Opinion

Handicapping system – is it fair?

Handicapping system – is it fair?

I APPRECIATE what they’re trying to do … seriously I do. A world handicapping system is a great idea, but I am really beginning to think it isn’t really working. When it was introduced a couple of years ago, authorities told us that handicapping in Australia using the WHS (World Handicap System) would involve less […]

When Covid arrived most golf clubs cast aside bunker rakes.
So, should raking traps be shelved permanently with preferred lies mandated?

<strong>When Covid arrived most golf clubs cast aside bunker rakes.<br>So, should raking traps be shelved permanently with preferred lies mandated?</strong>

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER… Inside Golf writers have their say! By Peter Owen FOR me, the three great legacies of Covid are discovering the benefits of working from home, the disappearance of cash from the marketplace, and being able to choose your own lie in a bunker. I know bunkers are hazards; I know they should be avoided; […]

What if they weren’t there?

What if they weren’t there?

IF ever golf course superintendents, greenkeepers and volunteers needed recognition for their service to the golf industry it is now – especially after witnessing the devastating floods in South East Queensland, northern NSW and Sydney. In years past, Australia has witnessed not only floods but fires and drought, and yet the stewards of our golf […]

What has happened to the game of golf – shirts out, black socks, cargo pants, thongs worn in the clubhouse! What’s next … and should it matter?

What has happened to the game of golf – shirts out, black socks, cargo pants, thongs worn in the clubhouse! What’s next … and should it matter?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER… Inside Golf writers have their say. By Michael Court IS golf shooting itself in the sandal here? What have we done? Relaxing these dress rules on the course is becoming a joke. Does our revered game, with such a storied history of gentleman and lady champions, really have to lower itself to this level? […]

Big events don’t need superstars

Big events don’t need superstars

GEOFF Ogilvy is a professional golfer with a distinguished career on the world’s golfing stage.  Among his long list of achievements is winning eight PGA Tour titles including the 2006 US Open, three World Golf Championships as well as the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship. Three times he represented the International Team at the […]

What are some of the things that annoy you most during a round of golf?

What are some of the things that annoy you most during a round of golf?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER….Inside Golf writers have their say! By Michael Davis MOST of the things that annoy me during a round of golf relate to just one person – me! It starts when I am running late for my tee time, scrambling down the path to the first tee with golf shoes half on, managing to empty […]

‘Good bloke’ Thommo’s zero tolerance

‘Good bloke’ Thommo’s zero tolerance

By Michael Davis THE zero tolerance policy on racism recently formalised by the game’s governing bodies in Australia is both welcome and long overdue. It reminded me of a tale about the late Peter Thomson and inclusiveness which tells you more about the man than any of his five victories in The Open Championship. It […]

Who are the players, past and present, you’d pay a premium to watch play golf?

Who are the players, past and present, you’d pay a premium to watch play golf?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER: Inside Golf writers have their say! By Michael Davis WHEN once asked what he loved about Greg Norman, the venerable Metropolitan teaching professional, Brian Twite, simply said: “Norman takes the gallery with him. From the first tee, he strides confidently ahead of the crowd and says, ‘come with me’, and they all follow.” I […]

Should people joining a club for the first time be required to take a rules and etiquette exam?

Should people joining a club for the first time be required to take a rules and etiquette exam?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER… Inside Golf writers have their say! By Michael Court WE don’t want to frighten them off … and let’s face it, knowing half the things you need to know in a round of golf would put the wind up a lot of prospective golfers at any club. But people really do need to learn […]

The ins and outs of golf in 2022

The ins and outs of golf in 2022

GROWING up in Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe), my parents, my brother, sister and I would board a train for Cape Town, South Africa to holiday with my grandparents on my mother’s side during the December/January holiday period. Of German heritage, my grandfather had some strange habits including leaving the front and back doors of the house […]

Sticking to the rules

Sticking to the rules

IT is the duty of every golfer to have a good working knowledge of the Rules of Golf, but all too often club golfers test the boundaries and bend the rules in their favour. The game’s founding fathers put a lot of thought into the rules and some of the best legal eagles have refined […]

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas!

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas!

Bunker-to-bunker ….. Inside Golf writers have their say. By Larry Canning G’DAY Santa. How are you going? I know it’s a little weird I’m still writing to you each year but I do feel justified. I have suffered “chronic disappointment syndrome” since 1968 when,after eagerly unwrapping my first scooter, Ispotted it was second-bloody-hand. Mum and dad […]

A solution to Europe’s Ryder Cup blues

A solution to Europe’s Ryder Cup blues

I’M going in to bat for Italian Costantino Rocca to be the next Ryder Cup captain when the Americans head to the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome in 2023. Why? Because Rocca would know all the ingredients of an authentic Italian pizza. He could lace it with something like salami, or anchovies […]

Should unvaccinated people be banned from playing golf?

