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Golf should be free

Ok let me explain. Golf should be free for people under 25, and for people who bring their kids out.

There is constant talk about golf's decline, and that millenials cant afford golf. There's no interest in it.

Not sure if anyone follows video games, but the most recent games that blow up every chart with 10x more players are the free to play ones. Once people are playing, the money rolls in. Get them out there, get golf in everyone's life, then they will spend their money on golf one way or another.

You say.. sounds great but courses cant make it.. I say they will make way more because general interest is up. Go look at fornite, and tell me microtransactions dont make money.

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Comments

  • Chief IlliniwekChief Illiniwek Members Posts: 2,766 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    A course near to me has yearly passes for $125 and it must be working for them. They've been doing it the better part of a decade at this point. Get people there and buying carts, beer, food, etc. But that deal isn't limited to age.

  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,777 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Microtransactions make a lot of cash but there are a ton of games out there that still go broke. RuneScape used to be one of the biggest MMOs before WoW and even with the micros for it, it keeps getting sold everyother week.

    It's a guessing game out of there as to what works.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members Posts: 5,323 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There is no shortage of very low and even free courses for Junior. You maybe surprised if you check into some of the private clubs that they have have several free spots for juniors.

  • Crazy_BikerdudeCrazy_Bikerdude WisconsinMembers Posts: 39 ✭✭

    "Youth on course" has saved my wallet. $5 per kid. A lot of courses except it. Also, most will let young 10 and under golf for free during twilight hours. I agree $2 off is not exactly a deal. What is worse is taking my 5 year old with me, and them wanting a $8+ cart fee for him. That is the one thing he wants to do ever time.

  • Soloman1Soloman1 Members Posts: 2,576 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 31, 2019 2:34pm #6

    Golf has been in decline because it's hard and takes practice. People don't want to spend the time and effort to practice. And people still need clubs, shoes, balls, etc. to play "free" golf.

    And it's not just golf. All sports show a decline in youth participation.
    Basketball is down 4%
    Soccer is down 11%
    Baseball is down 14%
    Softball is down 31%
    Football is down 29%

    Why? Early burnout and injury, over competitiveness, lack of perceived fun and kids are getting fatter and fatter.
    Fat kids don't play sports, they play video games, which ironically, leads back to the comparison in the original post.

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  • GolfChannelGolfChannel Orlando, FloridaMembers Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I actually think it’s a great idea.

    I would just do a pure junior pass at a reduced rate (perhaps charge one greens fee per foursome of junior golfers) or free if golfing with a paying adult.

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  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,686 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Soloman1 said:

    Why? Early burnout and injury, over competitiveness, lack of perceived fun and kids are getting fatter and fatter.
    Fat kids don't play sports, they play video games, which ironically, leads back to the comparison in the original post.

    I think the impact of specialization is waaay underestimated here. 20 years ago, we all played three sports in three seasons. Now the vast majority of kids are focused on one sport year round, and golf is pretty far down the list for kids in terms of what they're going to "specialize" in.

    IMHO the "problem" of the decline of golf is vastly overstated. Golf will be fine.

  • HkjayHkjay Members Posts: 6 ✭✭

    Love that idea, we need more kids playing if the sport is going to survive in the future.

  • Soloman1Soloman1 Members Posts: 2,576 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @ raynorfan1: I didn't mention specialization because it's too many syllables and most people wouldn't understand what's meant by it. :)
    But, I agree with you.

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    Avogadro would be proud.
  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm 65. I think it should be free for seniors, too.

  • Z1ggy16Z1ggy16 Members Posts: 7,825 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The only reason the freemium concept works is because people are addicted. They make the free versions barely useable, then make the stuff that costs money "cool" or in order to make the game playable long term, you need to spend money.

    Golf doesn't really work that way. You come to the course with everything you need to play and there's nothing extra that the course itself provides other than space. Most courses barely make money as is, I can't see them offering free golf just in hopes that those people come back when they are older to spend money.

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  • molecularmanmolecularman Joplin, MOMembers Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    I get what you are saying - but there aren't really micro-transactions and upgrades in a way that could add a lot of money to the golf course. Perhaps having a separate 3 hole course, but one must pay for the bigger, nicer, 18 hole course?

    I really wish golf just had more deals for 9 hole rounds. Come out and walk a quick 9 in the evening for 5 bucks. I'd be all over that. I'd love to play more, but I don't want to pay 30 bucks to play 18 every time. It's too much money and too much time investment.

