Carrying on with the female-friendly theme from yesterday, Sandra Post says scramble events are a good way to give beginning women a taste of the game in a no-pressure environment.
“At least, she gets out on the golf course and she understands the lifestyle,” said the winner of the 1968 LPGA Championship, who now runs the Sandra Post School of Golf near Caledon, Ont.
So how do you entice that neophyte female player to continue on in the game?
“I think we owe it to the game to try to be creative. Nothing stays status quo. If it does, the world will pass you by,” said Post. “We’ve got to do a little bit of changing without jeopardizing the integrity of the game.”
Championship courses can be intimidating for beginners, so the logical next step for the novice woman is an executive course, but there are considerably less of those than traditional 18-hole facilities, which Post believes can be converted to shorter yardage through more forward tees, without affecting the larger layout.
“The bigger courses have a course within their courses and they just have to find it. They don’t have to build a tee. They just have to cut down the rough and put (the most forward tee) off to the side,” said Post, adding that new tees could set up an affordable, nine-hole layout that is less than 2,500 yards.
“If you have a new golfer and they’re going out with people who play, I would offer that new golfer a really reduced green fee. First of all, she’s only playing half the course, but you want to introduce the game and make it really friendly to her or that senior or that junior,” said Post.
Such a course might be fun for even established golfers to play every now and again, she suggests, and it takes away from that age-old problem of slow play.
“Guarantee people that they’re going to play in well under four hours. How much fun would that be? The people who play the same-old, same-old course over and over again, they just might have fun playing it differently,” she said.
Such a short course within a bigger course also lends itself to instruction that can be part of half day corporate events in these times when full-fledged corporate tournaments are being eliminated by many companies.
“Make it three clinics or two clinics and do a rotation, short game and long game, and make it nine holes and use those front tees and have the pros go out there and help them along,” said Post, adding that more lessons can be encouraged through the use of special events for women.
“I think you can entice women to courses for lessons by making them fun, tying them in with events like wine and cheeses,” she said.
“It’s about little things meaning a lot right now. The smallest of things to give them a break from the norm mean a lot right now.”