The evidence is still anecdotal at this point, but anyone who plays the game can see clearly that golf is on the rise. The courses are packed with newbies. Husbands are bringing their wives. Parents are teaching their children. As America suffers through a painful re-opening process, the game of kings has become a go-to activity for the whole family. Golf may soon be the top new sport in the US.
I’m happy to see the enthusiasm. Both of my sons and one of my grandsons are now golfers. Nieces, nephews, and new business associates are spending time at the driving range. Some will stick with the sport long-term. Others will undoubtably fade away from it as more activities become available. Either way, I can assure you that anyone connected to me will learn the game correctly.
Remember just a few years ago when articles about the “death of golf” were being published? The Age of the Tiger had come and gone. His career was done and no obvious superstar was there to take his place. It was 2017 and a glorious era for the PGA had come to a close. Many believed it. Golf was going back into the shadows. The Tiger won the Masters. Again. Golf fans woke up.
Rules of Engagement for 2020 Golf
Fast forward to the present. Sure, golf was shut down for a while, but it was the first major sport to re-open. Ratings for “The Match” that featured Tiger, Phil, Brady, and Manning, were off the charts. 5.8 million viewers tuned in to the rainy spectacle. They cheered. They laughed. They demanded that golf courses be re-opened. The game is back and everyone wants to play.
I love the fact that everyone wants to “swing a golf club,” but I wish more people would learn the game properly before they venture out onto a real course. Saturday afternoon at the country club is NOT the time or place to teach your six year old how to hit the ball. Do that at the driving range. There are players behind you trying to get eighteen in before the sun goes down.
It took me three and a half hours to play the front nine last week. I spent fifteen minutes waiting at each tee box while the newbies in front of me searched for balls in the woods and stood by while their kids took extra shots. Not once did anyone ask us if we’d like to play through. Not that it would have mattered. The Brady Bunch in front of us had the Swiss Family Robinson in their path.
Golf is the best game on earth. I’m happy that new people want to play it, but please learn to play it the way it’s supposed to be played. Yes, I want you to have fun. Don’t change the game to do it. Would you add extra bases to the baseball field or put obstacles on the soccer pitch? Of course you wouldn’t. You learned the proper way to play those games. Have the respect to do the same with golf.