Editor’s Picks

Beat the Pro – every week

Beat the Pro – every week

A few readers have alerted me to a situation that is slowly trickling through clubland. It seems that a growing number of clubs are beginning to allow professionals to play in club events like the weekly members’ competition and even Club Championships. That’s right, we are now being asked to compete against the professionals in […]

Lost in the Woods

Lost in the Woods

We’ve received a few letters lately regarding the media’s poor treatment of Tiger Woods and his recent troubles (see this month’s Your Say page for a sample). Readers may have noticed our lack of “coverage” regarding Tiger’s woes over the past few years. This has been a conscientious decision. We have always preferred to take […]

State to state, a slippery slope

State to state, a slippery slope

A few issues back, I raised some points about the Slope System and handicap indexing. To summarise, I proposed that, instead of using the current (and potentially outdated) American Slope system to determine the relative difficulty of courses here in Australia, we instead turn to the real-world statistical data of rounds played at each course. […]

Share your (COVER) story

Share your (COVER) story

One of the things I love most about the game of golf is the amazing variety of people that I meet on the course, and the fascinating, inspirational stories that they share. Just like snowflakes, no two golfers’ stories are the same; each one has its own unique character and style. Indeed, the golf course […]

Rewriting the Rule Book

Rewriting the Rule Book

By now you will have heard that the USGA and the R&A are conducting a major revamp/simplification of the Rules of Golf. In a refreshing twist, the USGA and R&A are, amazingly, asking for feedback/suggestions from golfers regarding the rules. And while I’m under no illusion that the USGA or R&A are truly open to […]

Hot under the collar

Hot under the collar

Last month’s column about mobile phones in the clubhouse unleashed a multitude of reader responses. Dozens of you wrote in, overwhelmingly supporting my point that electronic devices in the clubhouse were simply a sign of the times, and that clubs need to embrace that fact. The column also generated a bunch of letters on related […]

No, you can’t (yes, you can!)

No, you can’t (yes, you can!)

Recently, I was enjoying a coffee in the/bar lounge at a local club, getting ready for an afternoon meeting. The room was empty, apart from another guest who was tucked away in a corner, reading a newspaper. As I sat there quietly, passing the time by reading a news story on my iPhone, a member […]

Seniors subdue the subsidy snafu

Seniors subdue the subsidy snafu

Most clubs across Australia will have, in one form or another, a membership category or subsidy in place to cater to Senior Members. Designed to reward long-term loyalty (and reduce the financial strain on older members), this can take the form of a greatly discounted rate for members over a certain age, who have been […]

Closing the (gender membership) gap

Closing the (gender membership) gap

Last month, we received a letter which highlighted a growing concern by many golfers. The letter (Why 7 isn’t 7, Letters section) explained how a typical 7-day women’s membership, for example, doesn’t generally allow women to play golf on Wednesdays or Saturdays (men’s-only comps days); effectively making their membership a 5-day membership. Since then, I’ve […]

Golf Month is here…now let’s all pitch in!

Golf Month is here…now let’s all pitch in!

Every week, I read countless emails, stories, reports and news pieces about how golf is struggling to attract and/or retain golfers. It’s become a rather mundane activity, as nearly everyone is keen to point any number of fingers at any number of culprits. Whether it’s the fault of other sports like cricket, the struggling economy, […]

Will Olympic Golf make the cut?

Will Olympic Golf make the cut?

As someone who once held a glimmer of hope for Olympic glory (I was a competitive fencer in my youth) I can attest that there are few things on Earth more alluring than the opportunity to compete for a gold medal on behalf of your country. From the thumping of the drums in the “Olympic […]

Tough tracks: Do we want David versus Goliath?

Tough tracks: Do we want David versus Goliath?

Watching the third round of the recent The Players Championship, I was reminded of how much I truly dislike watching the world’s best players be forced to suffer undue punishment on the golf course. For those of you who didn’t see it (which is probably most of you, as it was only available on Foxtel—but […]

Cereal killer: golf and the “convenience” factor

Cereal killer: golf and the “convenience” factor

A recent story in the New York Times reported that the breakfast cereal industry is in dire straits.  Sales of the quick and easy breakfast favourite have tumbled by almost 30 per cent over the past 15 years, with the future looking even more uncertain. That’s right. The bellwether breakfast staple for millions of kids […]

The power and the passion

The power and the passion

Last month, I witnessed first-hand how a group of passionate people, by working together, can make magic happen. I was part of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, a website which helps products generate start-up funds through public pledges. This campaign hoped to fund the return of a 1990s US cult classic TV show (Mystery Science […]

It’s time to get social

It’s time to get social

If you’ve read my column on a regular basis over the past few years, you’ll have seen many references to the growth of social golf in Australia. Month after month, year after year, this country has seen a steady increase in golfers choosing to play the game via public access/green fees rather than join private […]

A team effort

A team effort

As you can imagine, the Inside Golf team spend a lot of time on the road, visiting private golf clubs, public courses, industry bodies and any number of golf-related businesses throughout the country. One of the more enjoyable aspects of my position is visiting with clubs and chatting with members, GMs, staff and the like. […]

Are we all doing our part for golf?

Are we all doing our part for golf?