Should unvaccinated people be banned from playing golf?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER…. Inside Golf writers have their say! By Michael Court SORRY to tell all you anti-vaxxers out there – but I really don’t want to see you at my golf club in the near future. If I was prepared to gamble and take any side effects from being double-vaccinated, then I’m certainly not prepared to gamble coming […]

Is it equitable to pay the winner of the FedEx Cup $US15m?

Is it equitable to pay the winner of the FedEx Cup $US15m?

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER…. Inside Golf writers have their say! By Michael Davies TO me, trotting out $US15 million to the winner of the FedEx Cup verges on the obscene. And I reckon if you asked the players off the record, they would agree. They seem to be just going through the motions at this event each year. […]

Golf boom to continue, say general managers

Golf boom to continue, say general managers

By Paul Vardy TWO clear themes came out across the nation from the GMA Covid Insights Survey in September.   One, golf club and facility general managers around the country expect that the high demand for golf will continue over the next 12 months.   In a rating of zero for negative and 10 for […]

Golf’s boom: how do we keep it going … and growing?

Golf’s boom: how do we keep it going … and growing?

By Karrie Webb WITH golf booming over the past 18 months during the Covid-19 pandemic, with participation and membership numbers up for the first time in years, now is not the time for status quo but for progress and change.  Golf has always been slowly reactionary rather than being proactive in elevating and changing our […]

Should golf be an Olympic sport?

Should golf be an Olympic sport?

Bunker-to-bunker ….. Inside Golf writers have their say. By David Newbery FOR me, the current format doesn’t cut it so it’s a no. Besides, golf at the Olympics doesn’t mean much to the world’s best players. If the Olympic golf event was held in the same week as the Masters, Open Championship, US Open or […]

The iron age of golf

The iron age of golf

By Paul Vardy Many people in golf have wondered for years what would be the impact of a recession on golf participation.   Would people have less money to play or would people with more time, play more golf?   The COVID recession of 2020, with two quarters of negative growth, was so unusual and […]

For hole indexing, one size does not always fit all

For hole indexing, one size does not always fit all

Over the years, I’ve been campaigning for clubs to take a closer look at their indexing of golf holes. My recent article on this (“It’s time for data-driven decisions in golf”, see our website) generated a heap of positive responses by golfers, many of whom have said they are now approaching their committees to investigate hole-by-hole […]

Gender Neutrality (Finally) on the rise

Gender Neutrality (Finally) on the rise

Last month, golfers across the country witnessed an interesting online “battle” of sorts, as Maleny Golf Club announced they were adopting gender-neutral tee blocks to help promote gender equality (see Club News, page 8). Essentially, Maleny are eliminating the “Red, White and Blue” mentality, and instead opting for descriptive “names” for the various blocks. The […]

All in the family

All in the family

Does golf do enough to retain young, time-poor parents as club members? The answer, unfortunately, is a resounding “no!” This question was put forth in a great article by Martin Blake on the Golf Australia website: www.golf.org.au/new-parents;-does-golf-do-enough. The article explores how golf is letting itself down by not doing enough to retain (or attract) the […]

The Long and Short of technology

The Long and Short of technology

Advancements in technology have proven to be both a boon and burden in golf (and life). For every shiny, new gadget that aims to improve our lives, there is often a lurking obstacle or glitch hidden within. This has become no more apparent than via some recent news pieces (which you would have likely missed […]

Upsetting the apple (golf) cart

Upsetting the apple (golf) cart

Nearly ten years ago, a topic/discussion began popping up in my inbox: the practice of golf clubs either banning the use of personal golf cars/carts, or charging golfers to use their own carts on the course. You may recall these discussions in both this column and the Letters pages. You may also remember the irony […]

It’s time for data-driven decisions in golf

It’s time for data-driven decisions in golf

Over the last few issues, I’ve noted how Covid-19 has been an unexpected boon for golf. Not only has it boosted our playing numbers, but it also “forced the hand” of the R&A (and the wider golf industry) to adopt many game-improvement changes/adjustments. Among these are the removal of bunker rakes (leading to improved playability, […]

When opportunity knocks

When opportunity knocks

While COVID-19 has brought a lot of pain, suffering, chaos and confusion to the world, it has also (believe it or not) brought a potential shining light to the golf industry. There is a massive…and I mean MASSIVE…opportunity in golf at the moment. One of those “once in a hundred years” type of situations. Unfortunately, […]

A matter of perspective

SKY-High banana-slices out of bounds…fat/chunked chip shots…fried-egg bunker lies…tee shots landing in fairway divots…slow play…lip-outs…water balls…three-putts… …I enthusiastically cherished every single one of them last month. Following three months of government-imposed “prison time” here in Victoria, I was chomping at the bit to be able to (FINALLY) tee it up again on the golf course. […]

Covid to the rescue?

