Thursday, April 12, 2012

Can Golf Escape The Dark Ages?

"Can Golf Escape The Dark Ages?"
By Sean & Stef Mysel

Remember in high school when you were forced to learn about the dark ages, or a historical time period running roughly from the 5th century to around the 16th century?  Come on you remember, all the people running around with horns on their heads?  Perhaps you remember all that sword fighting and burning poor, hapless people at the stake?  See you do remember!  In a day and age where we've seen more scientific and technological advancement ever in our human history, these things seemingly elude golf courses and the culture of golf.

You didn't know golf had a culture, well let me explain.  Take for instance an article posted by our good friend Al Dunsmuir from Golf Club Management UK, here's the link.  In the article, we learn that Colin Montgomerie warns that golf clubs have negative stereotypes (you know like those nasty vikings had).  Specifically, most golf clubs are not kid, woman or really family friendly.  So while you have sport franchises here in the United States that bend over backwards to invite families out, our sport sits on its hands.  Then you look at Augusta National that still will not allow women to become members.

Recently, I had the fortune of booking several golf lessons with women.  I would ask them why they play or why they came to me for lessons.  One seriously told me that most the other teachers did not make her feel excited or welcome to play.  Last time I checked, a woman's dollar had the same value as a man's.  So what do we need to do in order to break free from the dark ages of golf?

Well much like our history books would tell us, we had to go through some horrible times before we could see the sun rise again.  In our contemporary history, that's essentially happened with the Great Recession that began in 2007.  Millions lost their jobs and still many more struggle today.  We as teachers, golf club managers and golfers need to have a Renaissance.  In other words, we need to find creative ways to invite everyone to play.  Let everyone have a seat at the table and drop the pretense of elitism and embrace humility.