One of the points constantly brought up in discussion about growing participation in golf is that we may be tempted in our efforts to tinker with the game itself in order to appeal to the masses.
The reason I believe that’s an overreaction is that few within the golf industry would ever want to see the game we’ve become accustomed to on the PGA or LPGA Tours, high level amateur competitions or even club championships change.
Yet, protectors of the game have seen eight-inch holes, 12-hole tournaments and other hybrids of the game pop up in recent years. Even Jack Nicklaus, one of the game’s great ambassadors, has promoted a fun atmosphere for kids in the game by using such means at Muirfield Village.
Is it any different than in hockey, where younger kids play on half the ice in younger age groups? They’ve also outlawed bodychecking in younger age groups to help prepare them for the game we’re familiar with at the NHL, college, junior and minor pro levels.
Some will get to those levels, but many won’t. Along the way through, they’ll have fun, learn the rules of the game and even carry on once their minor hockey days are over, perhaps playing in non-contact beer leagues in which the rules are different than in the pros.
They’ll still love the game, spend time and money to play it and watch it on television, which is good for the game as are players who may not have gone on in golf, but still regularly play, even if they do use foot wedges, gimmes and mulligans in their recreational rounds.
If they do play formal, competitive golf, they will need to know the rules, so it is important as they’re learning to emphasize the game in its purest form, even if they don’t often play competitively in the truest sense of the word.
How many actually do play formal competitive golf? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can cast your vote below or on the GNN home page and by all means, we welcome hearing from you on this topic in the Comments section below.
What percentage of golfers at the facility where you work play more than a couple of formal, competitive events in one season?
- Less than 10% (75%)
- 11-25% (16%)
- 26-50% (7%)
- More than 50% (2%)