let faster golfers play through if we are lagging behind). We are faster than a lot of the "old" golfers around here.

As for the need to grow the game, yes there is a need. Courses are expensive to maintain, without new golfers there would be not place for you to play or it would be too expensive. R&D on equipment is expensive you will end up paying more for clubs.

Luckily here in Myrtle Beach we have Shecaddie for new women golfers and now Project Golf has started up for juniors and disabled vets.
Growing the game is the responsibility of current golfers, the PGA/USGA, manufacturers of equipment and local pros.

How to grow the game?
Current golfers - be inclusive, grab a non-golfing friend and take them to the range or play 9 holes with them.
Local Pros - offer clinics for new players, discounts for the first lesson
Equipment manufacturers - quite frankly your websites suck for women golfers - it looks like we are always an afterthought.
Retail golf stores - train all your staff to assist new golfers in club and ball selection. When I made my first purchase of clubs (box set) I asked the staffer what the difference between a TourEdge boxed set and a Wilson boxed set - his answer was one is blue and the other is purple. I asked if these would work for someone my height, he said all women's clubs were standard length.
Courses - forward tees please!
Unless I read it wrong I think he’s saying that’s what most avid golfers tell new golfers. I see it here (not as much) and have on other forums. New guy shows up and the first thing he’s told is get fit, take lessons, & play fast.

I get it but at the same time that’s a turn-off for most people. 99% of people I meet through this game just wanna go out and chase the ball for a few hours. Most people don’t care about (real) score or want to get better. And they damn sure don’t want to be told how to enjoy the game. Good or bad it’s different for everyone.
 

rollin

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Unless I read it wrong I think he’s saying that’s what most avid golfers tell new golfers. I see it here (not as much) and have on other forums. New guy shows up and the first thing he’s told is get fit, take lessons, & play fast.

I get it but at the same time that’s a turn-off for most people. 99% of people I meet through this game just wanna go out and chase the ball for a few hours. Most people don’t care about (real) score or want to get better. And they damn sure don’t want to be told how to enjoy the game. Good or bad it’s different for everyone.
Thank you. And is what I meant. We don't exactly make it pleasant and attractive by doing those things.
 

rollin

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You are one cranky guy huh rollin?

Always back to pace of play.

Everyone was a beginner/newb/learning something once or twice

What is the harm to help someone with good sound advice and help them get passionate and into the game of golf?

So I should tell every beginner/kid/etc to show up keep up shutup?

Golf is a social game, it’s a competitive game, it’s a fun game and to take the stance that you have taken goes against the fundamental spirit of the game

If you don’t keep the interest up and the game relevant all those charities that rely on the PGA don’t get the over a $1 billion in donations

Courses will close and the game will fade away or be left to a small number of people it’s an $84 billion business- if we (everyone) can make it over $100 billion the average golfer should benefit
I didn't come back to pace. I actually think people often overexaggerate pace issues. I was only saying that many people do and would tell newbies all kinds of rules and regs. One of them being to keep up and don't fall behind. Thats been written direct and indirectly on these forum pages a million times. All im saying is that its not something that makes the game all that attractive tgo a newbie when newbie feels rushed. You misunderstood my intent.

Newbies do need understand the basic golf etiquettes of many kinds, only pointing out that to the ignorant newbie they can often be somewhat a hurtle.
 

JMB3

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Rollin are you telling me that as a new golfer I shouldn't be on the course unless I can hit the ball 200 yards, know all the rules and etiquette? Sorry to disappoint you but most of the people I play with have been golfing less that 3 years. We golf because its fun. Most of us drive about 100 to 150, rarely do we make par even from the "ladies" tees. We don't play speed golf but we can usually finish a hole in about 10 minutes if it's not CPO (and we know to let faster golfers play through if we are lagging behind). We are faster than a lot of the "old" golfers around here.

As for the need to grow the game, yes there is a need. Courses are expensive to maintain, without new golfers there would be not place for you to play or it would be too expensive. R&D on equipment is expensive you will end up paying more for clubs.

