My 10-year-old daughter has fallen head over heels for golf.
She takes weekly lessons, she's improved quickly and she even watches Michael Breed and Martin Hall!
Coach said she was ready for the course in moderation, so Monday I took her to a terrific 9-hole par 3 layout, figuring her first real experience would be relaxing and special. What we found were several groups of highly skilled players competing.
So what happened?
We let one group after another play through, just as we should, but I spent more time explaining etiquette than I did giving encouragement.
After just a couple holes, enthusiasm dwindled, the rear-view mirror dominated our thoughts and we departed back to the range. Management gladly provided a raincheck, which was nice. My fear is that we won't get to use it!
I bring this up as perspective on why, perhaps, reports keep coming out that the number of rounds played are in decline and attracting new players is such a chore.
A front-page article recently talked about country clubs in crisis; re-inventing themselves to rebuild membership. Rebuild? Here's my question: has anybody realized that someday there might not be a base to pull from if beginners are intimidated to set foot on a golf course in the first place? I sure hope so.