During my travels around the internet and the golf clubs I visit I make an extra effort to talk with golfers to find out what is on their minds. With the ever changing environment of the golf world getting comments about golf is easy. However, some of the comments, statements and reactions to my inquiries indicate there are a number of issues golfers have with Golf today.
Some golfers talked about why the golf industry 1s the core issues golf has to address, but some of the things I am hearing, and dig into during my discussion, shows there are some more underlying problems in golf that need to be addressed. So I thought I would set forth in addressing these frustrations golfers have with golf that is causing them to question their purpose for playing golf.
Troubles of Golf
What I found from the questions I ask really cuts to the core of the true feelings golfers have about everything in Golf today. There seems to be a common theme developing in the overall golfing population that is not showing up in any of the stats being pumped out by the golf industry analysis. This kinda makes you wonder who the heck the leaders in the golf industry talked to in the golf world to be able to say ‘Golf is holding its own’. They obviously are not running into the hundreds of people I run into who say they have left the game of golf for a number of reasons.
The one reason I hear over and over (nearly everyday) has to do with the lack of Purpose for playing golf. It seems golfers are losing interest in playing golf. The reason many golfers have to playing golf recreationally is not as rewarding as it use to be. Even playing golf as a pastime for many golfer is not of interest anymore. The purpose for playing golf use to be something men and women around the world took on as a personal challenge to doing something requiring an abnormally high levels of mental and physical skill. That level of interest in learning more about golf is falling off.
There are still a large number of totally dedicated avid golfers hanging around the golf clubs of the country. There is no doubt there are enough golfers in the world to sustain the golf economy at a low level. However, there are many leaving the game and from all indications of what is being witnessed at many golf clubs, more are leaving the game than are entering the wonderful world of golf.
Needless to say, I have not found a single golfer not worried about the game of golf, the economy and how much longer the game, and themselves playing the game, will survive to play golf as they know golf today. The challenges facing golf as a recreation, and as a business, are mounting on all sides. With the golf industry multi-billion dollar impact on the nation’s, and world’s economy, there is much more at risk today than any other time in Golf’s History. The pressures for changing the way the golf business is run and from improving golf’s negative image in the general public’s mind is growing. The solutions to these issues will need to come from both within and outside the circle of golf businesses that make up the golf industry.
The image the golf consumers have today of golf is not good. Some see Golf as being a waste of time and money. Others see golf as boring. While many of feel golf is too restrictive and has too many rules making learning the game a hassle. Naturally, some of the reasons golfers give for leaving golf are purely economic based which more than likely is the crust of the problem golf has to solve right away..making golf afford to play again. But, still, if some of the other problems golf has were solved it would hopefully persuade golfers to find ways to play more golf. Lets take a look at a few of those problems and the solutions the Golf Industry need to consider.
No Time to Play
I hear these type of statements frequently…’I am not sure how anyone can afford to spend 6 hours playing golf and get their job done.’ ‘I really do not have time to play golf anymore.’
There is no doubt of getting around the fact it does take time to play golf. However, there are also good reasons for playing golf that would warrant the time needed to play to be scheduled as part of the workday. One of the main reasons for making time for golf is when it is played as a huge part of a business’s development.
There are several approaches to using golf as a business tool. One is to have a monthly golf outing with potential customers. Another would be to have frequent rounds of golf with key staff and personnel. Also, having golf, or golf schools, as part of company training classes works both for teambuilding and getting work done. Playing golf as part of the way a business does business would accomplished a number of things associated to further developing a business’ potential.
For the small business person, or sole-proprietor, golf can be used as a Networking Tool or a form of business development. Small business people, as well as large companies executives, share a common interest when it comes time to playing golf with someone as part of getting to know them better. Many times a round of golf with someone can provide a multitude of feedback about the company’s image in the market.
Golf, as an industry, needs to embrace Business Golf as a viable solution to boosting its economy. Golfers should reach out to those who teach business golf to learn the effective ways of playing golf as a business tool. Doing this will offer golfers, who have no time to play golf, a purpose to scheduled the time needed to play golf. This would be good for golf and good for the golfer’s business.
More than a Pastime
Other remarks like… ‘People who play golf have lost their sense of value.’…and… ‘I use to play golf but really could not see how golf can be anything but a pastime or recreation’… are generally said by people who see golf as something someone would do to get out of mowing the yard. Granted, Golf is a great activity to use as a ‘getaway’ and is firmly based in social culture as a recreation. However, Golf has always been an activity that can be used for an assortment of different reasons.
Naturally, Golf is a healthy activity and in this health conscious culture we live in today Golf has now been placed in the top ten healthiest activities. Still, golf has even more ability to cross into a business world than other recreations. For many, Golf leaves the bounds of just being a Sunday afternoon recreation to now being on the workweek calendar as a business tool.
What makes Golf interesting to those who play golf is its flexibility. The effort it takes in loading up the golf clubs for a round with the gang is the same effort it takes to meet the boss at the club for a friendly round of golf before a three day staff conference. The act of golf JUST being a pastime will always be the perception of many who do not understand, or play golf, but will never be seen as a waste of time for those who know how to play Business Golf.
As like the solution the golf industry needs to take in changing the image of golf as a waste of money and time, the same needs to be done in enlightening the world of how golf works in the business arena. The Golf industry needs to embrace the business person’s needs to have a greater purpose to play golf.
Greater Purpose to Play
For the majority of the business people of the world Golf can be the solution to many of their business issues.
Golf has an assortment of business development aspects built into playing the game that highlight’s a person’s true characteristics. For someone who rather hide their flaws in their personality they naturally would shun playing golf, especially in a business environment. However, golf and what it naturally exposes in a person’s character can be a plus for people looking for a job; executives looking at candidates for promotion; or business owners looking for honest suppliers.
Another purpose for playing golf is naturally for those who are health conscious. Golf is a great healthy activity for business people who have stressful positions. It has been proven many times in recent years that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Golf played by the entire workforce is something the owners or executives of the company can set example of and have hands-on control of making sure who works for him/her is taking care of their health.
The ability to build trust in today’s markets is made difficult with the consumer driven economy. Playing golf with a potential client opens up doors normally closed to keep out less trustworthy salespeople. Establishing trust is one of the main by-products of playing golf. Trust is one of the pillars of the game.
The list of ‘purposes to play golf’ can go on and on. If someone needs a solid purpose, or a reason to make their recreational golf more than a pastime, business golf offers that ‘purpose’ to play golf. The Golf industry needs to puts its arm around showing more people the virtues of playing business golf in its effort to help golf survive this rough economy. Hopefully the word will spread that there are greater purposes for playing golf than the image many people have about golf being nothing but chasing a little white ball around the golf course. The value of chasing that golf ball is in who you are chasing the ball with.
The solutions to golf problems is in everyone starting to play more golf and finding out what golf is really about. Let me know how I can help.