Luckily here in Myrtle Beach we have Shecaddie for new women golfers and now Project Golf has started up for juniors and disabled vets.
Growing the game is the responsibility of current golfers, the PGA/USGA, manufacturers of equipment and local pros.

How to grow the game?
Current golfers - be inclusive, grab a non-golfing friend and take them to the range or play 9 holes with them.
Local Pros - offer clinics for new players, discounts for the first lesson
Equipment manufacturers - quite frankly your websites suck for women golfers - it looks like we are always an afterthought.
Retail golf stores - train all your staff to assist new golfers in club and ball selection. When I made my first purchase of clubs (box set) I asked the staffer what the difference between a TourEdge boxed set and a Wilson boxed set - his answer was one is blue and the other is purple. I asked if these would work for someone my height, he said all women's clubs were standard length.
Courses - forward tees please!
I appreciate your perspective on this topic.

In many respects, golf is far more than just a game. In my line of work, golf is a major professional networking opportunity. I recently learned that our firm's "Women's Forum," hired a local pro to give them a multi-session lesson on learning the game and how to play. Day 1 is literally just explaining how the game is played, giving basic rules and etiquette, and familiarizing the women with the different clubs. When I asked my co-worker and friend what lead to this, she told me a story that saddened me. She had done a ton of great work for a client, and when the firm put together a couple scramble teams to play with reps from that client, no one even asked if she wanted to play. Granted she didn't play yet (other than a few trips to the range with her BF), and she told me had they asked, she would have declined if she sensed they were concerned about the team's performance, but she was completely overlooked. Admittedly, I didn't think anything of it at the time, because I knew she didn't really play, but I have since realized the opportunity she lost professionally.

I think there is huge room for growth in the game by continuing to involve more women. I'm happy their forum is being pro-active about learning the game, but my friend also said she will still need supportive, patient friends to play with at the outset. I think that's where we all come in. We can all make or break how people feel about the game. I'd rather be on side who encourage people to play and improve rather than scare them off.
 

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I think a lot of sports and hobbies suffer from rude people that are not very welcoming to new people. Saturday was my first time playing golf in 20 years and I took 7 people with me. Mostly guys from work that also hadn’t played in many years. We played a city par 3 course because we figured we would be slow but we actually caught up to the people in front of us and had to wait on them. On a side note it was my 15 year old sons first time and he said he liked it and wanted to go again.
 

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I’d say THP is doing a hell of a job
 

Mr Moke

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I think a lot of sports and hobbies suffer from rude people that are not very welcoming to new people. Saturday was my first time playing golf in 20 years and I took 7 people with me. Mostly guys from work that also hadn’t played in many years. We played a city par 3 course because we figured we would be slow but we actually caught up to the people in front of us and had to wait on them. On a side note it was my 15 year old sons first time and he said he liked it and wanted to go again.
Thank you, you are the future of golf.
 

robrandalgz

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Admittedly, I didn't think anything of it at the time, because I knew she didn't really play, but I have since realized the opportunity she lost professionally.

I think there is huge room for growth in the game by continuing to involve more women. I'm happy their forum is being pro-active about learning the game, but my friend also said she will still need supportive, patient friends to play with at the outset. I think that's where we all come in. We can all make or break how people feel about the game. I'd rather be on side who encourage people to play and improve rather than scare them off.

The irony of golf, in genera nowadays, is that several sectors have an interest in growing a game that has historically been rooted in exclusion (especially from anyone who wasn't white and male).

To your point, I think it's a great idea to involve more women in the game of golf. Let's face it, the hard and soft goods sales would get a bump. Not to be stereotypical but I've been raised around women and, it's almost universal, they love to shop. It was one of the only things that got my wife into the sport. She had a whole new wardrobe to find (and she dove in head first).

Another thing, as I said before I was raised around women. My mom was as single mother. Me, her, and my sister. I basically lived with my first serious girlfriend and, her mother, and her little sister. My first wife and her mother were constant companions. My next serious relationship was a lady and her daughter. My current wife was her and her daughters. I have an all too familiar experience with women and how they think, fear, attack, and recoil. They all have different personalities, of course, but there are some things that are almost universal. One of them is this: give them a task and your support and they'll get sh*t done. Period. The support part is huge. It doesn't matter where it comes from. Their spouse, friends, peers. It doesn't really matter.

