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19th Hole

Are simulators and urban golfers really the future of the game?

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Luke Kerr-Dineen filed an interesting piece for Golf Digest suggesting simulators ought to be recognized as golf’s best grow the game initiative

After sheepishly raising his iPhone-wielding hand as a stereotypical millennial, the 29-year-old takes issue with the idea that his generation is contributing to the decline of golf.

As a New Yorker (presumably a Manhattanite, more specifically), Kerr-Dineen details the uphill battle that playing golf with any regularity is. Planes, trains, automobiles. Hours in transit. All that stuff.

He then discusses an experience playing at The Bridge Golf Center in Harlem (which is also a free after-school center for local youth), the offerings of Golf & Body (New York’s simulator stocked, TrackMan-abundant high-end private indoor country club), with a nod to Topgolf’s explosion in the United States and Golfzon dominating Asia.

Specifically, within the Big Apple, and generally across the globe, there’s a lot to be excited about in golf…indoor golf, that is.

If you think what Kerr-Dineen is suggesting only applies to major cities, that’s kind of the point. Golf in the United States is largely a suburban and rural pursuit. However, as he writes,

“America’s cities have become the driving force of the U.S. economy unlike ever before. Urban areas account for just 3 percent of the country’s land area yet encompasses more than 80 percent of the U.S. population, according to recent Census data, a phenomenon that consistently grows. Just in the last 10 years, large metro areas and their suburbs have grown almost 20 percent, with medium and small metro areas contributing a further 7 percent.”

“U.S. cities also boast rises in practically every other positive economic indicator: Large cities host an ever-increasing share of U.S. businesses (32.8 percent, jumping to 58 percent when you include those based in their suburbs), which attracts not just more people but a more educated workforce (35 percent have bachelor’s degrees, 69 percent including suburbs), and have seen medium incomes rise at a faster rate as a result.”

And of course, the majority of money-making young professionals live in urban habitats. Thus, Kerr-Dineen contends, in order for golf to thrive and shore up its future, it needs to embrace both simulators and cities in a way it thus far has not.

Certainly, Kerr-Dineen’s full piece is well worth a read, but what say you to his central claim (that of the primacy of simulators and cities), GolfWRX members? Let us know what you think.

 

image credit: TrackMan Golf 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Mat

    Mar 10, 2018 at 5:35 am

    When given a choice of indoor golf, or no golf, indoor is fantastic. You know it will have made it when you start seeing the “small warehouse” where you can use a sim until you’re within 25m, and then you turn around and use an indoor master-green. You’ll be told which of several holes to put at from a specific location based on the sim, and you’ll have a real putt-out. It’s coming, and it has nothing to do with “real golf” not being the optimal situation. It’s a reality that some urban areas can’t do golf, and some areas can’t support a golf course. In the very near future, you’ll see this become an option where people can’t play for large parts of the year. If TopGolf hasn’t convinced you that this is where it’s going, you’re not paying attention.

  2. Looper

    Mar 9, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I’d rather quit playing! It’s sad to hear that this is possibly growing the game. The true player, high handicap or low, would never do this… Xbox on steroids!

  3. kevin

    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:10 am

    virtual golf is great when there is snow on the ground. its not much more than a video game. it will be a sad day if someone ever chooses to stay indoors and hit off a mat onto a screen over going to a real golf course and enjoying some fresh air, the scenery, and actually playing golf.

  4. C

    Mar 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    It’s going to be tough to score well with those clubs. Might want to put some grips on them.

    • Philip

      Mar 9, 2018 at 12:11 am

      It’s virtual golf – they will only have to swing their arms …

    • Jack

      Mar 9, 2018 at 2:33 am

      Even the grips are virtual. Kaboom! Honestly, virtual golf is not that similar to real golf. Other than that you get to swing a club on a perfect lie every time (even that’s not realistic obviously), it’s not even that similar. On real greens you don’t see the break lines. On real courses you don’t know the exact wind speed and direction (sometimes hidden by surrounding trees). The greens always roll true. Chip shot dynamics based on the simulator could have very different results compared to real life. Not all shots have a perfect computer generated surface to bounce off of.

      I know this because I’m pretty good at virtual golf but unfortunately my dropoff from virtual to real is like 20 strokes, 10 strokes more than people I play with LOL. Need to get out more.

  5. Gaspard

    Mar 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I play on a golf simulator and it’s not only convenient, it makes me feel like I am inside a video game. All that is needed is a set of virtual reality goggles to completely trick the brain! 😎

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson teases “The Match” Part 2

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With sports around the world currently at a standstill because of COVID-19, sports fans have been clamoring for any type of live-action. According to Phil Mickelson and a recent tweet he replied to, we could be seeing some live golf sooner than you might think.

We can take it for what it is right now—pure speculation, but Phil is known as a showman, and more often than not willing to back up some of his most interesting claims.

He even replied to a followup with “I don’t tease, I’m kinda a sure thing.” We will forgive the obvious grammatical errors since it was on Twitter and cross our fingers that if anyone could figure out a way to produce some live mic’d up golf its Phil.

My only hope is that after staff and production expenses are taken care of, there is a large charitable element to what could potentially be the Match Part II.

 

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19th Hole

Golf on social media: Joe Buck’s play-by-play on JT’s hairline, Stenson’s hilarious Tour story, and Kjeldsen’s great impressions

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We’re taking a look back at golf on social media over the last seven days, with some of the highlights from a week that featured trick shots, impressions and some questionable decisions.

Søren Kjeldsen giving us his best golf impressions.

Joe Buck giving us a play-by-play on Justin Thomas’ hairline.

Abraham Ancer with the questionable call of making and then posting this video.

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Quarantine day #13 #flipflip

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Euro Tour pro Robert Macintyre nailing this elaborate trick shot.

Brilliant ‘Tour Tale’ from Henrik Stenson.

Justin Rose showing off his tidy trick shot skills.

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (3.30.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Coming to the Hive this Thursday.

Beautiful looking swan neck flat-stick from Tyson Lamb.

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Swan Neck Sunday. #Lambcrafted

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University of Notre Dame headcover from Rawhide.

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University of Notre Dame ????

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A very satisfied customer!

Slick looking custom job from SNRG Design.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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