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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the more-like-a-hole-in-zero dept.

Businesses 405

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "According to the National Golf Foundation, golf has lost five million players in the last decade with 20 percent of the existing 25 million golfers apt to quit in the next few years. Now Bill Pennington writes that golf courses across the country are experimenting with 15 inch golf holes the size of pizzas to stop people from quitting the game. "We've got to stop scaring people away from golf by telling them that there is only one way to play the game and it includes these specific guidelines," says Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America. "We've got to offer more forms of golf for people to try. We have to do something to get them into the fold, and then maybe they'll have this idea it's supposed to be fun." A 15-inch-hole event was held at the Reynolds Plantation resort last week featuring top professional golfers Sergio García and Justin Rose, the defending United States Open champion. "A 15-inch hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more," says García, who shot a six-under-par 30 for nine holes in the exhibition. Another alternative is foot golf, in which players kick a soccer ball from the tee to an oversize hole, counting their kicks. Still it is no surprise that not everyone agrees with the burgeoning alternative movement to make golf more user-friendly. "I don't want to rig the game and cheapen it," says Curtis Strange, a two-time United States Open champion and an analyst for ESPN. "I don't like any of that stuff. And it's not going to happen either. It's all talk.""

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...news for nerds.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803793)

How did this get posted? Golf??!

Re:...news for nerds.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803803)

It's a lot like software. There's a large solution space but only a few valid solutions and a lot of traps. There's an enormous amount of rules, lots of tools that all look the same but aren't. The people dress poorly but are quite rich.

Re:...news for nerds.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803823)

What in creation are you talking about?

Re:...news for nerds.. (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46803895)

yeah, but its outside directly under the sun......

Re:...news for nerds.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803959)

yeah, but its outside directly under the sun......

Cue the sweaty fatbodies claiming golf is a "sport" and golfers are somehow "athletes".

You had to walk between holes, big whoop. Walking only seems hard when you're fat and have to waddle side to side, shuffling around like a fucked up duck.

Re:...news for nerds.. (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46803975)

whats your definition of a sport?

Re:...news for nerds.. (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 6 months ago | (#46804095)

Something requiring human strength, speed and skill (coordination).

Re:...news for nerds.. (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 6 months ago | (#46804143)

A sport, by definition, is any form of physical activity that aims to use, maintain and improve physical ability or skills for the purpose of entertainment of participants and/or spectators. If you think walking even factors in to the experience of playing golf, I suggest you go out and try it yourself. It's one of the hardest sports to play well, requiring a mixture of concentration, extreme coordination and practice to even be decent. Walking, which isn't even a required aspect of the sport thanks to these things you may have heard of called "golf carts", isn't even tough - the difficulty is in hitting the ball at the proper trajectory, without slicing it, with the correct amount of power (taking into account which club you're using), most of which is dependent on the course layout. Complaining about walking and being out in the sun is just absurd when the walking part is entirely optional, and is like complaining about the fact that you need to stand on the sideline while playing football (you can sit, either on the grass or on the bench).

Re:...news for nerds.. (2)

Philip Mather (2889417) | about 6 months ago | (#46803827)

It's a coded message from the resistence, 15-inch Hole is clearly a reference to Beta.

Re:...news for nerds.. (4, Funny)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 6 months ago | (#46803829)

15 inch holes

Is goatse.cx the connection? It's goatse.cx isn't it?

Re:...news for nerds.. (1)

TchrBabe (3589445) | about 6 months ago | (#46804225)

Goatse? This topic certainly deserves a reductio ad absurdum response." Even the most inexperienced newbie should be able to land a golf ball in a hole the size of a medium pizza. Maybe they should have instructiors like this kid: Four Year Old Scores Hole in One [facebook.com]

Learning Golf While Young (4, Funny)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 6 months ago | (#46803805)

My Dad used to take me to play pitch-and-putt (nine short holes, played with a 9-iron and a putter). One day when I was 9, we were both having an awful round, and I said "Dad, this is a bloody frustrating game". He replied "Yup, that's why I gave it up in 1932". I got the point, and have never been back since.

Re:Learning Golf While Young (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | about 6 months ago | (#46803997)

Golf certainly is frustrating. That's quite deliberate, as it makes excelling very difficult and thus worthwhile. Think of it as like a Scottish martial art... taking years to become fairly proficient, and never being sure of reaching that elusive perfection.

But golf is also a spiritual discipline. It teaches you self-control, patience, and sportsmanship. Witness the far better behaviour of professional golfers, compared to soccer players and many other sportsmen.

Re:Learning Golf While Young (5, Funny)

Stumbles (602007) | about 6 months ago | (#46804081)

Teaches self control? Tell that to Tiger Woods ex-wife.

Re:Learning Golf While Young (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 6 months ago | (#46804237)

'Teaches' doesn't mean teaching always sticks. You can lead a horse to water ...

