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Thoughts on why people are walking away from the game...


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#61 DDG61

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 07:58 AM

Am I one of the few that cares very little about the overall “growth” of the game?

Other than my seven year old daughter I couldn’t care less how many people are exposed to, interested in or committed to golf.

Presuming the Tiger era was the large growth what difference does it make if we go back to pre Tiger levels?

The game will still be around, ready for all those willing and able.


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#62 Carl Spackler3

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 08:34 AM

Ecause golf is hard and they suck, to which I can often relate
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#63 dedicated2journey

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 11:30 AM

I honestly believe we are returning to the early 90's level of golf. I think as far as sustainable growth (vs. the Tiger bubble) is much closer to late 80's/early 90s golf.
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#64 MtlJeff

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

View Postdedicated2journey, on 28 May 2018 - 11:30 AM, said:

I honestly believe we are returning to the early 90's level of golf. I think as far as sustainable growth (vs. the Tiger bubble) is much closer to late 80's/early 90s golf.

Pretty sure that's been shown statistically.

Tiger added a lot of golfers but the numbers have since declined back to pre tiger levels in the US

Believe it went from 25m to 35m. Back to around 25m now
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#65 wrmiller

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:08 PM

View PostDDG61, on 28 May 2018 - 07:58 AM, said:

Am I one of the few that cares very little about the overall “growth” of the game?

Other than my seven year old daughter I couldn’t care less how many people are exposed to, interested in or committed to golf.

Presuming the Tiger era was the large growth what difference does it make if we go back to pre Tiger levels?

The game will still be around, ready for all those willing and able.

Those who complain the most/loudest are those who make money from golf. And I'm pretty sure they (for the most part) could care less what golfers think. ;)

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#66 EKELLY

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:09 PM

Golf is HARD. People think I'm a natural because I still play pretty well. As my father still says today, "It's hard work becoming a natural!".....Most people either grasp a love of the game right away, or they do NOT!......You either grasp a knack for the fundamentals right away, or you do NOT!...Most don't, hence the ease with which they walk away.....

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#67 Mignuz

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:16 PM

The problem is not people quitting golf, but people not strarting to play golf anymore.
Here in Italy I see a lot of people quitting but not so many starting to play.
The reason, in my opinion, is not at all the price of the equipment.
It's the cost of playing golf, as if you want to play a good course you have to spend at least 50€, and to be member of a GC (here's compulsory, even if you can affiliate an online GC for 150€ more or less) costs from 1.000 to 5.000 euros a year (a good GC: 1500/2000).
Then, it's time.
You have to spend the whole day at golf and not everyone can afford it.
But I think you can deal with it.
I played 9 holes alone, with the cart at 18.00 pm, found 2 groups in front of me that let me pass and it took 40 minutes to play.
As for the price of equipment (used stuff etc.) I think you can find a solution even for a quick golf round.

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#68 SoCalTitleist

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:19 PM

Too hard and not enough time. Too many hobbies and family life .

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#69 FourTops

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:20 PM

View PostEKELLY, on 28 May 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

Golf is HARD. People think I'm a natural because I still play pretty well. As my father still says today, "It's hard work becoming a natural!".....Most people either grasp a love of the game right away, or they do NOT!......You either grasp a knack for the fundamentals right away, or you do NOT!...Most don't, hence the ease with which they walk away.....

How many people take up guitar or piano only to find out PDQ that going from beginner to intermediate takes serious dedication and methodical learning because there's no short-cuts?  Then they quit...or enjoy plucking around as a casual hobby.  Golf is no different.

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#70 hybrid25

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:27 PM

View PostFourTops, on 28 May 2018 - 12:20 PM, said:

View PostEKELLY, on 28 May 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

Golf is HARD. People think I'm a natural because I still play pretty well. As my father still says today, "It's hard work becoming a natural!".....Most people either grasp a love of the game right away, or they do NOT!......You either grasp a knack for the fundamentals right away, or you do NOT!...Most don't, hence the ease with which they walk away.....