As a father of two school-aged children, I am often disheartened (or even downright angry) when I see, year after year, how sports like cricket, footy, soccer, netball and basketball take centre stage in the school newsletters, notices and other communications, while golf gets nary a mention. So imagine my surprise (nay, delight) when a […]

Profitability: at what cost?

Profitability: at what cost?

Following on from last month’s column about businesses and companies that are focusing more on profits than on customers, I’d like to address a related topic that is just as worrying: cost-cutting to excess. In business, there are (basically) two ways to boost profitability: 1) increase revenue, or 2) cut costs. Lacking the ability to […]

How golf got into the rough

How golf got into the rough

As I’ve regularly discussed in this column, golf is currently experiencing difficult times. But how exactly did we get here? In examining our present, we must quickly look at our past. Prior to the 1990s, golf was generally considered a boring, elitist game for retirees. But with the entrance of Tiger Woods into the professional […]

A constitutional crisis?

A constitutional crisis?

  Regular readers of this column will know that I rarely pull any punches when it comes to addressing the controversial topics in our industry—especially when the overall goal is to help drive change for the common good of golf in Australia. This month, I’m focussing on a subject that can affect any golf club, […]

Offensive defence

Offensive defence

There’s an interesting trend quietly occurring in Australian golf at the moment. It seems that more and more courses are beginning to (finally) tune-in to the fact that the majority of golfers out there (i.e. the middle-to-high-handicap club golfers, who are the bread and butter of the industry) are no longer actively seeking out the […]

See the forest for the trees

See the forest for the trees

A grandfather and his grandson are playing golf, when the kid’s shot lands behind a giant tree. The boy asks his grandfather: “How would you play this shot?” The grandfather replies: “When I was your age, I’d play right over the tree.” The boy hits the ball, but not high enough. It bounces off the […]

Social golfers: stereotype versus reality

Social golfers: stereotype versus reality

My recent Starters Box article on “Discrimination” by clubs who are eschewing social and “remote” members (i.e. country members) has generated plenty of responses by readers. Many of these letters (as well as many I’ve received in the past) attempt to paint a picture of Remote/Social members as beer-guzzling, obnoxious and cheapskate golfers who have […]

Discrimination in golf

Discrimination in golf

There’s been a bit of controversy lately about a disturbing trend in Australian golf. It seems that there are some golf clubs out there who are—believe it or not—discriminating against a particular segment of golfers. That’s right. Discrimination. In 2014. In a climate where clubs should be bending over backwards to welcome each and every […]

A short solution to a big problem

A short solution to a big problem

As the editor of a major golf magazine, I am often asked about my favourite golf courses in the world. While the discussion invariably includes the most famous courses on the planet, to this day one of my all-time-favourite layouts is a relatively obscure, short course that I played during my youth. With a par […]

Playing by the (relaxed) rules

Playing by the (relaxed) rules

Recently, there has been a huge surge in the media about new, non-traditional formats of golf. From Big Hole/Hack Golf (which features 15-inch cups) to Light It Up Golf (playing with glow-in-the-dark balls) to Project Flogton (a set of “improved playability” guidelines and rules), to suggestions about 6-hole layouts, etc., it seems that this great […]

Failing to plan/planning to fail

Failing to plan/planning to fail

THIS month, there are two key articles to which every golf club and Board should pay close attention. The first, “Report: major challenges ahead for clubs“, details the participation trends of today’s golfer. The second article, “Changing landscapes: courses on the move“ explores how some clubs are planning (or failing) to adapt to these trends. […]

Kodak or Fuji?

Kodak or Fuji?

The typewriter. Foldable maps.  The Yellow Pages. Film.  Inkwells.  Cassettes. Rotary telephones. Phonebooths. Fax machines. Cathode Ray Tubes. Pagers. Dot Matrix printers.  Vinyl records… Many of our readers will instantly recognise the items listed above. You may have even used them. At one point, each of these household items represented the cutting edge of technology […]

A mixed (Golf) blessing

A mixed (Golf) blessing

Last month, we reported on Golf Australia’s plans to boost women’s participation in golf via radically overhauling women’s dress codes and potentially bringing an end to the traditional men’s-only Saturday competitions, etc. While many of you responded with positive feedback about the plans, there were a few of you who weren’t terribly impressed—especially regarding the […]

Peering through the window (dressing)

Peering through the window (dressing)

Following on from my “Augusta Effect” article (October issue), I heard a story the other day from a mate who had played a relatively new-ish course that was featured as part of a larger real estate development. “The course was nice,” he said, “but the rough was crazy deep. Unplayably deep.” While this was not […]

This year, WE resolve to…

This year, WE resolve to…

For many people around the world, New Year’s Resolutions are usually broken within days (if not minutes) of them being made. This is usually due to the fact that we either set too difficult a goal to achieve, or we don’t really commit to it in the first place. However, this year will be different. […]

Are Superclubs the way forward?

Are Superclubs the way forward?

With the recent announcement of the merger between Kingswood and Peninsula golf clubs—two of Melbourne’s prominent Sandbelt facilities—more clubs across the country are discovering that they are not immune to the issues and obstacles threatening golf in Australia. Mergers and amalgamation are part of any business in any economy, so why would your golf club […]

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