The busy season has begun. As a small publication group there is always a lot of tasks to do and as much as I enjoy sharing my thoughts in this space, there is seemingly never enough time to share something important. There are other sections of the website that always seem to get my attention first, articles to be written for the print magazines, and an endless number of other things that need attention.
One of those is this Blog, which you will note is missing some posts from the past month. They have been taken down temporarily in an effort to fix an RSS Feed issue that is currently affecting our front page. We hope to have it back and running soon and those posts back up as well.
In the mean time, I just wanted to share a simple couple thoughts on two issues that always seem to rear their ugly heads as golf season begins, the pace and cost of golf.
These are vast topics that you could use reams of paper to discuss. In essence though, part of the problem is that we all want to play the most popular, best quality golf courses, at the pace and price we prefer. The problem is, lots of others want the same. Which makes it a lot harder to accomplish.
We hear people talking about 12 hole courses as a solution but while they may drive down the cost of the property (and the resulting green fee) and the length of the round, we already have plenty of nine hole courses and eighteen hole courses with nine hole rates so I am not sure it is really the way to go.
As far as pace is concerned, I would love to see more courses enforce match play-only on weekends and in peak times. It is a common practice in the United Kingdom and really, most people are far too obsessed with stroke play anyways. It’s not uncommon to see a sign in Scotland that enforces an expectation of a weekend match taking just three hours. Imagine that.
On the other hand, in dealing with the price issue I think many people want too much for too little in many cases. Costs are rising for golf courses so expecting prices to come down might be a little unrealistic.
In you really want to golf – I mean REALLY want to golf. There are always options. You just may have to make some compromises.
In Eastern Ontario I visited a golf course just yesterday that offered up 18 holes (all par threes, mind you) with tiny, 2,000 square foot crowned greens where any true golfer would still feel connected to the game. In fact, it is likely a tougher test than most full length courses and a few trips around it’s length would do a lot to polish your short game.
With membership prices at just over $600 for an adult and $200 for a junior, it is an affordable solution where the pace of play is just 2 hours for a full round.
Golf is not just about 7,000 yards and high end country clubs. If you REALLY want to play you just need to open your eyes to find the right solution to the cost, time issue.
That said, for those of you that seem to wander aimlessly on the golf course with no regard to your fellow golfers…pick up the pace!
But, we can’t just expect people to play faster by yelling at them though. Proper pace of play just might need to become part of the standard package for lessons for beginning golfers.
While it may seem intuitive to most golfers, many that come to the game never receive any direction on the etiquette of play.
Some programs are aiming to do this but it should be pretty much mandatory fare at every golf club.
That would be a good start.