How many people take up guitar or piano only to find out PDQ that going from beginner to intermediate takes serious dedication and methodical learning because there's no short-cuts?  Then they quit...or enjoy plucking around as a casual hobby.  Golf is no different.
Funny, I have tried learning guitar about 3 times in my life, and each time have bought a guitar and ended up selling it about a year later. You think I would learn. Golf on the other hand, is something that I have always enjoyed and stuck with. I have slowed down here or there and accelerated my play as well, but I have stuck with it for 45 years. Strange, being in my early 60s I think I play as well as I ever have in my life, by being more disciplined.


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#71 FourTops

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:39 PM

View Posthybrid25, on 28 May 2018 - 12:27 PM, said:

View PostFourTops, on 28 May 2018 - 12:20 PM, said:

View PostEKELLY, on 28 May 2018 - 12:09 PM, said:

Golf is HARD. People think I'm a natural because I still play pretty well. As my father still says today, "It's hard work becoming a natural!".....Most people either grasp a love of the game right away, or they do NOT!......You either grasp a knack for the fundamentals right away, or you do NOT!...Most don't, hence the ease with which they walk away.....

How many people take up guitar or piano only to find out PDQ that going from beginner to intermediate takes serious dedication and methodical learning because there's no short-cuts?  Then they quit...or enjoy plucking around as a casual hobby.  Golf is no different.
Funny, I have tried learning guitar about 3 times in my life, and each time have bought a guitar and ended up selling it about a year later. You think I would learn. Golf on the other hand, is something that I have always enjoyed and stuck with. I have slowed down here or there and accelerated my play as well, but I have stuck with it for 45 years. Strange, being in my early 60s I think I play as well as I ever have in my life, by being more disciplined.

Golf is different in that one really only spends about 4 minutes out of 4.5 hours actually swinging clubs.  The rest of the time is walking or riding.  One song on the guitar takes 4 minutes of undivided attention.  imagine swinging a club for 4 minutes for each shot....Lol.

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#72 caniac6

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 01:51 PM

View PostMignuz, on 28 May 2018 - 12:16 PM, said:

The problem is not people quitting golf, but people not strarting to play golf anymore.
Here in Italy I see a lot of people quitting but not so many starting to play.
The reason, in my opinion, is not at all the price of the equipment.
It's the cost of playing golf, as if you want to play a good course you have to spend at least 50€, and to be member of a GC (here's compulsory, even if you can affiliate an online GC for 150€ more or less) costs from 1.000 to 5.000 euros a year (a good GC: 1500/2000).
Then, it's time.
You have to spend the whole day at golf and not everyone can afford it.
But I think you can deal with it.
I played 9 holes alone, with the cart at 18.00 pm, found 2 groups in front of me that let me pass and it took 40 minutes to play.
As for the price of equipment (used stuff etc.) I think you can find a solution even for a quick golf round.
Where I play, some guys seem to be aging out. Some guys have quit due to health problems. Some guys have quit because their quality of play has declined, and they can't handle not being as good as they used to be. These are probably things that have always happened, but I don't see much of an influx of young guys to take their place.

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#73 Webby58

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 02:07 PM

View Posttatertot, on 26 May 2018 - 08:42 AM, said:

5 hour rounds.

This last weekend I played Saturday and Sunday at a busy public course. Both rounds took just over 3 hours. Not sure what you talking about??
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#74 Webby58

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 02:22 PM

View Postwrmiller, on 26 May 2018 - 02:14 PM, said:

How do we get more people to quit? Darn courses are too crowded, and this may help with the slow pace of play. Or not.

(I'll show myself out... ;) )


Bingo. For what ever reason there is this "We have to grow the game of golf" going on. What happens? You end up with people on the golf course on a Saturday afternoon that don't know what a gold club is let alone what to do with it, an you wonder why a round is taking over 5 hours.
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#75 wrmiller

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 03:52 PM

View PostWebby58, on 28 May 2018 - 02:22 PM, said:

View Postwrmiller, on 26 May 2018 - 02:14 PM, said:

How do we get more people to quit? Darn courses are too crowded, and this may help with the slow pace of play. Or not.

