I get the impression that there are some people who think that growing the game doesn’t have to be done overnight.
Some say it doesn’t have to be at the rate of 50 per cent when two to three per cent might be more realistic. First, let me say that I absolutely agree, not because I think two per cent is acceptable, but because I think the task is monumental.
While a great many people have and continue to make huge contributions toward attracting new golfers, trying to make an impact on a world-wide scale is extremely difficult.
Take music, for example.
There are artists who produce a song that becomes a hit within a limited part of the world like North America. The music is fantastic, the message delivered through the lyrics is deep, but the magic to cross over all cultures, all nationalities, all genres and all religions around the globe is unexplainable.
Why the Beatles and not Pavarotti?
What I wonder when we talk about growing the game is whether we are looking in the right places and are we using the right methods when we are trying to attract new golfers.
Undoubtedly, the best source of growth is through junior-aged people who need to get the bug during their formative years.
It is abundantly clear that times are changing.
We cannot simply put up a sign in the locker room and hope that a bunch of kids sign up for a junior clinic.
Obstacles never faced and/or dealt with in the past by promoters of golf are beginning to surface. This is not a negative opinion. Instead, it is meant to be thought provoking.
We cannot continue using traditional ideas.
The statement “thinking outside the box” doesn’t work. People who require “outside the box” thinking are inside the box, doing things the way they have always done them and therefore, they are part of the problem. There is no box. Every idea is a good one.
Some ideas are new and some are old.
There are many wonderful parts to the game that continue to attract new golfers every day and there parts that drive others away. The problem as I see it is that golf doesn’t have a common unified voice guiding every single player along a unified path.
We know we have to do something and some people/organizations are doing a lot, but still more remains to be done. My message is that it is the responsibility of every golfer to leave the game better then when you found it.
In my next blog, I’ll take a look at people who did just that.