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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 134
DURING 30 years playing this game and now half of that period spent writing about it, I’m growing more and more certain that golf means different things to different golfers. And that varied level of engagement is actually one of its great assets. You can devote a lot of time to golf or not very much time at all; you can devote a lot of money to it or not very much. And it’s the same for how seriously to take golf and how often to play. The degree in which you allow or don’t allow the game to consume you is entirely individual. In recent years we’ve heard a lot about participation and the hackneyed phrase ‘growing the game’. The raw numbers forecast that some golf clubs risk going under if membership numbers aren’t replenished and participation rates don’t at worst hold steady and ideally improve. The numbers are scary, so of course I’m all for continued growth – who wouldn’t want other people to enjoy what we already do? – yet gnawing away in the back of my brain is a sense that maybe this isn’t the sport for everyone. We keep hearing how golf is restrictive in nature. The cost of starting out, the lack of early discernible progress, the general environment and social mores associated with golf can make it daunting to even try. To quote my Year 11 economics teacher, the barriers to entry to this marketplace are high. But who in this stalemate should adapt for whom? While I am on board with the ideas of larger holes, shorter rounds and almost every gimmicky tweak proposed to make golf more fun and alluring (I’m a huge proponent of the need for more ‘short’ courses), let’s not forget the game as it stands became popular and drew us in for certain reasons and diluting those reasons risks diluting the inherent pleasures. It’s not a head-in-the-sand stance; rather an acknowledgement that golf appeals to a certain way of thinking – in the same way many activities do – but likely not to everyone’s. It is a niche sport so it stands to reason that its following will be niche. So instead of looking outward to end golf’s malaise, maybe the assessment ought to be more inward. Let’s focus on growing the involvement of the existing pool of players. Take one more golf trip per year. Play one more round per month at your home course and another 18 holes elsewhere. Book an extra lesson. Shout yourself a new box of balls. Eat a meal in your clubhouse more often. Then, perhaps wondering why they never see or hear from you anymore, your non-playing friends and family members might become intrigued by golf themselves. OTG the VIEW GROW THE GAME? GROW UP. HAS THE TIME COME FOR GOLF TO SIMPLY ACCEPT THAT PERHAPS IT ISN’T REALLY A GAME FOR EVERYONE? with Steve Keipert Golf Australia Deputy Editor FLIP IT & RIP IT. TM Introducing our first-ever front-to-back FLIPZONETM adjustable weight technology. Flip the weight forward for a penetrating ball flight that generates more roll. Or, flip it back for a towering flight path and carry those hazards that used to get in your head. Its two settings deliver the perfect distance and trajectory for your swing. GAME CHANGED Find which setting is right for your game at cobragolf.com.au/fly-z
OTG Express 133
OTG Express 135