What you think about time for golf
Hundreds more people have taken our survey on what the game needs to restore golf that is recreational, enjoyable, affordable and less expensive. Last month we shared some headline results on what the problems are with the pace of play. Now we have summarised your comments to give a picture of the problems surrounding time to play golf these days.
In our survey we have asked golfers about time for golf and they told us that “Modern work life and family time pressure” in 8 out of 10 cases are the main reason for lack of time for golf. In combination with the over 40% who said that “18 holes takes too long” clubs and the golfing authorities simply need to find ways of coping with the time issue especially for the age groups under 55 years.
One might say …they have to reinvent golf or the way golf is played, if golf is not to become a game for mainly the +60 age group. A development seen in the US, Europe and other matured markets.
In more than 8 out of 10 cases golfers play 18 holes. So the US “Nine is fine” initiative seems not to correspond with golfer’s demands short term.
Playing 18 holes 36% of golfers think should take less than 3 hours and 64% think less than 4 hours.
The format golfers prefer is four ball 40%, two ball 32% and three ball 28% in combination with stabelford 46%, matchplay 42% or strokeplay 26%.
So the challenge for clubs and the authorities is simple “How can a round of 18 holes be played in 3½ hours in order to meet the golfers demands for the time they want to spend on golf?”.
A few quotes from golfers to support the finding above:
“I am busy at work all week and busy at home all weekends! I need to get a round of golf in less than 3 hours. I cannot afford to take up 6 hours including travel!!!”
“Restricted since having two boys. A weekend round can effectively take all day. Tend to squeeze golf in after work once evenings allow.”
“The time I have for golf differs. Some days 1-2 hours some days more. I am looking for a game that can adapt to this.”
“Based on an hour away from the office=20 mails that require answering, any time off for golf requires careful planning.”
“I am now retired, so I play often. My problem with slow play relates to rhythm and concentration, rather than the absolute time taken.”
“Affordable time and time it takes to play 18 holes is not one and the same thing. A round should be no longer than 4 hours and preferable quicker. In that way a sensible time can be spent on the 19th hole.”