The New York Times published an article this week that the USGA is planning a five-year study on the challenges facing the golf industry, mainly on the player level.
Topics to be covered include the cost of the game, the time it takes to play and golfer enjoyment.
Since there is always talk about the closing of courses and how people are garaging their clubs, the USGA is making a concerted effort to reverse negativity within the sport.
A few months prior, the USGA came out with a new and improved video-directed website designed to help educate all players understand the rules of golf. As we know, if golfers understand the rules, chances are they (and their partners) will have a more rewarding experience.
The U.S.G.A. will partner with the University of Minnesota on the study but I say, let's bring questions to the people. "Why not also partner with groups on the internet?"
I asked the followers of a golf group on Facebook the following question,
"If you could offer advice to the United States Golf Association to improve the game on the player level, what would you say?"
To improve golf for me, I would find a way to remove geese safely from the courses on which I play. There is nothing worse than having your ball land on goose poop! I would also ramp up ranger action to help speed up play for amateurs who either don't know or don't care about keeping the game moving.
Here are a few answers from the golf group - U.S.G.A. take note!
1. Bobby Alford said, "Just lower the price. And stop making 7,300 yard courses."
2. Ciaran Campbell - "Rangers keeping a watch for slow play. Maybe some "tee by handicap" system to stop high handicap players playing from back tees during comps - it would probably help their enjoyment."
3. Gus Gurevitch - "The push for municipal monthly fees to return to all city owned courses. Most have disappeared."
4. Geoff Jordan - "Pace of play and play-ability should be the focus. Rangers and courses need to do more to speed-up slower players, especially in early rounds. They must TEACH and enforce "ready-golf" with slow players."
Geoff continued, "Golf carts seems to make slow players even slower. If they can't speed-up, get them off the course. Play-ability - newer courses need to be walker friendly.
Tee and greens closer together.
Courses should standardize flag color/markings for front/mid/back pins along with yardage markers F/M/B. (it doesn't do me any good to know pin position 2 when the scorecard is 120 yards away with my partner in the golf cart. Let golfers know by flag color/markings when they are in the fairway."
5. SuzyFromFlorida mentioned, "...slow play is the killer. You can be the worst golfer ever and still play fast. But you have to be taught how to do it. A whole education process needs to be put in place, rules need to be set, and then enforced by rangers. Golf will become more enjoyable for everyone. Of course, this will never happen in our lifetime."
What advice would you give to the U.S.G.A. to improve the golf experience?
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