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Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2017, 02:24:15 PM »


Golf needs to sell itself as the perfect activity for a healthy middle and old age.




Agree 100%.   Can't understand why none of the governing bodies seem to though?
There is already a deal of information about this, but dont bother looking on offical golf websites for it.


Probably because the governing bodies are made up of people who've been playing golf since the age of 12 and assume that that is the norm. Hence the obsession with trying to attract youngsters.


As Adrian points out, most juniors give up the game at the age of 20 or so due to other commitments. Many will return in early middle age, at the time of life when most golfers take up the sport for the first time.


So the issue facing golf is achingly simple;  selling the game to 40-year olds, whether or not they played as a youngster.



Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2017, 04:43:23 PM »
FWIW I played very little as a teenager but golf was in the family. My Grandmother competed in the highest standards in Ireland and my father was a Category one golfer for 4 decades.

In July 2000 I was 42 years old and a big change occurred when my daughter could get herself up at weekends – prior to that my working wife and I took it in turns to sleep in one day and get up with her the next. One of my mates (who’s children were a similar age) said he'd started to play golf and I was welcome to join him.  Within weeks I loved the outdoor game, the challenge, pretty much everything about the game and I was hooked. It colours my view, but if it worked for me ....
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Jerry Kluger

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2017, 06:34:08 PM »
On the other side of the coin is the fact that playing golf doesn't necessarily have to interfere with one's other obligations, i.e. the smartphone.  I do find it annoying when another player is using his phone during a round but we must keep in mind that the phone is the reason why he can be playing golf instead of sitting at a desk, etc.


There is a hugely popular TV show in the US called "This Is Us," which a story about a white couple beginning around 1980 that is expecting triplets and one dies at childbirth and they choose to adopt a black new born who had been abandoned at a local fire station.  It jumps back and forth in time but one episode is pertinent to this discussion.  When the kids around 8 years old the father is taken by his friends to play golf.  They are in a golf shop and they are outfitting him with golf clothes, clubs, etc. and he says in a quite distressed tone: "This could take 4 or 5 hours."  Their response: "THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT." We forget that part of the beauty of the game is getting outside with your friends for 4 hours and try and forget about your other obligations.



Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2017, 01:52:59 AM »
Of course you're quite right Jerry.


However, wives and girlfriends in the 21st century are very different beasts to those in most of of the 20th century.


All in all, it is undoubtedly a good thing that fathers today generally play a far greater hands-on role with their kids at weekends than in the past.


It's not good for participation in golf, though.


It reiterates my theory that the main target market for golf should be guys retiring from other sports such as football or rugby. If hubby has had a free pass for 10 years to play football on a Saturday it is not a great leap to transfer this goodwill to golf.


There is a small window of opportunity though. Leave it for six months after quitting football and you'll never get out on a Saturday alone again!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:56:34 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Thomas Dai

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2017, 04:25:26 AM »
Of course you're quite right Jerry.
However, wives and girlfriends in the 21st century are very different beasts to those in most of of the 20th century.
All in all, it is undoubtedly a good thing that fathers today generally play a far greater hands-on role with their kids at weekends than in the past.
It's not good for participation in golf, though.
It reiterates my theory that the main target market for golf should be guys retiring from other sports such as football or rugby. If hubby has had a free pass for 10 years to play football on a Saturday it is not a great leap to transfer this goodwill to golf.
There is a small window of opportunity though. Leave it for six months after quitting football and you'll never get out on a Saturday alone again!


From a few discussions I've been party to I reckon there are quite a few wives/partners who would be happy for their husbands/partners, especially when they're retired, to spend more time at the golf course......gets them out of the house and away from under their feet! :) Some have even suggested they'd be happy if their other-half's golf subscriptions were even higher, maybe a lot higher,......just get them out the house!
atb




Sam Andrews

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2017, 12:43:24 PM »
Do the authorities governing lawn bowls get as frantic as the golf authorities about youth participation? Bit like golf was the next choice after my hamstrings said no to rugby and cricket, I've always assumed that once I can't swing a club, the bowling green will be blessed with my presence. After that, they can scatter my ashes on the 17th tee at Rye in the hope that, if enough of us do it, it'll be higher and turn into a better hole.
He's the hairy handed gent, who ran amok in Kent.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2017, 01:00:44 PM »

Yet apparently England is the one country in Europe that has lower fees than Scotland and is churning out top level golfers.  That shouldn't be the only measure but at least the English kids have homegrown stars to aspire to.