Your example pf the ladies at your company is a testimony to all of that. They found support in each other and took it upon themselves (probably also realizing the professional opportunities they were missing out on) to hire someone to "get sh*t done". You want to start a youth golf program in your neighborhood? Find a mom with a kid that wants to play. I'll guarantee you that, if she's serious, she will have hunted down every bit of information about youth golf and what it takes to get something going (especially if she's a stay at home mom. *No offense to those ladies at all, but some of them are BEGGING for something to throw their energy into*). A lad is like a bulldog when they find something that they're passionate about (and I mean that in the most positive way). Just like Maric's group. I'll guarantee you Shecaddie wasn't created by a group of men. Get them more involved and suddenly their kids are more involved, their friends are more involved, and retailers are more involved. Just MHO.
 

cbaker2882

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Anyone interested in golf doing well, honestly. Most don’t have a large platform like say the USGA or being a tour pro, but even getting someone new into the game is growing it.
 

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I’d say anybody involved in the game is responsible. People who play are responsible so that future players have the same opportunity for fun. People in the business are responsible to help grow the game to make more money. Also, I personally believe there are genuine health and social benefits to the game so I believe the government is partially responsible as well.
 

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The parents. Rather than sit there and say "oh, I can't take him to the course with me yet, it takes me 5 hours to play a round, with him it'll be 7."

No, dummy, you take him to a shorter course. A more kid friendly course. Just because you want to shoot 110 while playing the tips doesn't mean you couldn't go play a more reasonable, shorter course with your kid.

~Rock
 

rollin

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I think some the thoughts in this thread are taking golf just a tad too far for what it is and means. Don't get me wrong I like the game as much as the next person and if I could id probably play it several times per week. But in the end for 99% of people golf is really only a game, a recreation of choice and not really that important vs life , family, concerns, responsibilities, and obligations. Its just a game/recreation we participate in. Like fishing, boating, skiing, bowling, ball sports, going to the beach, or even sitting down with a good book, its just a recreation , or a pastime, or a game, or a choice of fun (of which we can have many). It requires resources of time and money and at least some decent amount of efforts tom play it. Very many don't have all of those to spare and many who do choose other forms of games or recreations anyway.

The way I see it, what did any equipment manufacturer, course owner, business owner, tour pro, sponsor, practice center, club fitter, etc.... ever do for the game except to make money? They have one motive and that is to make money. There is nothing wrong with that and is why they are there. The last time the game grew (Tiger influx) it grew like wildfire. And what did all those involved do? They took advantage of the fat cow we common folk produced. They fed us all equipment marketing hype as high as they could. Many private courses opened that most the average masses couldn't afford to be at. Golf businesses opened up like wildfire as well. They squeezed every last penny they could out of the influx. In fact I would go as far as to say they irresponsibly took advantage and irresponsibly over expanded. That overexpansion in itself has now created a false void once the influx came back down to normalcy and hence this on going "grow the game" mentality like as if something is terribly wrong with it.


They did imo nothing responsible to keep the game growing. Its not like they gave equipment away or made private courses affordable. In fact many course sold the land took the money and ran. They could have simply kept the game going by making their once elite CC course available to the average folks and stayed open. But instead if they could no longer get the high end member to support their high end money making they sold the land, and sold out the golf. Plenty those courses could still be around in given areas and instead of being high end clubs they could simply be open to the public and doing decently well imo. But the owners wanted nothing to do with that. Where was the responsibility in that.
 

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Another thread got me thinking. Who is responsible for growing the game of golf? Is it the tour pros, the local PGA Professional, the competitive amateur, the everyday player or someone else?

I think the everyday player plays a very vital role in growing the game/helping get people interested. From seeing someone new on the course and offering tips or assistance so that individual(s) enjoys the game and themselves, to talking about golf to coworkers and others and making golf seem interesting.

But it obviously doesn’t squarely fall on the everyday player’s shoulders. A local PGA Professional, I think, should be engaged and engaging enough that new players feel welcome and have a good time. And the pro should help to drive the desire of new players to want to come back for more.

