Opinion

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 […]

Going by the numbers

Going by the numbers

Recently, The Australian Golf Industry Council released the National Competition Rounds Report for 2018. And while there was a significant “positive spin” by the council regarding the fact that the year was consistent, with an increase of the number of rounds played, there were a few findings that raised eyebrows here in the Inside Golf […]

A question left unasked

A question left unasked

The other day, I was in a club’s carpark, changing my shoes and packing up the clubs after a round of golf, when I overheard a couple of players walking back to their cars, discussing what I can only assume was a disappointing day on the links. “I certainly won’t be rushing back to play […]

Time-shifting and golf

Time-shifting and golf

  We’ve heard it over and over: “People are Time Poor.” Over the last few years, amid declining memberships and participation, the golf industry has adopted that phrase as a scapegoat of sorts; citing “Time Poverty” as one of the main reasons why people are playing less golf. While I admit that I have used […]

Fixing the Australi-yawn Open

Fixing the Australi-yawn Open

  I’ll warn you all straight away that I’m especially grumpy this month. Not just because I put some extreme stress on my body in an attempt to play 72 holes of golf in a single day, but primarily because I was witness to a “train wreck” of a tragedy for Australian Golf: This year’s […]

Some real data and facts about Par competitions

Some real data and facts about Par competitions

    By Murray Cropley —  Principal of HexaDec Services. www.hexadec.com.au, or email admin@hexadec.com.au A number of readers have recently expressed their irritation at playing in Par competitions. Most readers will know that Par was previously known as “Bogey”, and was considered to be a match by the player against the course. Indeed, the ‘Colonel Bogey […]

Going the distance for Men’s Health

Going the distance for Men’s Health

Our regular readers will know that I often use this column to take a stand against a variety of issues plaguing golf. From declining membership, to mismanagement by committees and boards, to the Rules of Golf, the Slope System and more, you all know that I rarely hold back when something gets me really “teed […]

Golf’s woes grow

Golf’s woes grow

Last month, Golf Australia released the 2017 National Golf Club Participation Report, an annual publication which details membership numbers, playing trends, competition rounds and general participation. Click here for the full report. Sadly, the numbers show that golf in Australia is still on a downward trend. National golf club membership saw a 1.1% decline versus […]

The FUNdamental issue

The FUNdamental issue

Last month saw the much-anticipated and highly-touted launch of Top Golf on the Gold Coast. For the uninitiated, Top Golf is like a driving range on ultra-steroids, seamlessly incorporating a high-tech element into hitting balls (automated ball tee-up, computerised scoring and games, high-tech targets, etc), while also adding a full “American style” Sports bar/food & […]

Playing the percentages

Playing the percentages

The other day, I was playing a round as a guest at a local club, where I was paired with a member of the club’s golf committee. During the round, I noticed that the course had been set up in a rather “challenging” way, with the tees set back, pins tight, speedy greens, rough grown […]

Learning across the Board

Learning across the Board

Every month, I hear (or read via email) stories about a variety of governance issues at clubs. Whether it’s board dysfunction, lack of role clarity, micromanagement, lack of future planning or any number of similar issues surrounding a Board or committee, the fact remains that many clubs across Australia are suffering as a result of […]

It’s time to sink or swim

It’s time to sink or swim

Looking over some of the stories in this month’s issue, one thing has become painfully obvious: the tide has changed in golf. And the big wave is upon us. The USGA and the R&A have announced their new “modernised rules” (to help the game appeal to a larger fan/participant base), while also releasing their findings […]

Let’s hear it for the girls

Let’s hear it for the girls

Last month, Golf Australia announced that they plan to focus heavily on what many consider to be golf’s greatest imbalance – female participation.  GA’s “Vision 2025: The future of women and girls in golf” plan (see story on page 6) is aimed to get more women playing this great game, by improving the culture at […]

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