Well I assume England has something like two or three times the number of participant clubs contributing to the fund to field exactly the same number of players on their team as on the Scots team.  That's a pretty big advantage.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2017, 01:50:36 PM »
Do the authorities governing lawn bowls get as frantic as the golf authorities about youth participation? Bit like golf was the next choice after my hamstrings said no to rugby and cricket, I've always assumed that once I can't swing a club, the bowling green will be blessed with my presence. After that, they can scatter my ashes on the 17th tee at Rye in the hope that, if enough of us do it, it'll be higher and turn into a better hole.
The authorities are mainly interested in elite golfers and junior golfers yes. I think only 3 or 4 of the 40 or so regional bodies contributed to the funding of the Vat argument with the HMRC.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2017, 01:53:49 PM »

Yet apparently England is the one country in Europe that has lower fees than Scotland and is churning out top level golfers.  That shouldn't be the only measure but at least the English kids have homegrown stars to aspire to.


Well I assume England has something like two or three times the number of participant clubs contributing to the fund to field exactly the same number of players on their team as on the Scots team.  That's a pretty big advantage.
Yes probably nearly three times as many but we currently pay £21 for EGU membership & our local Gloucestershire county fees per member, a lot more than Scotland if that current price quoted is right.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2017, 02:23:14 PM »



Given that much of the county/national body £ involved allegedly goes to supporting the best juniors and county, regional, national, elite amateur players it does make one wonder the appropriateness of the spend when only a tiny proportion of those aided end up regularly on our TV screens. The other question is to what extent those who are helped ever help-back, either in kind or financially, in return?
But then again taking Adrian’s figure, £21 ea cumulative does buy a lot of blazers and Galvin Green clothing and trips to warm climates for the ‘helpers’.


Atb

Ryan Coles

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2017, 03:04:12 PM »



Given that much of the county/national body £ involved allegedly goes to supporting the best juniors and county, regional, national, elite amateur players it does make one wonder the appropriateness of the spend when only a tiny proportion of those aided end up regularly on our TV screens. The other question is to what extent those who are helped ever help-back, either in kind or financially, in return?
But then again taking Adrian’s figure, £21 ea cumulative does buy a lot of blazers and Galvin Green clothing and trips to warm climates for the ‘helpers’.


Atb


Dai


What is it exactly you'd like to see a governing body in the home unions do, and how much are you personally prepared to pay for it?

Ryan Coles

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2017, 03:09:51 PM »
As I see it, the problems the Home Unions have is in terms of funding, over half of the sports participants (Non members) pay nothing to the Governing Body.


In addition, an under 18 junior member paying £50 per annum pays the same £21 affiliation fee as a £3k per annum stockbroker belt dweller.


A more equitable way for Unions to be funded would be for Clubs to pay a % of turnover or a rateable value multiplier.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2017, 03:21:34 PM »
I am not anti county golf or juniors and the people involved at county level are pretty much all level headed people that contribute to the game and I would not begrudge them a Calvin Green set of waterproofs for the time they put in.


The real idiots are at the next level.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Brian_Ewen

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2017, 07:35:49 PM »
Do the authorities governing lawn bowls get as frantic as the golf authorities about youth participation?


Another sport that is dying in Scotland.


Jon Wiggett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2017, 03:14:14 AM »

I have said it before I would like to see the SGU and other home Unions develop a flexible online booking system that golf clubs could use instead of Golf Now etc. They could ask say £100 per club per year which would bring in several million which should be enough to develop and administrate such a scheme. It should have been done 10 years ago but better now than never.


Also, the SGU should be talking to their member clubs about possible solutions and implementation not just saying this is the situation figure it out yourself because if that is their attitude as it is, what is the benefit they offer to the clubs?


Jon

Sean_A

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2017, 04:34:53 AM »
Millions?  So the unions have to work together  ;D  I have no issue with your scheme so long as it works and is cheaper to operate. As an aside, a national booking system could well be the death knoll for some clubs because it becomes very easy to compare. There has to be some action on the part of clubs to make them stand out from the crowd.  Unfortunately, that action seems to be green fee reduction for those involved in booking systems (read discount systems).  That is probably in large part true because a good number of clubs/courses are not distinctive in any way. 