  • BrandonDunesBrandonDunes Members Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes advertise more 9 hole rates! Maybe free but a course near me offers $5 rounds for juniors at a certain time which is very reasonable. 9 is not for everyone, I always like playing 18 but I played 9 last weekend because of time and it was a great 2 hour getaway.

    Kids should be playing 9. It takes less time, less frustrating shots, and most importantly less concentration. Shoot even my 30yo brother told me this summer when we were playing that he doesn't like golf very much and is pretty much done after the 8th hole. 18 hole 4.5 hour rounds make it that one activity for the day. Kids are usually involved in many activities from baseball, flag football, to piano practice. Get kids out there to the range or play 9 so golf becomes one of those activities instead of a 4.5 hour round that might be the only activity for a Saturday.

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  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 8,126 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It might be possible to have free golf for juniors from, say, Wednesday afternoon from 4-6. Otherwise, the course has to charge because it has to pay the bills.

  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Years ago, I took my son to Hilton Head National. They charged $1 per year up to 17 for a child to play with a parent. I don't know if they still do that, it was a nice policy.

  • hacker49hacker49 Members Posts: 580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 4,321 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @N0rs3man said:
    Ok let me explain. Golf should be free for people under 25, and for people who bring their kids out.

    There is constant talk about golf's decline, and that millenials cant afford golf. There's no interest in it.

    Not sure if anyone follows video games, but the most recent games that blow up every chart with 10x more players are the free to play ones. Once people are playing, the money rolls in. Get them out there, get golf in everyone's life, then they will spend their money on golf one way or another.

    You say.. sounds great but courses cant make it.. I say they will make way more because general interest is up. Go look at fornite, and tell me microtransactions dont make money.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    Our City has the program for junior golf. Many rounds of "free" golf had been given out to qualified youngsters. Discounted rounds to senior and veterans and the handicapped.
    I'm sure other region have the similar program.
    When there is "free stuff", you'd bet there be people taking advantage of the program. The free loaders will come out of the woods to take advantage of the opportunities intended for the others.
    Giving away free stuff had never worked, it's been proven over and over again in time and places that "free" is not always the solution to problems at hands.
    The attempt to make golfing as popular as Bowling will fail. Growing the game is a noble thought but unpractical. It is what it is.
    The game of golf take sacrifice from other parts of one's life. It takes financial commitment, time away from family, career and everything else one might enjoy. Whether this is what one wants in his/her life, wil be entirely an individual decision.
    I have known many individuals and couples whom do not have a big house, no fancy automobiles, not much savings in the bank or retirement account, and don't eat out often, no children...... but they travel and golf every opportunity they have. They are pursuing their happiness in life This is their choice, not for everyone.
    Giving away free golf might not have the expected return of more golfers in the future.
    What it could do is planting a seed in the mass of population and perhaps one day some of these seeding will turn out to be plants.
    From an investment point of view, it's not a good idea to give away free golf. Disounted golf will be a better choice which with the same budget could reach more out there to spread the seeding.

  • FadeFade Members Posts: 1,248 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    OP, what is the reason for the <25 age cutoff. Personally that strikes me as much too high (for people to be getting their entertainment for free).

  • aenematedaenemated Los Angeles, CAMembers Posts: 224 ✭✭✭
    edited Aug 31, 2019 7:51pm #21

    In St. Andrews - all (local) kids under 18 can play any of the courses in the St. Andrews Trust for free. Then I think it was like £10 once in university.

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  • GolfChannelGolfChannel Orlando, FloridaMembers Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fade said:
    OP, what is the reason for the <25 age cutoff. Personally that strikes me as much too high (for people to be getting their entertainment for free).

    I would imagine he was trying to hook college kids and young professionals.

    I would cut it off at 18 personally.

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  • MountainKingMountainKing Members Posts: 1,738 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Jr. golf has never been cheaper, tons of courses around here support it and support parents playing with the kids. Not sure free would be the answer.

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  • NDSwimNDSwim Members Posts: 118 ✭✭✭

    Who’s going to pay for the free golf? No free lunch.

  • sethdavidsdadsethdavidsdad Members Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Become a member of a Country Club you can take all of your kids out for free with your membership.

