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Old 09-25-2016, 10:01 PM   #26
flabucki09
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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Originally Posted by golfnutt View Post
Country clubs.

And even in places where they do allow cell phones, how long of a phone call you make without it interrupting everyone? Not everything can be accomplished by text over 4 hours.

I have to admit this might be the silliest thing I have ever heard. Especially at CC's. You mean to tell me that the captains of industry, doctors, lawyers, etc are not going to answer calls or messages? When I was playing a ton we all used our phones and it never caused anyone an issue.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:09 PM   #27
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

I've heard of it at a few country clubs. They want a place to get away so they make it that way. Again, id be shocked if it was a policy at more than 1% of courses in the u.s. Probably more like .1%
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:11 PM   #28
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

The only hope "to make golf great again" is to make the hole 10 to 15 inches. Golf will take 3 hours to play and be more enjoyable for beginners.

Other than that, there is nothing to "save golf". Everything else is patchwork to stem the astronomical slide of golf. It is cratering and it has nothing to do with the economy or Tiger Woods. There is a course closing in the US each and the two TOTAL that are added are private clubs. With no players.

How in 20 years of Tiger Woods, there hasn't been even another African-American player?

Where are the players in 10 years going to come from when we keep reducing access and increasing costs?
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:19 PM   #29
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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I have to admit this might be the silliest thing I have ever heard. Especially at CC's. You mean to tell me that the captains of industry, doctors, lawyers, etc are not going to answer calls or messages? When I was playing a ton we all used our phones and it never caused anyone an issue.
I checked a random country club in LA.

***Description
Located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, the Wilshire Country Club offers a private, 18-hole golf course that is 6,527 yards with a par of 71. The course is known for its gorgeous greens, but the maintenance of the entire course is outstanding as well.

A "no cell-phone" policy is enforced everywhere but the parking lot and the dress code is also strictly enforced. ***

Do you know what they tell a doctor at a country club who says they need their cell phone for emergencies? DON'T PLAY GOLF.

The people at country clubs don't care. They want to get away from cell phones. At a country club, everyone is equal.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:46 AM   #30
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

I wonder what the UGSA and R&A thinks about spending all their time and effort banning anchoring putting.

Did it accomplish anything? All they have done is turn more people away from the game. Brilliant move picking 2016 to ban something that makes golf, even just slightly, more enjoyable to a small minority of people. Anchored putting doesn't make golf easier. What demographic is most likely to use an anchored putter? Older people.

"Golf" is doing its best to keep younger and older people away from the game.

http://hubpages.com/sports/Double-Bo...ic-Golf-Course

The only reason the majority of country clubs are open is because of the monthly dues that all members must pay. So they have a recurring revenue stream even if not one person plays. The majority of those country clubs have "sell lists". Meaning people want out. But there is nobody to replace them.

You can't just walk away from a country club membership. Even if the membership cost $40,000 and you would settle for $0.00. You could be "trapped" for 4 years. And the problem with the "sell" members is they want zero re-invested in the golf course since they themselves are no longer invested in the long-term economics of the club.

I have seen country clubs that were super exclusive 8 years ago now advertising on the Internet for members. And they still can't get members. And the current membership doesn't like the new members and want out.

Toxic.

Frustrating to have witnessed the last 10 years. My user name says it all. I can find very few people that play golf. I used to play with 15-20 of the same people every week. None of them play regularly anymore. Too busy, too expensive, not interested.

I find it all sad.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:02 AM   #31
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

The only way to build a course today is to make it private and raise enough initiation fees to cover expense. Need enough members with their monthly dues to cover costs. Even if the club isn't being used. Works great for clubs like Augusta, Cypress, Pine Valley, SF Golf Club, etc. Those clubs don't rely on play to survive.

The kill switch in America is if you let an hour a day on an country club go for open play. Exclusiveness is lost. It won't feel like a club.