Covid to the rescue?

I’d like to wholeheartedly thank the multitude of readers who took the time to contact me last month, expressing support and concern about my emotional wellbeing, following my confession about mental health issues (“It’s ok to admit you’re not ok”). Rest assured that I’m fine, and I appreciate every email, letter and call I received. […]

2020…in Hindsight

2020…in Hindsight

They say hindsight is 20/20. Well, the year 2020 (thus far) is providing plenty of opportunity for hindsight, especially when we look at the golf industry.  As I write this, Victoria has entered a second lockdown period, borders are shut and cases are rising. However, while it seems all doom and gloom, we can all […]

Bushfires and Covid-19 – Finding the light amidst the clouds

Bushfires and Covid-19 – Finding the light amidst the clouds

It’s safe to say that 2020 is proving to be one of the most difficult years in living memory. Covid-19 is running rampant across the planet, with people either locked-down, quarantined or brawling in the aisles for bathroom tissue. This all followed the rampant bushfires and floods that ravaged many communities across Australia earlier in […]

Ask not what your golf club can do for you

Ask not what your golf club can do for you

How are golf club members responding to membership renewals during this chaotic Covid-19 situation? How are you responding? Here’s a very insightful opinion piece from Ian Cottle, GM of Burleigh Golf Club on this very topic: The last six to eight weeks has seen incredible change both here in Australia, and around the globe, with […]

Hi, Tech!

Hi, Tech!

Last month, I made the trek to Orlando, Florida, for the massive PGA Merchandise Show. Over four full days, I walked the “miles” of aisles, and sampled hundreds upon hundreds of products. One thing I noticed while touring this behemoth of a golf show, is that the level of innovation in the golf products industry […]

The end of world-class, big-name golf in Australia?

The end of world-class, big-name golf in Australia?

Immediately following the Presidents Cup, I, like most of Australia and the non-American-viewing-public, felt more than a bit flat. Not just because the International team lost what was shaping up to be a thrilling (and, let’s face it, a much-needed) victory throughout the week, but also (and more disappointingly) because the ending of this event […]

Thanks for asking

Thanks for asking

Many of you will recall that I wrote an article in the March, 2019 issue about member/player surveys (“A Question Left Unasked”, also available on our website). In that column, I mentioned how surveys and feedback are the lifeblood of any business, especially those in the hospitality industry. Yet it’s almost unheard of in golf […]

Virtually (un)certain?

Virtually (un)certain?

DURING last month’s GMA National Conference—where general managers and industry professionals met to discuss and address the many issues affecting golf clubs—I was fortunate to chat with dozens of delegates about a variety of issues plaguing their clubs. One such issue was the proliferation of “Virtual Clubs”—online-based or remotely-based groups that often operate independently of […]

Tips to fix slow play

Tips to fix slow play

Nearly every day, I read or hear reports concerning slow play in golf. Having played the game for nearly 50 years, I can attest that slow play is indeed one of the most frustrating parts of the game. And over those years, I have discovered the many causes (and many solutions) to this bane of […]

What’s wrong with golf…ers?

What’s wrong with golf…ers?

As someone who works in the Golf Industry, I spend quite a lot of time reading industry-related articles and information from a number of media sources. There is a great deal of information, feedback and opinions published out there from industry associations (Golf Australia, PGA etc) and golf media, golf journalists, professional players, coaches, Club […]

Golfers (Still) Just Want Fun…Not Futility

Golfers (Still) Just Want Fun…Not Futility

Last month, Golf Australia released their annual National Golf Club Participation Report, which detailed the national trends on membership, competition rounds, general participation and specific program participation. The report, which is available online at https://bit.ly/2Hi6JSq, revealed that golf membership is continuing its steady decline on a national level. Essentially, fewer golfers are opting to join […]

Golf Australia’s clubs’ subs snub

Golf Australia’s clubs’ subs snub

For many Australian club golfers, the months of May/June/July represent a sticky time—as we debate the pros and cons of forking over our hard-earned cash to renew our annual golf club membership. In the end—our bodies and partners willing—we generally choose, once again, to pay our subs, hoping that the Golf Gods will finally reward […]

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