Golf memberships around the WORLD are dropping. Youth are not picking up the game. With out youth coming through where will that leave the middle of the range Golf Courses?
“High end Golf” will always fair well – it’s a harsh way of putting it, but it is true.
What is a major cause for concern to us is the middle range golfer and golf course. Where the majority of people play, where the majority of twilight lessons are conducted, where the majority of small children run beside their mum or dad whilst they are slipping in a quick 9 holes – not entirely relaxing as they are also making sure their kids don’t jump on the green or get a ball in the back of the head ( amongst other things ). How can we ensure that Golf and its traditions ( no matter how finicky they can be ) remain? Or is it indeed time to make some new traditions?
Ideas of “Football Golf” have been mooted. 6 enlarged holes, a soccer ball and a group of mates. “Golf Boarding” – which involves surfing a long-board around a golf course, swinging a club whilst playing a round with a group of mates.
What do those 2 “New Wave Golf Versions” have in common? Yep that’s it – “with a group of mates”…. Youth and Mates go hand in hand in the 21st century. What we as Golfers, and Golf Course Administrators need to do now is be proactive and find a way that will bring our local youths and their mates back onto the greens. Is this through pricing? Is it through making evenings over summer “youth friendly”? Is it through reducing from 9 holes and making a 6 hole competition? Or is it through the “oldies” lightening up a bit and realizing that it is the 21st century and whilst Golf Etiquette will still be maintained on the courses, our young players and their mates need to be cut some slack to entice them onto the Golf Course to start with.