The timing of Greg Norman’s opinion in this story in the Australian Financial Review was interesting, with it coming just days after I returned from Calgary, where I listened to Phil Mickelson chatting about his plans for his namesake course.
You can read the blog on what Mickelson had to say here.
In a nutshell, his expressed intent for Mickelson National is to make it junior friendly, family friendly and playable for all ages and skill levels as it progresses towards at least a soft opening in 2017.
Many of Mickelson’s plans answer Norman’s concerns about golf being slow to attract millennials instead of relying so heavily on baby boomers as its core golfers.
As I said, it’s difficult for a guy my age – I’m the same age as Norman – to admit that the circle of life isn’t exactly spinning in my favour, with the next generation demanding attention from not only golf, but other businesses, as well.
That doesn’t mean that we geriatrics should be ignored, but as the Shark points out, it may be time to ease dress codes, allow music on the golf course and go with golf participation that is shorter than the traditional 18 holes to deal with lack of time in a busy world.
I thought Mickelson dealt with many of Norman’s concerns with his plans and certainly I think the Links at Brunello near Halifax is making a serious effort to do the same.
Hear what GM Miles Mortensen had to say here about the club’s decision to allow denim and music on the golf course and use four-person golf carts. As he points out, the use of music on the golf course doesn’t need to be intrusive on other golfers.
The decision to employ such non-traditional practices and the degree in which an operation commits to them will obviously vary from one facility to the next, with owners and management being on different mindsets, but are you noticing in general that the golf industry is loosening up these days?
Is it making a legitimate effort to not only appeal to millennials, but also families, women and other demographics that may influence a youngster’s decision to play the game?
That’s the question in this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, your thoughts on this subject are welcome in the Comments section below.
In general, is golf loosening up and making a greater effort to appeal to young people, families and women?
- YES (52%)
- NO (48%)