How To Grow The Game of Golf
By mustang6560 on 5/8/12
Prior to the broadcast of the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Phil Mickelson was featured in an interview on the Golf Channel. During the interview, Lefty fielded several questions about a variety of topics including the Hall of Fame, his plans after golf, and his opinion on how to grow the game.

Of all his responses, the one that stood out to me the most was the one about how to grow the game. The industry wants us to believe the solution is rooted in making a round of golf shorter (or having golfers play the forward tees, and even reducing the number of holes in a standard round).

Phil's idea is a little different. I don't have his exact quote, but Phil basically said instead of focusing on ways to make a round of golf shorter, golf courses should invest more in the facilities so the golf course will become a place for people to "hang out". He said growing up he loved to go to the golf course because it was a place he hung out with his friends. His suggestions included a well-equipped gym, an improved practice facility, and a par-3 course for kids.

For me, his idea of adding a workout facility hit home for me the most (as my golf course has a pretty solid practice facility). I try to work out three to four times per week, but my home course does not have a gym. If it did, then I wouldn't need to pay for a gym membership AND it would bring me back to the golf course even more frequently. As it is now, I'm at the golf course three to five days a week, but I am rarely there if I'm not playing or practicing. If I could combine the two activities, I'd easily be at the golf course four to six times per week.

I'm not sure simply improving the facilities will grow the game, but his idea has merit. The more time someone spends at a golf course, the more opportunity that person has to spend money at the golf course. And the better the facilities, the more likely a person is to want to "hang out" at the golf course.

What do you think of Phil's idea?


Image via Flickr, SN#1


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[ comments ]
mjaber says:
Sounds like he is suggesting a return to the "golf club/country club", instead of there simply being a golf course and clubhouse/restaurant. It's an interesting theory, but people don't "hang out" like they used to (or at least I don't). Health clubs used to be the same way, but they have almost all disappeared and been replaced by gyms. The other problem is the membership fees for these types of clubs is not something the average 2-income family can afford.
5/8/12
 
billbadaz says:
yeah, what Phil is describing is a country club, where you have membership dues, quarterly dues, and an initial lump sum of cash to be able to join. the idea is right, but the overhead and insurance cost for a club that does not have members would be astronomical. Plus, to all of the golfers that are weekend warriors, the green fee's would be higher at a course with these amenities, forcing the average golfer to choose a lower cost course. In theory, it is great, but unless you are a private or semi private club, I don't think it would work
5/8/12
 
joe jones says:
Nice but not very practical.
5/8/12
 
Tim Horan says:
Our club has a gym and membership includes the gym. I cannot find the time to go to the gym as my commute out gets me home at around 19:30. Adding in time getting to the club at best 30 mins would leave me barely an hour before it closes at nine. But being out in the country what I have noticed is there are very few members using the other facilities in the evenings - range, short course, practice ground, bar. During the summer they are out on the course. Busiest time obviously the weekends.
5/9/12
 
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