There are few places that will survive on daily fee. Bandon Dunes, Pasatiempo, Pebble, Torrey Pines, and perhaps a few more. Not many. Too hard to rely on the daily grind of golfers for revenue. They have become too cost conscious. And their cost of operations continues to rise.

Good country clubs can die at a much slower pace. The members are more involved and even if they don't play golf, they don't want to see it disappear. It does get frustrating though when you do want to leave that you find out you are stuck. For years. And it is a hard sell to new members who find out a trove of people want out. They want to feel like they are joining something special, not they are the last one holding the bag and they are the ones that will get hit with an assessment.

We accept golf will decline or we change the game of golf. And coming to terms why people don't take up golf and stick with it. Difficult and costly. Any other business would find a solution before going broke. The cell phone manufacturers made their once bulky phones cheap and easier to use. The ease of accessing movies is radically different. Anywhere.

So I guess we choose golf as a super-niched (like archery) activity or we make drastic changes to the game itself. Jack Nicklaus knows it. You need to have some instant gratification to bring you back and cost can't be a hinderance. You don't develop a golfer in one day. Months. The support and the financials are not there. Experts don't make it welcoming either. Elitist.

Oh well. I don't have time and my friends don't have time. If I am cutting significantly back on golf, the game is dead. I am the demographic * 100. Male, caucasian, high-income, was once a very elite golfer. With my family, member of multiple country clubs. Born on 3rd base. And yet I pulled out one of the golf clubs to a social membership. Just didn't have the time. And when I was playing, I felt pressure to be with family or work. Not relaxed for 6 hours.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:22 AM   #32
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

lol, sounds like you are more the problem then the solution.

and LOL at complaining about long rounds and then saying golf is dead. Are the people who are left just walking around the course smelling the roses for 6 hours...or are they waiting for the 7 min tee times to allow them to hit?

so which is it...is it so popular that they need to pack them in at 7-10 intervals...or is it dead?
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:38 AM   #33
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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It isn't like a party where you can show up 30 minutes late or leave 30 minutes early.
I'd really like you to have a chat with the numb-skulls I regularly play with =P
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:04 PM   #34
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

LACC in LA doesn't allow any cell phones except in your car in the parking lot. You also can't wear shorts. And of course tuck in those shirts!

It's really stuffy...I've only played once. Bel Air is similarly stuffy...long pants only as well. No cell phones on gc, clubhouse or parking lot! Not sure what that leaves...driving range?

These courses have plenty of 1, or .1 percenters lining up to play...initiation is over 200K.

But, as someone who has golfed on munis/public courses for the past 25 years, the drop off in play is quite noticeable. No need to call in advance for tee times, deals abound online, and even on the local LA munis, I've played in under 4 hours when 15 years ago you couldn't get around in under 5 1/2!
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:15 PM   #35
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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lol, sounds like you are more the problem then the solution.

and LOL at complaining about long rounds and then saying golf is dead. Are the people who are left just walking around the course smelling the roses for 6 hours...or are they waiting for the 7 min tee times to allow them to hit?

so which is it...is it so popular that they need to pack them in at 7-10 intervals...or is it dead?
I am the problem? Please explain.

Yes, the rounds are long and golf is dead. Paradox, eh? First few groups take forever and then you are limited to the amount of groups who can play. Even if the group in the middle could take 3 hours to play the round, the can't go faster than the group in front.

If golf was so popular, why is there a golf course closing every single day? Why don't the popular golf courses raise prices?
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:25 PM   #36
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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LACC in LA doesn't allow any cell phones except in your car in the parking lot. You also can't wear shorts. And of course tuck in those shirts!

It's really stuffy...I've only played once. Bel Air is similarly stuffy...long pants only as well. No cell phones on gc, clubhouse or parking lot! Not sure what that leaves...driving range?

These courses have plenty of 1, or .1 percenters lining up to play...initiation is over 200K.