(I'll show myself out... ;) )


Bingo. For what ever reason there is this "We have to grow the game of golf" going on. What happens? You end up with people on the golf course on a Saturday afternoon that don't know what a gold club is let alone what to do with it, an you wonder why a round is taking over 5 hours.

Oh, you mean the drunks that have more beer cans in their bag than clubs? ;)

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#76 Bourni1

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 04:13 PM

Finding time is tough.  I have played since I was around 12 years old or so, its a family sport and was blessed to have spent hours on the course with my grandfather, father, brother, uncles and cousins. Most of us have continued playing but I have had my spurts of 1 or 2 years where I play only 2 or 3 times a year as a result of family and work obligations.  They key is to try and make the time if you really love the game.  Be it going to the range or putting green, the quick 9 holes at dawn, or the 18 hole 5 hour round on Saturday one must sacrifice something (sleep is usually the easiest one to sacrifice).

I dont think cost is the big issue with golf. Equipment is easily available, and there are different course options that are affordable compared with other hobbies.  I have small children and a very understanding wife, who knows that my job is very demanding and that I spend all week looking forward to my weekend round, but every once in while there will inevitably be stretches where golf is not possible. I really look forward to getting my kids into the game and am sure that will permit me to keep playing for years to come.

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#77 daegyu

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 04:22 PM

Golf is too hard, too long, and too expensive for most people to pick it up. Golf is not a game to be enjoyed casually like bowling or billiards. It takes a serious commitment to get better and to enjoy the game. Regular golfers are usually those who picked it up young, picked it up when they retired, or are fairly competitive people. Aside from that, why pay big bucks to suck at something for 4 hours?

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#78 BIG STU

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 04:39 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 26 May 2018 - 12:52 PM, said:

For $500, I could put together a bag of used gear worthy of mention in MtlJeff's "Judging Players by their Bags" thread. That is just a little bit more than 3 new Vokeys.
Shoot I can do it for less than $25 and have several sets to prove it. Of course I will readily admit I work for a metal recycling company and find a lot of clubs. I actually played with a all junk pile set the other day shot 80. Really I had less than most folks have in a sleeve of new Pro Vs no joke. Actually at scrap prices I had less than $5 in the following

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#79 taporsnap17

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 05:22 PM

Money's a problem but IMO not the way OP has it.

Unless you're one that likes/wants to "keep up with the Jones'", it's irrelevant.  I'd say the average hacker that plays semi seriously (so say 3 out of every 4 weeks) would need a new driver every other model and maybe every every 2nd or 3rd model for irons.  Wedges are killers because you'll probably wear through the grooves.  Though I've had mine for 3 years and should but haven't replaced them (yeah there's the $$$ factor).

Memberships cost.  Freakin balls cost (and I used Srixon ADs so it's NZD100 for like 4 dozen).  If you road trip it, green fees cost.  Then there's the value of time and potentially dragging out to say 6 hours out of the day (warm up, and 19th, 20th, and 21st hole included).

Golf ain't cheap.  But we all knew what we signed up for

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#80 ldchristopher

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 07:40 PM

I played a 5 hour round in 100 degree heat yesterday. That means there was a course full of people just as dumb as me (though at least they were in carts). If people are walking away from the game at other courses, they're showing up at the ones I play.

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#81 Jackal

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 02:31 AM

View PostWebby58, on 28 May 2018 - 02:22 PM, said:

View Postwrmiller, on 26 May 2018 - 02:14 PM, said:

How do we get more people to quit? Darn courses are too crowded, and this may help with the slow pace of play. Or not.

(I'll show myself out... ;) )


Bingo. For what ever reason there is this "We have to grow the game of golf" going on. What happens? You end up with people on the golf course on a Saturday afternoon that don't know what a gold club is let alone what to do with it, an you wonder why a round is taking over 5 hours.
This is what messes a lot of people  up.

We go out on a Saturday  afternoon at 3:00.
There  are people there that have  never swung a club.
   One guy is showing  3 people  how to hit and giving lessons on the first tee.
They are all sharing 1 bag of clubs.
The driving range is empty.
The course owners are so desperate  for money  they let this  happen.
  Then they  can't  figure  out why people won't  play that course.

