Golf reaching out to younger generation — but is it trying too hard?


Inclination Gordon gets out on the greens every chance he gets. The 29-year-old conjectures he plays with the same three guys nearly every unattached time, because he doesn’t have many other options — people his age scarcely aren’t golfing.

“There is not an opportunity for me to jump in with different foursomes virtuous cause there is not enough people playing,” he says.

The golf application knows it, which is why over the st couple of years it has thrown out a com ny of bold ideas to grab the attention of the coveted 18-to-24-year-old demographic. They’re doing it by uniting things like music, speeding up and shortening the game, relaxing berate codes and making the golf experience more like a rty.

“If you are inferior to 35, golf has very little appeal to you at all,” says Marvin Ryder, a shopping professor at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

Brooke Henderson Closeup

Brooke Henderson, 19, of Canada is a stand up star in golf, but she’s a rarity among her generation for even having an cut in the sport. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley)

“It’s not terribly athletic. It lift offs an awful long time to play. You don’t use your cellphone. Sometime golf lines don’t even have good cellphone reception.”

According to the U.S. National Golf Association, the number of millennials playing dropped 13 per cent between 2009 and 2013. Changing demographics, elfin recreational time and the high cost of the game are blamed for the decline.

What nearly just 6 holes?

Keith Pelley, the Canadian-born chief executive of the PGA European journey, has seen the writing on the wall, and has made appealing to a new generation a big priority.

In an talk with the BBC this summer, he said the tour is looking to include a six-hole size with a shot clock and music at some events.

“If you are not pre red to metamorphose, you are not pre red to be innovative,” Pelley said. “If you are not pre red to take chances, then I do find credible that the sport will fall behind.”

Last week, the trek unveiled the new World Super 6 Perth tournament in Australia next year. It’s an go to shake up the classic format by adding tension to the final day of play.

After leeway the customary 54 holes on the first three days, on Sunday golfers bequeath compete in a six-hole match play tournament instead of the traditional 18 troubles, with the possibility of shoot-out at the end to decide the winner.

In that knockout sonorous “the victor [will be] decided on a nearest-the-pin contest where only the original shot counts,” the tour explains in a press release.

TopGolf Driving Range US

TopGolf has united booze, TVs and couches to the usual driving-range experience. (TopGolf)

The tours themselves are upsetting new things to get millennials to watch the pros. But other rts of the industry are stressful even more extreme tactics to get a new generation of duffers to come out and in point of fact hit the links.

Bikinis, beer and bumping music are not what you normally associate with golf but they’re a pro gating trend among some golf lovers in the U.S and U.K.

TopGolf driving range rty night

Bikinis and thumping music aren’t normally quirks that people associate with golf, but TopGolf is having outcome with their concept. (TopGolf)

An American com ny, TopGolf, has picked the usually dull driving range into a night-out experience, summing booze, TVs and couches. Founded in England in 2000, TopGolf now has 29 sites in the U.K. and U.S, with 11 more on the way. More than half of the clientele are millennials.

The concept could be critical to Canada soon. “We have received a lot of requests for a location in Canada cranny of the years,” com ny spokeswoman Adrienne Chance says. “It’s something we are insomuch as.”

Keep it simple

Other golf courses are managing to win over new supporters with less drastic changes.

“It’s more affordable, it doesn’t survive a remove all day to play,” says Jim Holmes, general manager of the 12-hole Derrydale golf sure in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto.

He says you don’t need all the bells and whistles to lure golfers — his shorter-format course has been attracting younger golfers for years without sacrificing the politeness of the sport.

“Every golfer comes in and says, ‘You know what? After I underscored 13 holes, I was tired, I was done, I want to go home,'” Holmes denotes, “They say nine holes wasn’t enough, 18 holes is too much.”

Derrydale Golf Course Map

Derrydale extends 12 holes on their Toronto-area executive course. (Derrydale Golf Route)

Resistance may be futile

Others don’t want to see any changes to the classic 18-hole about.

“I think it’s terrible, I think it’s gimmicky,” the millennial golfer Gordon divulges, adding that it’s all too much for him.

“I don’t need a golf board. I don’t need a 15-inch scrape. I don’t need to have foot golf. I don’t need to have dogs on the progress. It’s garbage.”

For Gordon, the solution to golf’s problems is simple: Get online in a numerous real way. “I don’t think golf has adapted technology at a ce consistent with other distractions,” he says.

He suggests that the golf industry isn’t taking full use of the potential present in social media.

“I can go and play nine holes and ration that experience through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat with my squinny ats. Just like they are with me on the course. I mean I could Facebook Persist it it I wanted to.

“Because of that,” he says, “I don’t need a [golf] club to feel strain I belong.”

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