Growing the Game

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How to grow the game? Plenty of bright minds, many of whom have gathered for the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando, have studied the question in recent years. And initiatives like First Tee and Link Up 2 Golf, designed to draw kids, appear to be strong foundations. I'll offer one small, simple idea.
 
Sell golf as a beautiful connector of people and generations. In the post-September 11th world, strengthening relationships is more meaningful and important than ever before. What game fosters relationships better than golf?
 
Run television ads showing a father and mother, late in the day after work, at the local muni, walking along a tree-lined par-4 with their son and daughter. Paint a picture which demonstrates just how powerful this experience can be. And run the ad not inside a PGA Tour event, but rather during an NFL game or during a movie of the week.
 
Appeal to parents who themselves might not even play the game. Let them know that golf is not about being the next Tiger Woods. It's about getting to know your kids, who - parents could be reminded - tend to stay out of trouble when they stay on the golf course.
 
Steer away from cost and away from the challenge. Let Americans know that golf is a game of quality time, and timeless moments. And in a world where time seems to be in short order, golf has a wonderful way of slowing things down. That seems to me to be a good idea right about now.