But what do you all think? Is it even anyone’s responsibility to try to grow this game we know and love?
I believe the "responsibility for growing the game" is primarily on the Game's largest organizations, including the USGA, R&A, and major equipment companies such as Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made and Ping.
The USGA seems to make some effort, including collaboration with the First Tee program.
The equipment companies I think often harm the game, promoting new equipment purchases rather than swing technique instruction. I would like to see the equipment companies start collaborating with the PGA (club professional organization including certified instructors).For example, for every $1,000 a consumer spends on Callaway equipment he/she receives a coupon for two lessons with a local pro.
 

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I think it in the hands of the average player. I have a 7 month old son, and I can't wait to teach him the game of golf one day. It's my responsibility to give him the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game if he so chooses, not a PGA Pro or Club Pro or anyone like that.
 

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I’d say anybody involved in the game is responsible. People who play are responsible so that future players have the same opportunity for fun. People in the business are responsible to help grow the game to make more money. Also, I personally believe there are genuine health and social benefits to the game so I believe the government is partially responsible as well.
I just wanted to second the belief that government should be added to the responsible list.

City/County/Local Govt. and in some cases larger organizations should promote the game where possible. Local tracks often require govt. support. The health and social benefits extend beyond the golf course.

Also along McRock's comments. I would not mind seeing a more forward tee set up. The AJGA does it, my course set up a par 3 tournament just the other day as well.

Before my prior course shut down, we had discussion about introducing soccer ball or frisbee golf. Depending on demand and play, I'm not against opening up to new thoughts for some situations.
 
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olperfesser

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Where I first started playing golf, there was one public course. Otherwise you had to be a member of a club to play, and that meant you had to know someone. Then that someone had to invite you to play and then introduce you around. If anyone thought you didn't belong there, you were never invited back. There is still some of that in golf, unfortunately, and any is too much. Golf will always be more expensive than many sports, but it shouldn't be exclusive to one group of people. My former company encouraged all employees to play, regardless of race, religion, sex, or company position. We had outings, free of cost, a player's group who met to play a couple of times a month, and an annual company-wide team competition. If golf wants to grow, they need more people like that company management, encouraging everyone to play.
 

rollin

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Where I first started playing golf, there was one public course. Otherwise you had to be a member of a club to play, and that meant you had to know someone. Then that someone had to invite you to play and then introduce you around. If anyone thought you didn't belong there, you were never invited back. There is still some of that in golf, unfortunately, and any is too much. Golf will always be more expensive than many sports, but it shouldn't be exclusive to one group of people. My former company encouraged all employees to play, regardless of race, religion, sex, or company position. We had outings, free of cost, a player's group who met to play a couple of times a month, and an annual company-wide team competition. If golf wants to grow, they need more people like that company management, encouraging everyone to play.
Golf is only exclusive in the sense that (like many forms of recreation) it requires disposable time and money and it also holds some traditional etiquettes but in itself is not exclusive. Its just a game. Its some the clubs of people who become exclusive, not the game. While im not part of any exclusive golf club (nor can i afford it) I dont see a problem with it. Not everyone imo has to fit into everything the way they see fit. Imo its no different than high end fine dining or staying at the most expensive high end hotels or shopping on 5th avenue or even things like private beaches and beach clubs are no different and most cant go to. They in many ways are exclusive too as not at all does or can everyone fit in. The more or less that golf grows or dwindles will always result in proportionally more or less of the private exclusive clubs. But thats not the game doing that, its the people doing it. And imo they have a right to. Private exclusive clubs in fact (contrary to a first glance logic) may actually help preserve and even grow the game because many people who can will (as is the case now and always was) want to belong to them. And that is a whole ton amount of people who play who might otherwise not play. There is an entire community (and collectively is a very large one) who belong to exclusive clubs. They too count for golf participation. And fwiw many of which can spend big on golf clubs, balls, the more expensive lines of golf attire , shoes, etc...
So these clubs and people that seem to give golf a poor rap , actually (like them or not) do support the industry and do account for participation , and hence helps keeps the game going.
 

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