I’m in an interesting position as I move back into the golf industry, career-wise. Presently, I’m not a club professional nor an active teaching professional. But what I certainly am is a proponent of growing the game and assisting in those efforts as a PGA Professional. Every year, millions of people try the game only to stop playing. Millions more who have been players in the past find the time or cost to be a barrier and become “lapsed” golfers. Compare the churn of new and lapsed players to the “avid” (25+ rounds per year) player and there is a bit of erosion there.
What’s it going to take to grow the game?
Is it wise for the USGA and the R&A to propose a ban on anchored putting styles that currently may help players enjoy the game more?
Golfers want to shoot lower scores, hit more “good” shots and enjoy time with friends. Should the USGA and the R&A, in the spirit of enforcing rules…..sort of “take the fun out of it” for players?
The PGA of America has the “Golf 2.0” program with loads of information/initiatives for PGA Members to better understand golfers and what drives them to play, how to develop programs and market them successfully and MEASURE the results. Junior players, women, “lapsed” golfers and minorities are four great segments of growth, and needed for the health and growth of the game overall.
Which beings me to the point about bifurcation of the Rules of Golf. Is it time to consider having one set of Rules for amateur players and another set of Rules for the PGA/LPGA/Champions Tour and other professional players? Don’t most players every weekend sort of play by their own version of the USGA Rules of Golf anyway? I like the Rules, I think they are important to the game and they serve a purpose for fair competition. I also think some of them are really stupid and the Rule Book itself is complicated and difficult to interpret, but I digress.
I have more questions than I have comments here. I’m interested to hear your opinions on any of the topics brought up here. I’m hoping as golf moves forward, a new generation finds how cool the game is, the life lessons it can teach, the joy and peace one can find playing, the people you can meet….and just how FUN it can be. I’d hate to see the game I love take a beating due to the inability to find compromise, veiled in the fog of “righteousness”.