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10 New Ways to Play Golf

Participation in golf is low and courses are trying to capture retention anyway possible.  Here are a few new ideas golf courses could use to increase participation. Some of these ideas I heard on Real Sports while some others are from myself and friends.  Tell me what you think or add some new ideas to the list that the USGA may listen to.

1.) Night vision goggles with glow in the dark golf balls for night golf.

2.)  Burro Golf- instead of using golf carts a burro carries the groups’ golf clubs.

3.) Dog Golf Course- a golf course where you can bring your dog.  Instead of hiring a caddy, a golfer hires a dog handler.  Or if a golfer is a hacker the dog can chase the ball and find it.

4.)  3 foot wide holes- makes getting the ball in the hole much easier.

5.)  Soccer Golf- similar to Frisbee golf but kicking a ball down a golf course.

6.)  All you can eat and drink golf- for a flat fee a golfer can get a round of golf and all the beer and food in that round.

7.) Synthetic grass golf course- a 9 hole course that is all synthetic grass or AstroTurf.   This limits water costs plus most driving ranges only allow golfer to hit off synthetic mats anyway.

8.) A $40 golf course but you can only play for 2 or 3 hours- if a golfer gets 18 holes in then great, but if they play slow and only get 5 holes complete in 2 hours then that’s it and the marshal will ask the golfers to leave.

9.) Covers on sand traps and water hazards- this is kind of like bumpers for bowling.  The covers can be removed to non-beginners.

10.) Keep it the same- slow, stuffy, traditional, loaded with rules and regulations, difficult, expensive, and not retaining old golfers or obtaining new golfers.

7 replies on “10 New Ways to Play Golf”

I’ve played one round of golf in my life. Took super long and tons of chasing my ball. So what if there was a game where the player stayed in one spot. There would be about 60 targets (similar to an 18 hole course with par 3s and 4s). The player had to go in order and the targets were ordered in drive, shorter drive or chip, and putt. The player would get scored based on how close to each target he got. That way a player could systematically practice a round of golf in 30 minutes or so. Maybe less.

I love golf and play whenever I have the opportunity (which since starting my MBA program is never) but I am always up for ways to make it more interesting. I like synthetic grass concept for conservation but my favorite is the sand trap covers. This would solve the most frustrating aspect while adding some intrigue with seeing how the ball bounces once it hits the cover. Not to mention the 3 foot wide holes which is pretty much how most people end up playing anyway. Cool post Matt!

In Korea I played an indoor virtual golf with my brother. You hit a real golf ball into a heavy duty over head projector screen that simulates a golf course of your choosing. It’s not the real deal but it’s fun and you can drink and eat like a karaoke bar.

Also, Real Sports profiled a place similar to the virtual experience where a group has a private area but they are hitting balls at targets into an open air driving range with different point values. But they put strobe and disco lights in the range and there is music playing throughout like a club. I forget if these were only in Asia or if they made it to New York. If I can find a link to the feature then I will post it.
Both have opportunities in the US and should be on the list.

I don’t play golf but i like the idea of 6, 7 and 8!
Soccer golf would be extremely tiring– however they could possible team up with AYSO and have the kids train on the course. Maybe set up nets where the holes would be…

Definitely some interesting additions to consider. I like the three foot hole idea. Like David said, most people already play that way (or they have an even bigger “gimme” range). It is pretty wild sometimes.

I also like the flat rate for a certain amount of time. There are so many people that lag, but it would give the course Marshals something to actually do. I don’t know if they can handle that.

I’d go for #10 as a traditional European 🙂 but possibly combined with #8. In Scotland, amateurs routinely play 18 holes in about 2,5 hours. But don’t make such a beautiful game into a Disney-Putt Putt Golf hybrid… Anyone up for a game some time?

As a mom, I think the sport misses out by not being present in children’s life early on. Maybe dedicating certain hours during the day or certain areas of each golf course for little golfers and heavily promoting the activity in schools, while providing quality coaching and transportation, would help grow a new generation of golfers.

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