Edited by Jackal, 29 May 2018 - 09:54 AM.


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#82 wkuo3

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 08:38 AM

Just had a discussion with the guys I play golf with regarding this issue.

The consensus was, those that walked away from the game came into the game because it's influenced by "growing the game" , a fashion to play golf, they're never bitten by the bugs.  They expected to pick up this game, buying the equipment,  take a few lessons and be good at it instantaneously,  In other words, they are never the right kind for the game, just like some of us don't hang around skiing or swimming or other sports.

There are, a few whom left the game because of the built in elements of the game.  For economic reason, or lack of time owing to commitment for work and/or family.  I could certainly understand this,  I used to be a certified golf nut, spending every spare moment and dime on the game,  Then I have family , and change of profession......basically played very little golf for almost 20 years.

Now I understand why some of my friends got out of the game, getting older with the aching body parts, rising cost for medical care and long term care.  They might chose go fishing after retirement instead of go golfing after retirement.
A few used to be "golf nut" 30-40 years ago, for one reason or the other they are now distant from the game. playing maybe a few times a year.... they were surprised that I still hang on to the game as much as I do.
I know if one distant from the game for awhile, then the hold to return to the game will be less pressing.

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#83 r0scoe

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 08:48 AM

My thought is that it's too god damn f*cking hard!

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#84 Ferguson

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:24 AM

Only saw one guy in my life truly walk away from the game.  

About 6-7 years ago there was a hard rain the night before so the mowers got out late – tee times were backed up 45 minutes.   There were about 30 of us waiting to tee off.   We all knew each other, and as expected, we all felt rushed when they finally cut us loose.  A guy two groups ahead of us took a swipe at one and missed it, one of the guys from the group on deck mumbles  “STRIKE ONE.” The guy who whiffed turned red and took another swing – missed again.   The same game guys says, “STEEEEEEEERIKE TWO.”   Laughter erupted.   The guy backs off, takes a few practice swings and tops it about 60 yards.  He turns to the group on deck and points at the guy and says “f- you” and “f- this game”.   Walks off the tee and leaves.  Left his clubs there and from I heard never returned, ever.   He walked away.

Edited by Ferguson, 29 May 2018 - 09:24 AM.


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#85 Z1ggy16

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:36 AM

I think it's got very little to do with equipment costs and more to do with 1) the time commitment of golf, 2) increasing green's fees and 3) golf is really hard.

I'm also a beer league hockey player and that sport is totally different than playing leisure golf. For one... all my costs are pretty much fixed and my time commitment is laid out in advance. If I want to go play pick up, I know it's going to be Saturday night from 10pm-midnight and it's going to cost $20. Not a second more will I be 'required' to wait around to play, and next year the cost for the same game won't suddenly jump up a ton. Also, I guess it's all relative but I think it's way easier to pass a puck... skate... shoot, than to use a variety of sticks to hit a ball toward a very small target. Most people you can toss skates on them and after a few weeks if they practiced, they could at least skate around, maybe stop and do some decent turns. Give a totally untrained pleb a golf club and after 2 weeks you're lucky if they can get the ball airborne 50% of the time. Forget things like bunker shots, hitting off weird lies, etc.

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#86 HatsForBats

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:42 AM

School. That is what I see as the cause.

Most every kid that plays sports 'needs' to be on a travel team and most every kid 'needs' to go to college. Most every parent 'needs' to go to all of the kids activities. This sucks away a large amount of time and disposable income. At some point the insanity of it all will subside but who knows when.

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#87 Nard_S

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:57 AM

View PostHatsForBats, on 29 May 2018 - 09:42 AM, said:

School. That is what I see as the cause.

Most every kid that plays sports 'needs' to be on a travel team and most every kid 'needs' to go to college. Most every parent 'needs' to go to all of the kids activities. This sucks away a large amount of time and disposable income. At some point the insanity of it all will subside but who knows when.

There's a lot more truth in this than most ever realize.