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  • N0rs3manN0rs3man Members Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Imagine this. Golf course has free clubs to use, and is free to use course. Bus picks up kids after school and hauls them to course. Course sets up a competitive bracket with ratings and daily competition. Kids buy pop, water, food, balls, new clubs, ect (microtransactions). Now kids are hooked on golf, parents fork over money for more layers. Idk exact setup but that is details, we are just talking about the core idea.

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  • NDSwimNDSwim Members Posts: 118 ✭✭✭

    There is a guy in another thread looking to buy a closed course......the two of you should connect.

    In all seriousness, I understand what your trying to accomplish, but isn’t the First Tee already doing a pretty good job?

  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,698 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Z1ggy16 said:
    The only reason the freemium concept works is because people are addicted. They make the free versions barely useable, then make the stuff that costs money "cool" or in order to make the game playable long term, you need to spend money.

    Golf doesn't really work that way. You come to the course with everything you need to play and there's nothing extra that the course itself provides other than space. Most courses barely make money as is, I can't see them offering free golf just in hopes that those people come back when they are older to spend money.

    I can see your point and agree with it---- I guess it is like taking a gamble on the future----- Oh yeah they do that some on the futures market at the stock exchange.

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  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,698 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @wkuo3 said:

    @N0rs3man said:
    Ok let me explain. Golf should be free for people under 25, and for people who bring their kids out.

    There is constant talk about golf's decline, and that millenials cant afford golf. There's no interest in it.

    Not sure if anyone follows video games, but the most recent games that blow up every chart with 10x more players are the free to play ones. Once people are playing, the money rolls in. Get them out there, get golf in everyone's life, then they will spend their money on golf one way or another.

    You say.. sounds great but courses cant make it.. I say they will make way more because general interest is up. Go look at fornite, and tell me microtransactions dont make money.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    @hacker49 said:
    Considering most of your muni courses are already struggling I don't think a free concept would work especially for young adults. There are plenty of "cheap" golf courses for those of us with limited funds or who aren't good enough to play on nicer or expensive courses. Maybe having a children under age of 10 with adult play for $5 or a huge discount, depending on going green fees. I also think discounting nine holes would encourage more people to play. Let's face it, we live in a society where most people don't want to dedicate or have time for 4+ hours to do something, especially those with children. People can play 9 holes before or after work, especially those without a family of children. The course I play regularly is a low cost course. It's not maintained anywhere near the level of your average mid tier golf course. There are no bunkers and you can run into an undesirable lie in the middle of the fairway. **** in the middle of summer when the clover is in bloom it can be hard to find your white ball amongst all the white flowers.

    Our City has the program for junior golf. Many rounds of "free" golf had been given out to qualified youngsters. Discounted rounds to senior and veterans and the handicapped.
    I'm sure other region have the similar program.
    When there is "free stuff", you'd bet there be people taking advantage of the program. The free loaders will come out of the woods to take advantage of the opportunities intended for the others.
    Giving away free stuff had never worked, it's been proven over and over again in time and places that "free" is not always the solution to problems at hands.
    The attempt to make golfing as popular as Bowling will fail. Growing the game is a noble thought but unpractical. It is what it is.
    The game of golf take sacrifice from other parts of one's life. It takes financial commitment, time away from family, career and everything else one might enjoy. Whether this is what one wants in his/her life, wil be entirely an individual decision.
    I have known many individuals and couples whom do not have a big house, no fancy automobiles, not much savings in the bank or retirement account, and don't eat out often, no children...... but they travel and golf every opportunity they have. They are pursuing their happiness in life This is their choice, not for everyone.
    Giving away free golf might not have the expected return of more golfers in the future.
    What it could do is planting a seed in the mass of population and perhaps one day some of these seeding will turn out to be plants.
    From an investment point of view, it's not a good idea to give away free golf. Disounted golf will be a better choice which with the same budget could reach more out there to spread the seeding.

    Well Played there my friend

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  • Zengolfer36Zengolfer36 Columbus, OHMembers Posts: 134 ✭✭✭

    Interesting idea but golf isnt video games. Golf courses have daily maintenance costs that game servers dont, I dont know how you would make micro translations work (unless you ban stores from selling anything golf related), not to mention its pretty unfair to anyone over the age of 25 who is just picking up the game.

  • SkiSchoolProSkiSchoolPro Members Posts: 784 ✭✭✭✭✭

    2 of the courses I play offered free Jr with paid adult. Now I think this requires a lodging package, but they are giving free standby golf day of arrival to everyone booking lodging as well as free replay with paid rounds.

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