But, as someone who has golfed on munis/public courses for the past 25 years, the drop off in play is quite noticeable. No need to call in advance for tee times, deals abound online, and even on the local LA munis, I've played in under 4 hours when 15 years ago you couldn't get around in under 5 1/2!
How about Los Angeles Country Club and San Fransisco Golf Club that don't even allow range finders?

The courses you mentioned on the westside of Los Angeles are outliers. Brentwood, LACC, Hillcrest, Riviera, Bel-Air and Riviera. They are, as you said, not 1%ers, but .1%ers.

A lot of country clubs like tradition and that is what sets them apart from the others. They won't give into pants at LACC or Bel-Air. They actually like it that they can tell a doctor don't come to the course if you have to be on call. It gives an aura of exclusivity.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:43 PM   #37
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

No rangefinders? Wow...would they confiscate my Garmin golf watch too!
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:43 PM   #38
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

For me its pace of play, I never Golf on a weekend, as I have flexible schedule I call couple of courses and see how busy they are usually midday or sometimes late evening. I play so fast I finish my round less than 2 hours and I play few extra balls every hole and never waste time keep searching for my lost ball.

Some golfers are just unreal, they take forever to play a hole, spend so much time on putting green, never play ready golf, wait until playing partner hits do some practice swings, change club, practice again, hit some where out of bounds, go look for ball more than 10 mins. There is nothing anybody could do, for me it's not worth it wasting my time behind those groups.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:32 PM   #39
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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Originally Posted by golfnutt View Post
I checked a random country club in LA.

***Description
Located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, the Wilshire Country Club offers a private, 18-hole golf course that is 6,527 yards with a par of 71. The course is known for its gorgeous greens, but the maintenance of the entire course is outstanding as well.

A "no cell-phone" policy is enforced everywhere but the parking lot and the dress code is also strictly enforced. ***

Do you know what they tell a doctor at a country club who says they need their cell phone for emergencies? DON'T PLAY GOLF.

The people at country clubs don't care. They want to get away from cell phones. At a country club, everyone is equal.
Wow - that is crazy. I am not sure how the true, top end "Country Clubs" down here work - but I know all the "Private Clubs" I have played in the last 12 years do not have this rule. Maybe that is the difference. If so the 1% assertion is probably correct.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:15 AM   #40
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

http://worldgolfreport.blogspot.com
**The Week That Was, march 26, 2017
In terms of development and construction, 2016 was another repeat performance for the U.S. golf industry. Our business lost 190 golf properties last year, according to the National Golf Foundation, continuing a string of net annual reductions that began in 2006. Sadly, the plus side of the ledger barely showed a pulse, as only 15.5 new courses opened, according to the NGF’s unnecessarily complicated math. While these losses may seem dismaying, the NGF characterizes them as a “healthy self-balancing of supply and demand” and cheerfully predicts that they’ll continue “for several more years.” The message, apparently, is that when supply and demand finally do reach some sort of equilibrium, everything will be hunky-dory for golf operations. As in years past, the courses most likely to go belly up are privately owned, affordably priced nine- or 18-hole daily-fee tracks. All in all, when 2016 ended there were 15,014 U.S. golf facilities still standing. By this time next year, the NGF expects to count 150 to 175 fewer.**

This is just crushing year after year. That is a lot of golf pro jobs lost too.

The courses being closed are the ones that are needed to develop future talent. This is going to be a tough hole to come out of for the industry. Fewer courses mean fewer players. Sad that we are losing 9 hole courses too.

They might as well try big-hole golf on these courses that are about to close. They have nothing to lose. It seems we are going to be left with private clubs and high-end resort clubs like Pebble, Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes, etc. Cities are stopping subsidizing their local munis because of the increased costs and lower play. Taxpayers don't want to pay for something they don't use. Can't blame them.
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:55 AM   #41
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

How many people are not playing golf because they can't use a cellphone? Can't be very many. As a reason for the overall decline I'd say it is negligible.