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#88 BeerPerHole

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:11 AM

View Postdedicated2journey, on 26 May 2018 - 07:42 AM, said:

When is the last time you had to buy a new baseball bat or glove?
What about a new football?
Maybe you need a new tennis racket?
How about a racketball racket?
You must need a better basketball this year?

NO? What?!?!?!

How do you expect the sports equipment manufacturers to survive? OMG...!!!


All I see is greed from the big manufacturers of this game. Many would say it's back lash from the tiger era...I say it's human nature unchecked. I pray bifurcation solves this problem...but I know it won't. Capitalism is kind of a monster when left to it's own devices...but I guess regulation is kind of a joke too. Hmmmm....

I get so confused as to why golf manufacturers think they need to put out new clubs and balls every year? Seems like a lot of effort for no reason other than profit. Kind of silly IMHO...bet they could be doing better things with their time and capital.

People are sick of spending $600 on a driver that doesn't work. $1000+ for irons that aren't fit right for them. Damn near $200 a wedge now?!?!?!?!

Mind blowing...
Well...the manufacturers have to put out new clubs each year because they are in the business of...putting out new clubs each year. Don't mean to sound like a jerk. And...it's a legit question. The bigger question as to why people walk from the game...Well, golf is extremely challenging and can be very expensive. It can be cheap too. I tell people who are thinking about taking it up that you can get a decent set of clubs get a couple lessons and improve your skills for a modest amount of money. I haven't ever seen somebody judged for their gear. I imagine it must happen. But, I just haven't seen it. And, who cares?

I used to fly airplanes for a hobby. It simply got too expensive. I sure miss it. Grew up around it. But, general aviation left the middle-class. I hear similar comparisons being made to golf. I do see all socioeconomic levels of people at our local mega-range-shop complex when I go out to hit a bucket of balls. General aviation, in my view, was the canary in the coal mine for the American middle class. Golf, therefore, is probably being impacted.
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#89 FKA HB

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:55 AM

Golf is expensive, takes a long time to play, and is difficult.  But all those things have always been true.  People talk about golf declining, but I don't see it in real life.  Courses are jam-packed every evening and weekend, weather permitting.
I think golf had a bubble from the early 2000's that needed to burst to get back to normal capacity.
One thing that I've noticed, is that kids don't seem to play golf recreationally.  They either don't play or compete.  I feel that may be problematic.  When I was a kid (I didn't play golf, but lived near a course and several friends played), people played for fun.  Kids playing with parents, kids playing with other kids.  Messing around stuff.  Now it's camps, formal instruction, structured practice, tournament play, etc.  Golf seemed like it was more of an activity that a lot of people and kids just did for fun, than a sport to be focused upon.

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#90 nsxguy

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 11:01 AM

View PostJackal, on 29 May 2018 - 02:31 AM, said:

View PostWebby58, on 28 May 2018 - 02:22 PM, said:

View Postwrmiller, on 26 May 2018 - 02:14 PM, said:

How do we get more people to quit? Darn courses are too crowded, and this may help with the slow pace of play. Or not.

(I'll show myself out... ;) )


Bingo. For what ever reason there is this "We have to grow the game of golf" going on. What happens? You end up with people on the golf course on a Saturday afternoon that don't know what a gold club is let alone what to do with it, an you wonder why a round is taking over 5 hours.
This is what messes a lot of people  up.

We go out on a Saturday  afternoon at 3:00.
There  are people there that have  never swung a club.
   One guy is showing  3 people  how to hit and giving lessons on the first tee.
They are all sharing 1 bag of clubs.
The driving range is empty.
The course owners are so desperate  for money  they let this  happen.
  Then they  can't  figure  out why people won't  play that course.

Did they let you play through ?

I agree that, as in my case, newer golfers should stay at the driving range until they are relatively sure they can move the ball a fair bit forward 90% of the time AND are familiar with GC etiquette so as to move it along and/or let faster players play through.

But when would you have beginners play ? 7 AM ? I don't think so. That is why they're out at 3 PM and later, when they know they'll not hold many people up as the courses are far less crowded.

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