Re:Learning Golf While Young (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46804261)

Hey, he kept his control on the golf area. Like some German soccer player said, regarding the fan riots, "Violence does not belong in sports. Leave it at home."

Re:Learning Golf While Young (5, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | about 6 months ago | (#46804021)

I have given much consideration to golf over the years. My experiences include; nearly having my windshield taken out driving down a city street and evolving my own golf game, played from my car, in which I wait till I see someone putting or driving and honk my car horn just in time to fuck up their shot.I went to a driving range once and put my back out of alignment on a bucket of balls. NO LOVE!

          It has occurred to me that the sissy ass game of golf neednt waste so much real estate on a dying form. Merely create a hybrid sport to bring the masses in and make the greenskeeper earn his damn money. I propose ACTION GOLF: No clubs, instead, you are equipped with a potato gun and a can of hairspray. Helmets will be worn, FORE! will be shouted into a bullhorn, previous to any shot. Any discrepancies in score or disagreements will result in a round of fire based on the paintball sport. This is now a game for Vikings, not old men! Putters will be reminded that the hole already exists and creating your own through gunfire doesnt count.
PLAY GOLF!

Nothing to do with hole size (4, Insightful)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 6 months ago | (#46803811)

Maybe it is less about the size of the hole and more to do with the absurd amount of money and time is cost to play the sport? I had a few games once, the money I could probably afford, but I simply don't have the time to spend hours on a golf course every week...

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46803853)

The high cost used to be offset by the status associated with the game, but it just isn:t the symbol of wealth and refinement that it used to be. Thus I suspect giant holes will not help much.

That being said, are we sure this is not some kind of joke or hoax? This reads like something from The Onion....

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (5, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 6 months ago | (#46804217)

For a while it was a middle class game, for a middle class with lots of leisure time. The current remaining middle class works far more than the old middle class.

Golf is returning to being an upper class game ... but that means much less players and thus less courses.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46804267)

Ok, I'll say it if nobody else does:

There are already a certain kind of giant holes on the golf court. Though they're not in the ground, they're the ones playing.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 6 months ago | (#46803867)

While I could probably spend the hours, I just don't find the cost justified. I'd rather take some of the younger ones in our family to a putt-putt/minigolf.

I think it's also a bit of perception - most of the time you find a golf scene in a movie/TV show, it will generally be older people (read: men), often in business, more than well off, and generally not about the game itself but about the networking that happens while at the game. I'm inclined that it's that aspect that they're really trying to save, by making people get less frustrated about balls not going in while they're talking business deals, drinking expensive drinks, and paying up the wazoo to play at a course in the first place.

Having now RTFA, that seems to be almost exactly it.

And to think I rather enjoyed my first few rounds at a course after playing Links for years on old computers.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46804005)

Mad Men summed it up well after the lawn mower incident. The partners decide his career is over because he will no longer be able to golf.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (4, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | about 6 months ago | (#46803873)

Not to mention the horrible amount of water, fertilisers, pesticides, and land tracts golf courses require for their "prefect" greens. Heck, with so many people using golf carts, and caddies carrying golf bags, most people playing golf aren't even getting sufficient exercise.

Mini golf, and basically every other non-motorised sport, are by far much more environmentally friendly then golf.

In many places, it is known as the sport of the "white old mens club" (figure of speech) or the 1%, because of the restricted club memberships, expensive green fees, and huge variation in equipment costs, which can be in the thousands of dollars for a single decent club.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803925)

Or the retarded prices of golf clubs that actually dont work any better than the $3.00 beat up used ones at good will? Prices of the "equipment" is only to impress your friends and other golfers, once you get over that, you will find the game is actually enjoyable with old used gear that is not "trendy"

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804163)

but I simply don't have the time to spend hours on a golf course every week...

Then golf simply isn't for you, since the time spent on the course (and in the clubhouse afterwards) is what it's all about.

Really, do you think that the point of the game is to get a small white ball into a small hole several hundreds of yards away? That's the objective; the point is to spend a good time, basically going on an extended walk with other people (nice ones, hopefully), talking, and enjoying not worry about deadlines and performance metrics and the like for once.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46804313)

The point of golfing is networking. That's it. And to that end, it's perfect.

Ponder this: In this ... well, let's say "sport" ... you usually spend literally hours walking about. From an "action" point of view it's even worse than baseball. You have like 10 seconds of hitting the ball, followed by at least 10-20 minutes walking down the range finding it again. And in those 10-20 minutes you do literally NOTHING but walk.

Do you know why people use an MP3 player when they're doing their jogging? Because your feet may be busy, but your mind is far from it. Essentially, walking is BORING.