I am curious as to what solutions you expect SG to come up with for individual clubs to resolve their issues?  I think your expectations are unrealistic.  Aren't these SG guys simply members of Scottish clubs?  Wouldn't they already have tried ideas back at their own clubs?  It is a totally different game if clubs pay for added services such as marketing, but to expect real help based in £11.50 dues per member is a unrealistic. 

Like Adrian, I think the issue is clear, too many clubs and courses built upon unsustainable math (not at all unusual).  There isn't a solution to keep all the Scottish courses viable.  It is down to individual clubs to best figure out how they will be distinctive enough to capture a sustainable percentage of members and visitor fees.  For the record, I don't believe Scotland is sinking fast.  Scotland has or is close to having the most golf courses per capita in the world.  I don't believe Scotland has had much of a real population increase since 1975, yet how many courses were built since then?

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 05:09:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Niall C

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2017, 07:43:41 AM »

Like Adrian, I think the issue is clear, too many clubs and courses built upon unsustainable math (not at all unusual).  There isn't a solution to keep all the Scottish courses viable. 

Ciao


I'm becoming more and more convinced that the issue isn't golfers giving up the game but giving up memberships. The solution from a club perspective then becomes how to retain and encourage new members. Visitor income was once upon a time looked at as bunce but now I believe it is actually eating into membership subs with more and more members opting to leave and become a nomadic golfer.


Making visitor rounds easier to book online only makes it easier for the nomad. It also to an extent erodes the value of membership as the element of exclusivity begins to disappear. While clubs chase marginal income, and are encouraged to do so by the SGU, they neglect and abuse their core income ie. members. The sooner clubs realise that and start addressing it the better.


Niall

Thomas Dai

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2017, 01:11:57 PM »
Thanks for the question Ryan.
The level of funding is not necessarily the issue. It's what's done with the funding and the accountability for it. I have mentioned before the tale of how a national sports body took a team across the world to play in matches and how the players travelled economy class and shared hotel rooms while the blazers/committee members flew first class and had individual hotel rooms.
As to the use of the funding, certainly not big HQ buildings and the corresponding staffing! I would like to see more funding go towards the approx 7-13 age group. Give them low cost opportunities at golf.......once upon a time in the UK this was putting greens and pitch-n-putt in the local park with rented/deposit clubs plus local authority municipal, as distinct from pay-n-play, courses. If the youngsters like it, aid them through this age group. If they're keen, they'll carry on. And after a certain age, low teens, and keenness has been reached, well the cream normally rises to the top. Reward genuine volunteers as well, although not just because they're relatives of the juniors!
atb

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2017, 01:13:54 PM »

Sean,


taken over several years yes millions. The Scottish golf is run not by a cosy little group of golf club members who leave their clubs now and again to do a good deed but by paid employees who purport to have some expertise in which ever field they are taken on to do. As I am sure you are aware the main employee has just done a bunk back to tennis the sport he truly loves begging the question why was he involved in golf?


So what do you suppose a body set up to represent the best interests of its members ought to do if not look after the best interests of its members?


I am of the same opinion as Niall in that golfers are choosing to give up membership and play on the cheap greenfees you can now get. Sites such as Golf Now are the main reason for this and the SGU should have realised this a long time ago. I disagree with the idea there are too many courses if the issues are addressed properly. As to possible solutions. Maybe getting a workshop together to discuss this would be a good start.


Jon

Sean_A

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2017, 01:19:56 PM »

Sean,


taken over several years yes millions. The Scottish golf is run not by a cosy little group of golf club members who leave their clubs now and again to do a good deed but by paid employees who purport to have some expertise in which ever field they are taken on to do. As I am sure you are aware the main employee has just done a bunk back to tennis the sport he truly loves begging the question why was he involved in golf?


So what do you suppose a body set up to represent the best interests of its members ought to do if not look after the best interests of its members?


I am of the same opinion as Niall in that golfers are choosing to give up membership and play on the cheap greenfees you can now get. Sites such as Golf Now are the main reason for this and the SGU should have realised this a long time ago. I disagree with the idea there are too many courses if the issues are addressed properly. As to possible solutions. Maybe getting a workshop together to discuss this would be a good start.


