Younger Generations Role In Golf

The conventional thought is that the young generation, commonly referred to as “Generation Y”, have a need for instant gratification.  This has been forged with tremendous advancement in technology, notably in computers and mobile communications.  Quite simply, this generation has grown up getting what they want, when they want, and has led to a heightened level of impatience when things slow down and don’t go their way. This psychology has a tremendous impact on the long term viability of golf.  The game must be sped up while embracing technology in order to attract, and retain, a large population of golfers.

Play the Right Course

The need for instant gratification is not a new concept, but the definition of “instant” sure has changed.  If people become frustrated waiting more than 10 seconds for a video to load on their mobile device, can you imagine the frustration for these people waiting 10 minutes to clear up the bottleneck on that difficult 195 yard Par 3 surrounded by bunkers?   Let’s not forget, the point of playing golf is to have fun, and part of that experience isn’t just an immaculate course but a quick round of golf.  More often than not, newer golf courses are designed with too many bunkers and hazards for the average high handicap golfer, while the greens are maintained at lightening speeds.  While beautiful to the eye, these courses can lead to frustration and slow down play for the groups waiting behind.

A course like Encanto, located in Phoenix, AZ provides an example of a course that is built for every golfer.  A City owned course that boasts wide level fairways and a limited number of hazards.  Below is a sample image of Encanto #18, courtesy of Birdie Apps Free Golf GPS App:

Encanto Golf Course #18

Encanto Golf Course Hole 18

Less Than a Par 72

A great way to speed up the game is to simply play a shorter course.  Many courses today are flexible in allowing you to play 9 of the 18 holes at a lower rate, but a great way for courses to cater to the younger generation just may be drastically cut back on the 18 holes that are being played.  Take a look at Continental Golf Club, located in Scottsdale, AZ.  It is a Par 60 course consisting of twelve Par 3’s and four Par 4’s.   It is a fantastic course that caters to both low and high handicap golfers looking for quick round of golf that enables them to utilize all the clubs in their bag.  In addition, this course even offers night golf during the summer!  Below is an image of Hole #18 at Continental Golf Club:

Continental Golf Club #18

Continental Golf Club Hole 18

Embracing Technology

The younger generation has grown up with smart phones.  They want their phones nearby, and golf courses should embrace that reality.  A great way both younger and older golfers integrate technology is through mobile GPS Apps (Related Article: Improving Pace Of Play With Golf GPS).  It is a fun way to interactively receive precision distances that help pick up the pace of play.  With today’s technology, golfers absolutely should not be spending the time searching for nearby yardage markers and walking off the distance to their ball.

Getting Kids Involved in Golf

While this article has focused on ways to directly address the growing impatience of the golfing community, getting kids involved in golf at a young age is the best way to improve the long-term viability of golf in our culture.  Many courses offer great programs for young kids that should be taken advantage of.  This will help kids appreciate the nuances of golf and the importance of practice and patience, which in the end will result in a more enjoyable round of golf for everybody!

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