Editor’s Picks

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 […]

Peering into the crystal (golf) ball

Peering into the crystal (golf) ball

When I started as a humble contributor for this magazine back in 2006 (Issue 16 of Inside Social Golf), I never dreamed that I would one day be sitting at the editor’s desk, publishing the 100th issue.   Looking back over the years (and flicking through past issues) I have many great memories connected to […]

The Augusta Effect

The Augusta Effect

IN September’s “Last Word” column, our own Larry Canning penned a light-hearted piece about how course Superintendents are making their courses harder and harder, and how this potentially makes golf less enjoyable for the masses, thus hurting the overall goal of getting more people into the game. While plenty of golfers from across Australia wrote […]

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The 2013 Masters will go down in Australian golf folklore as probably one of the most exciting, nerve-wracking, fist-pumping , heart-thumping, take-your-breath-away, get-the-monkey-off-our-backs  golf tournaments in the history of our sport. For the rest of the world, however, it may be more remembered for a pair of incidents that may have irreparably changed the game. […]

Women and children first

Women and children first

I received a phone call the other day from a very frustrated junior golfer. “Why do members hate us juniors so much?” he asked. I was taken aback for a moment, as I pondered this rather unexpected question. It turns out that the club where he recently took up a junior membership had begun restricting […]

No Silver Lining: when your best isn’t good enough

No Silver Lining: when your best isn’t good enough

What is it with the media these days? Following Adam Scott’s unfortunate performance at The Open Championship, words like “Choke” and “Collapse” rushed to the fore throughout the media, with overdramatic journalists dredging up stories about Greg Norman’s 1996 Masters, or Jean Van de Veld’s 1999 Open Championship, or the other “greatest chokes in history” […]

Getting your club on “board”

Getting your club on “board”

Boards are the sole responsibility for the viability of clubs. Plain and simple. And getting the right people onto the Board is critical to success. In a perfect world, a Board would be composed of a diverse group of individuals who (among other things) share a strategic vision for the club, and who have the necessary skills, background, time and passion to perform their duties.

Unfortunately, that is not always possible.

Read Inside Golf Online

Read Inside Golf Travel Online