Jon


I don't disagree with you, but there is no way on earth that you will get lasting solutions at £11.50 per member.  That is far from real world thinking.  Remember, what clubs do is on them, not Scottish Golf or God.  I don't see the point in your blame game.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2017, 01:46:05 AM »

Sean,


it is not a blame game just the opposite. It is a question of what is done next. I would be in agreement with you about the SGU if it were not for the fact that the are a members organisation set up to look after the best interests of their members. Individual clubs doing their own thing will not be anywhere near as effective as all the clubs implementing a countrywide plan. This is exactly what the SGU is there to coordinate. It is nothing to do with money, only to do with seriously looking at this issue.


Jon

Sean_A

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2017, 04:49:07 AM »
Jon

You and I look at business in a fundamentally different way.  If I owned a golf course there is no way I would be sitting on my ass waiting for a magical country-wide solution...which I don't believe exists.  I guess we have to agree to disagree.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2017, 06:04:01 AM »

Sean,


as a golf club owner I can assure you that I am not sitting on my ass waiting for  a magical country-wide solution however that does not take away from the fact that the SGU are failing its members. Of course as you believe there is no hope your conclusions are not surprising.


Jon

Tim Martin

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2017, 06:48:15 AM »
Of course you're quite right Jerry.
However, wives and girlfriends in the 21st century are very different beasts to those in most of of the 20th century.
All in all, it is undoubtedly a good thing that fathers today generally play a far greater hands-on role with their kids at weekends than in the past.
It's not good for participation in golf, though.
It reiterates my theory that the main target market for golf should be guys retiring from other sports such as football or rugby. If hubby has had a free pass for 10 years to play football on a Saturday it is not a great leap to transfer this goodwill to golf.
There is a small window of opportunity though. Leave it for six months after quitting football and you'll never get out on a Saturday alone again!


From a few discussions I've been party to I reckon there are quite a few wives/partners who would be happy for their husbands/partners, especially when they're retired, to spend more time at the golf course......gets them out of the house and away from under their feet! :) Some have even suggested they'd be happy if their other-half's golf subscriptions were even higher, maybe a lot higher,......just get them out the house!
atb


I remember going on an overnight trip back in the day prior to the advent of cell phones. One of the guys did not show up on time and a call was placed to his house. His wife answered and said "Joe is on his way. Please don't leave without him". When we told Joe that his wife seemed concerned that he might miss the trip he said "She's been looking forward to this for weeks." ;D

Sean_A

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Re: Golf in Scotland is sinking fast
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2017, 07:10:52 AM »

Sean,


as a golf club owner I can assure you that I am not sitting on my ass waiting for  a magical country-wide solution however that does not take away from the fact that the SGU are failing its members. Of course as you believe there is no hope your conclusions are not surprising.


Jon

Jon

No hope?  I don't think Scotland is sinking, what is sinking is excess...so hope is not an issue.  Its basic economics, a larger supply of courses for the same population level as 1975 isn't a problem that has a country-wide solution unless by solution you mean every 10th course (at least) volunteers to shut its doors.  For me to accept that the supply of courses is on target I would need to see much more compelling data than I have to date.  Nothing I have read in 15 years suggests the course supply in GB&I properly meets the demand.  Yet somehow, you expect Scottish Golf to come up with magic bullets for £11.50 per member to create demand.  I understand if you don't think SC is serving you well, but there is a solution to that issue...don't be a participating club. Its like anything, if you think the product is poor value then stop purchasing the product.   

All that said, I recently had dealings with SC.  I didn't know there was a card which offered member benefits..how is this possible?  It is unbelievable that a club would participate in SC, yet not inform its members of the organization, what they do and what are the benefits of membership.  That is an area where SC should be working much more closer with clubs to get the message across. To be honest though, the English Golf Union doesn't make sure it is part of any club information either.  I am not sure I have even seen a link from websites to the EGU....very odd.  All is well though, I have now discovered how to get a SC card and what benefits are on offer. The SC folks were very cordial and helpful...but still, it shouldn't have been down to me to track this info down when I paid the dues.  Why wasn't I sent a welcome email with info?

Ciao 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 07:14:53 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

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