How everyone can like golf
One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is ‘how can you like golf’.
The perception is often a negative one, that the game of golf is boring, uninteresting and only for the rich and successful.
I have heard them all including “it’s just a bunch of rich people chasing a little white ball around dressed like idiots”.
In days gone by perhaps some of the above stereotypes were true. I still remember seeing golfers such as Payne Stewart and Roger Davis wearing their plus fours.
I could never imagine seeing myself walking around a golf course dressed like that trying to play great golf.
Times are changing
Golf has always been seen as out of reach for the ‘average Joe’. The cost of golf club memberships, green fees and equipment has given strength to that argument.
However, in 2012 things are very different. Golf is played by over 60 million people worldwide including men, women and children.
Its numbers are growing and worldwide appeal is at record highs thanks to golfing superstars such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Still, there are many that do not like the game for whatever reason … we can’t make everyone like it!
I have put together a list of seven ways you can get the people closest to you to not only like golf, but to love it!
1. Go to the golf driving range
Take a trip to your local golf driving range. Driving ranges are a great way to introduce people to the game of golf. Golfers can hit anywhere from 50 to 100 golf balls anyway they like.
Share a hitting bay and take turns and make a game of it. You can hit golf balls at your own pace without being rushed. It’s also a great place to learn the basics of the golf swing without the stress of worrying where the ball goes.
2. Go miniature golfing
Spend an afternoon at your local miniature golf complex and give them a small taste of the golfing experience.
Miniature golf is a great, fun way to share golf with others in a relaxed environment.
Play in groups of at least four people so that everyone gets involved.
Poke harmless fun at the other players and be prepared to receive it in return.
Keep it light and most of all make it fun!
3. Play only 9 holes
Playing a full 18 holes can take up to 4 ½ hours. This is nothing for the seasoned golfer but for the non-golfer it can be a real struggle.
I have found the best way to fix the problem is to cut it in half. Playing just 9 holes will take around 2 hours but still gives the new golfer enough to enjoy the golfing experience.
4. Make it fun
With anything in life if you don’t make it fun, it becomes a bore and you lose interest. Golf is no different, so make it as enjoyable an experience as possible.
Turn it into a game within a game and play inventive shots such as trying to hit low or high shots or only playing a round with 4 clubs.
If they’re having fun playing golf they are more likely to want to come back to play it again.
5. Fresh air and exercise
Latest testing using an iPhone application showed golfers on average walk between 8.5 to 9 kilometres during a round of golf.
Not only do you get much needed exercise your body needs but a dose of fresh air.
Your heart gets a good workout and your muscles get vital stimulation.
I know many golfers that began playing just for the exercise and then later fell in love actually playing the game.
6. Hire a motorised golf cart
Part of the problem when people walk a golf course for the first time is they struggle with all the walking. It’s fun to drive around the golf course in a motorised cart.
You get to enjoy the scenery and cruise around the hills, bumps and terrain.
It takes no energy to do and makes the golfing experience twice as fun.
7. Builds and strengthens relationships
Famous businessmen Donald Trump said that he's made some really good deals on the golf course that he didn't think he would have made otherwise.
Being outside with Mother Nature brings people together.
I’ve met some fascinating people on the golf course from dentists, doctors, travellers, electricians, students and camera men. Spending 4 ½ hours with someone over a round gives you a great opportunity to get to know them.
I met my closest friends on the golf course!
What you can do now
That’s my list of seven great ways to get people to like golf.
Encourage your friends and family to get out their and play a round of golf, they'll have the time of their life.
I’d like to hear from you now, and any suggestions you have on how you have helped people like this amazing game.
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