I also don't think making the hole bigger would solve anything. Most beginners and rec players are far less intimidated by putting than any other aspect of the game. For most beginners, there is an embarrassment factor that comes from shanking the ball, topping it a few feet, etc. The full swing is much more intimidating than putting and I don't think a lot of people quit golf because they are lousy putters.

I do think there was a glut of courses during the golf/economic boom that is returning more to normalized levels. However a bigger issue is getting kids into the game, it is still seen by many as a rich old-guy sport. It can't all be the Tiger effect because as others have said, golf is booming in Korea even as Tiger fades from the spotlight.

Maybe it is cultural, Americans like things quick, and golf takes a long time to get halfway decent at. I have several friends who were gung-ho on golf for a while, never got better than shooting 100 or so, then quit. I'm sure they are not alone. I don't think they quit because the round takes 4.5 hours. They quit because the game is hard.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:21 AM   #42
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

I still think the time it takes is the main factor that drives people away. I play a lot less than I used to because I can't find places to play in a reasonable time. Its also a lot harder to find a foursome when everyone knows its a 7 hour commitment door to door than when its a 5 or 5.5 hour commitment and you can play early and be home by 1 or 2 or play after lunch and still have time to make it to a 7 or 8 pm dinner.

The last round I played I decided I wanted to play around noon and got a golfnow teetime for ~2:00 at a place nearby that has 27 holes. When I arrived the alerted me that they were running way behind and that it would be ~3:00 by the time I get off and offered me free balls while I wait and to not charge my card if I don't want to. I was annoyed, but whatever, I was already there.

I then proceeded to play the first 9 in ~2:45 in a twosome because the course was jammed. My partner quit at the turn and I showed up to the 10th tee where two groups were on the tee and one in the fairway. I decided **** it and replayed the 9 I had already played bc the par 5 first looked completely clear and I knew they weren't turning anyone that way so only someone starting after 5 pm would be in front of me. I also figured it wasn't worth it to play 3 or 4 holes before dark on the other side.

I played the second nine solo in 43 minutes and finished with about 15-20 minutes of light to spare. I also shot a 41 after shooting 55 the first time around. It is just not at all enjoyable to play a slow round and its next to impossible to find a rhythm. There is no reason that 4 hours can't be an absolute max for a foursome with the goal being under that.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:06 PM   #43
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

I cant believe anyone would seriously think making the hole bigger would do anything. Time and cost is obviously the two biggest reasons why the game doesnt gain popularity.

This may sound stupid/may be stupid but I think the Golf Channel actually does more to hurt the game rather than grow it. Their programming is total dog ****, their personalities are total dog ****, shows like Morning Drive are just the corniest/worst thing ever. It really makes Golf seem like the lamest sport ever. They need to get with the times and try and make it appealing to the masses. Have a segment discussing Daily Fantasy PGA, have someone other than Tim Rouesfort giving reports on what Jason Day is eating to help his game, something other than what they are doing now. It just really is mind blowing how bad that channel is. /Rant.
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Old 03-29-2017, 02:26 PM   #44
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

Not just golf channel though, pro golf itself is pretty lame. I'm not sure how you could possibly make guys like Snedeker, Webb Simpson, and Bill Haas seem cool to anyone. Avid golfers appreciate the skill involved, but as far as personality or appeal to casual sports fans, the PGA tour doesn't have much.
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:51 PM   #45
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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I also don't think making the hole bigger would solve anything. Most beginners and rec players are far less intimidated by putting than any other aspect of the game. For most beginners, there is an embarrassment factor that comes from shanking the ball, topping it a few feet, etc. The full swing is much more intimidating than putting and I don't think a lot of people quit golf because they are lousy putters.

I do think there was a glut of courses during the golf/economic boom that is returning more to normalized levels. However a bigger issue is getting kids into the game, it is still seen by many as a rich old-guy sport. It can't all be the Tiger effect because as others have said, golf is booming in Korea even as Tiger fades from the spotlight.

