How Social Talks Golf
Last night I got into a debate that started innocently on Twitter. It stayed clean and was among friends sharing opinions on the state of the golf industry. The participants were Jason Giesbrecht (Head Professional at Royal Colwood in Victoria, B.C.), The Golf Canada (formally the RCGA and Canada’s governing golf body) and Ashley Chinner (Director of Golf at Signature Risk, formally one of Canada’s premier Golf Tour Professionals and a great friend) and myself CKGolfSolutions. The debate centred around the golf industry and started with the challenges we face, who is responsible and ideas to correct it. Below is the Twitter conversation:
CKGolfSolutions 9:30pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @TheGolfCanada@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC No growth, but losing far less rounds from my discussions.#9holes #growthegame

CKGolfSolutions 9:28pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @TheGolfCanada@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC Great discussion tonight! I’m feel a blog post coming on for the AM. Stay tuned 🙂
JasonGiesbrecht 9:27pm 
@TheGolfCanada @CKGolfSolutions@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC #groupthink If time value is big R there any 9 hole tracks seeing growth out there?
JasonGiesbrecht 9:26pm
@TheGolfCanada @CKGolfSolutions@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC #groupthink Maybe not better, but definitely critical discussion.

@CKGolfSolutions @JasonGiesbrecht@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC #growthegame agrees

CKGolfSolutions 9:19pm
@TheGolfCanada @JasonGiesbrecht@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC Pro’s have the same obligation to push #growthegame everyone in the industry does.

TheGolfCanada 9:07pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @CKGolfSolutions@AshleyChinner @PGAofBC #groupthink better discussion for the NGCOA? There are a few Ont. courses w/ > 18

JasonGiesbrecht 9:04pm
@CKGolfSolutions @AshleyChinnerAgree…@PGAofBC could put this on the radar.#growthegame


JasonGiesbrecht 9:03pm
@CKGolfSolutions @AshleyChinner Aging population, time value changing & wide range of rec options a huge factor.

CKGolfSolutions 8:52pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @AshleyChinner By the way… great topic for a panel at any PGA Spring Seminar 🙂

CKGolfSolutions 8:51pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @AshleyChinner Is time commitment changing of recreation values? Thoughts why we lose golfers each year? Games not growing.

JasonGiesbrecht 8:46pm
@CKGolfSolutions @AshleyChinner#growthegame Agree mostly, but we don’t need more holes – need to respond to changing recreation values

CKGolfSolutions 8:42pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @AshleyChinner Whatever the model I think all new golf course should have 3, 6, 9, 12 return to the clubhouse. #growthegame

CKGolfSolutions 8:41pm
@JasonGiesbrecht @AshleyChinner None that I know of Jason, but I keep hear it is gaining steam. Ash had a great 6 hole Tweet.

JasonGiesbrecht 8:40pm
@CKGolfSolutions @AshleyChinner Can u name cnd facilities w this model or 12 hole course. Idea only or r there success stories? #curious

AshleyChinner 7:11pm 
“@CKGolfSolutions: “@AshleyChinner: 6-hole…2 par 3’s; 2 par 4’s & 2 par 5’s surrounding a driving range #1.5hrs”” $15/6 holes.

TheGolfCanada 7:09pm
@CKGolfSolutions you’re in the trenches talking to many operators. Would you say that high-end tracks or mom & pop operations are hurt more?

TheGolfCanada 7:00pm
@CKGolfSolutions interestingly a few golfers commenting on our facebook page seemed to disagree with the 12 hole model

CKGolfSolutions 6:54pm
@TheGolfCanada @AshleyChinner That’s a start. Next we need to develop 12 hole golf courses & embrace short courses as great golf experience

TheGolfCanada 6:50pm
@CKGolfSolutions @AshleyChinner we’re hoping the National Golf in School program has a positive effect. Any other ideas???

What Are You Going to Do?
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the dialogue I think thing real point is national and provincial ‘grow the game’ initiatives have not and are not working. There is proof to that statement. So the real question is what are you doing personally to grow the game of golf! I believe it comes down to the individual person in the industry and to the facilities to individually, one person at a time, to grow the game. My question (and I’d love comments) is what are you, as an invested professional/owner/employee in the golf industry doing to grow the game? Below are some ideas:
  • Invite someone you know doesn’t play golf to a driving range to hit a bucket.
  • Play golf with someone you haven’t played with in the past two years.
  • Organize a weekly meet-up or Tweet-up event for golfers.
  • Provide a free clinic to non-golfers/clients.
  • Tweet and Facebook the statement “Play Golf” regularly!
The conversation above started from a re-Tweet of another post about the state of the golf industry. Whether you agree or disagree with the comments the question is what are YOU going to do!?!?