Golf and time
Golf has two different but related time problems. 18 holes of golf - including travel - does take some time and competes with other activities. Many are also quite annoyed by Slow play.
Both problems result in that many quits playing, which puts a financial strain on many clubs.
Question: Looking forward over the next decade or so,
what will be the biggest changes affecting the sport?
Answer: For golf to grow there will have to be ways to play that will not take nearly as long to complete
a round. Time is of the essence to everyone ..
Gary Player, winner of 9 major titles and 165 tournaments.
See full quote and report from HSBC bank
The high churn rate in US golf
Churn rate is a key metric in the mobile phone business. It refers to the number of subscribers who quit one service provider and move to another. Golf has its own churn rate.
The main reason people quit golf is that it takes too much time. Other factors are that it is quite an expensive game - which the golf industry works hard at making more expensive - and quite difficult to learn. High handicappers leave more often than other categories.
Gradual improvements and innovations
Are many incremental improvements enough to induce golfers to continue and attract new ones?
There is a whole catalog of improvements that are possible and often necessary such as smarter booking systems, marketing, member communication and a better golf culture and more.
Clubs will be more differentiated in the future
There is however also a need for something beyond what incremental improvements can contribute, although that will require both ingenuity and a lot of implementation energy. Dropgolf is ONE example of such an innovation.
Programs to save time in golf
Many people and Golf clubs are in favor of adopting new ways to speed up golf. Some clubs have reserved the early morning hour for players who promise to play fast, trimmed the roughs to minimize time searching for golf balls and they urge players to keep up the pace.
PGA USA has a program TEE IT FORWARD that is being adopted at many Clubs. Golfers are invited to start playing from a tee that suits their skill level and style of playing. More greens can be reached in regulation and the reception by players is very positive. The old colored tees for men and women are increasingly being replaced by indications of course length.