Maybe it is cultural, Americans like things quick, and golf takes a long time to get halfway decent at. I have several friends who were gung-ho on golf for a while, never got better than shooting 100 or so, then quit. I'm sure they are not alone. I don't think they quit because the round takes 4.5 hours. They quit because the game is hard.
Bigger hole would speed up game and create the perception from other places that isn't that hard. Agree that putting isn't intimidating.

It seems we are sort of in an economic growth period. The problem is that everyone I know is working non-stop.

You are right about it taking too long. Not the full article below but we all get the hint. Golf is brutally tough. It isn't one of those things you try every four months or so.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america...-it-1457379085

**Americans Want to Play Golf—Until They Try It**
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:06 PM   #46
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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I still think the time it takes is the main factor that drives people away. I play a lot less than I used to because I can't find places to play in a reasonable time. Its also a lot harder to find a foursome when everyone knows its a 7 hour commitment door to door than when its a 5 or 5.5 hour commitment and you can play early and be home by 1 or 2 or play after lunch and still have time to make it to a 7 or 8 pm dinner.
Yep. Way too much time. Especially for someone just starting. I don't think people realize how much effort it takes to break 90 if you start later in life. The expense and time for something that seems to be selfish.

Also so hard to coordinate with a group of people. Golf is certainly broken. The rules changes are more of an acknowledgement that there is something wrong. It won't be the panacea. America just may have culturally changed in the opposite direction and it will be a long time if, and ever, it returns.

With houses going up on these golf courses, there probably won't ever be a return to the numbers seen before.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/br...321-story.html
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:10 PM   #47
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

It would be interesting if some course tried to go to a faster pace of play model on one weekend day. I'd love a hard mandate on how long a round can take but that ****s over people behind slow groups.

Maybe something like no foursomes allowed so everyone is playing in threesomes or less. Or even mandating twosomes only would be reasonable. I can't imagine needing more than 3 hours to play in a twosome.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:36 PM   #48
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

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It would be interesting if some course tried to go to a faster pace of play model on one weekend day. I'd love a hard mandate on how long a round can take but that ****s over people behind slow groups.

Maybe something like no foursomes allowed so everyone is playing in threesomes or less. Or even mandating twosomes only would be reasonable. I can't imagine needing more than 3 hours to play in a twosome.
There are some 6-some golfers that can play fast. It is all about ready golf. If you have good ball awareness and don't have to watch people, golf can be played in 2.5 hours easily. That is if golf was only a sport. For many people it is a recreation and bonding experience.

You can't do time of play as you said because that punishes other groups. Course marshals don't seem to work that effectively. So hard to get a group to skip a hole and those players get very bitter and it causes confrontation.

Almost impossible to pass a group while playing. Golfers hate that. Skipping a hole is possible but that screws up the fast player by only getting 17 holes. Not possible to always go back. And screws up betting too.

14 holes is probably the ideal. 18 holes is an anachronism.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:51 PM   #49
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

There has to be a way to just get people to play faster. Find your ball, find your yardage, get general wind direction, hit your shot. Repeat. It really shouldn't take that long to be ready to hit and if you're not first to play from the fairway or hitting consecutive shots there really isn't much reason the whole process should take any longer than 30s.

Like, sure I am not good, but I don't think I would improve a lot by having tour level information before every shot and adding a bunch of practice swings and a 2 minute routine.

Its not until you get really ****ing good that things like "am I 166 or 168 yards out" actually matter and at that point you're playing at places where you have actual pin sheets and not places that tell you where the flag is generally plus you understand all the small things to speed up play at that point.
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:02 PM   #50
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Re: Lets Make Golf Great Again

Gimmes would help too. I hate watching players take forever for small putts. But I do understand those are important. Another reason a big hole is better. Anything within a few feet would be good.
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