So it naturally lends itself to talking with whoever happens to be with you. It's the perfect ... pastime for getting to know someone, for talking about business deals, because, and that's the second beauty of it, the person you're talking to cannot escape the situation. He's there playing with you and it would be VERY rude to excuse himself simply because it is to be expected that he put some time aside for the whole crap.

So you have a few hours in a rather relaxed atmosphere with someone who can't really escape your drivel. A marketeer's wet dream.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 6 months ago | (#46804193)

Time is the biggest factor for me, a 5-6 hour block on the weekends is too large of a commitment I have stuff to do around the house, attend my kids sporting events, or some social function, I just can't commit that much time. If I could get a round in in 2-3 hours I would defiantly go more often.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

krygny (473134) | about 6 months ago | (#46804209)

Golf's not really much more expensive than other common recreational activities. More than some, less than most. Skiing, boating, hunting, fishing, tennis, RV-ing, etc. Golf doesn't require a large up-front investment nor travel. And as for the time spent playing it, I think you're not quite getting the whole recreation thing.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46804325)

I do get the recreation thing. I just don't get where golfing gets into the recreation thing.

Sorry, but hitting a ball and then spending the rest of the afternoon finding it again is not relaxing. It's somewhere between boring and frustrating, depending on how long it takes to find that little white thing again.

Re:Nothing to do with hole size (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804215)

Golf is the successor of tennis. They're both sports whose primary allure is that they are played by the rich and inaccessible to the poor, and they do it the same way: By requiring exclusive use of relatively large amounts of real estate. When tennis became a sport for the masses as the barrier to entry dropped, it lost its unique selling proposition and the rich moved on to golf. Golf is becoming a mainstream sport due to indiscriminate availability as well, and the rich are moving on to even more expensive "sports", like yachting. When these sports lose their luster, they lose players, because they're really not that much fun if they can't be used to show off status and keep out the riff-raff anymore.

So no, golf isn't losing players because it's expensive. Golf is losing players because it's becoming too cheap to do what attracted the players in the first place. Showing that you have the money and the time to play golf is exactly what golf is about.

Not a fan, but... (4, Interesting)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | about 6 months ago | (#46803833)

Golf is about getting your balls into the hole in as few strokes as possible. It's as simple as that.

I'm not a golf guy, but I can appreciate that the original game is fine the way it is. Seriously, 15-inch holes aren't going to magically enable you to get a hole-in-one. The challenge of hitting the traditional hole is something I respect; making it feel like I have training wheels on to pander to me is just going to alienate me further. I think most prefer things tight, not loose. You have to feel like you've succeeded.

Re:Not a fan, but... (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 6 months ago | (#46804113)

Yeah, pizza-hole golf is the equivalent to dumbing down school kids by eliminating cursive writing (common core). Birdies are going to become very common. A whole bunch of (possibly evil) idiots are ruining everything out there.

Re:Not a fan, but... (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 6 months ago | (#46804121)

Golf is about getting your balls into the hole in as few strokes as possible. It's as simple as that.

You have got in one (pardon the pun).

One thing I like about golf is the fact that it can be played by people, male or female of all ages and you get a reasonable workout, especially if you play the full 18 holes. Of course the 19th hole is usually the more interesting :).

(FTA) “A 15-inch hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more,”. What rubbish the whole idea of any game is to provide a challenge and this also includes video games as well. Sure there will always be some who are much better in a particular game but unless you play a game professionally then you should be playing for the challenge and the enjoyment. As far as I am concerned if you don't enjoy the game then don't play it after all no one is really going to force you.

Unfortunately with golf as with some other sports the overall costs keep going up and that actually turns many people off the sport.

Re:Not a fan, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804173)

maybe after they make the holes bigger, then can allow the opposing player to try and interfere with the shot. one on one would be too easy to block all the time though, so the player with the ball will need some other players assisting him, to try and get around the player playing defense. that of course means the defensive player will need a team too. in fact, to make it really interesting, lets put two holes on the field, one for each team, in case of changes in possession if one team manages to steal. now, beacuse of the danger of hitting a small solid object at high speed with a stick, the players will need protective gear, cause otherwise OUCH! and because it can get pretty chaotic as everyone is chasing the ball, the teams will have the option of leaving one player behind whole sole job is to gaurd the hole and try to block the opposing teams shot.

(im bored, but you get the idea: hockey!)

Re:Not a fan, but... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46804337)

So we're replacing the sport nobody wants to play with the sport nobody wants to watch?

the problem with golf in the USA. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803835)

is that it's played by republican douchebags in khakis. you know, the type of people who are against universal health care because f you they've got theirs.

the problem with golf in the UK is that its' a virtual guarantee that you'll get rained on. think of it as a long walk in a cold shower.

the problem with golf in most of asia is that it's ridiculously expensive.

and in most of continental europe most of the courses are crap.

what would bring me back to golf it this: if it was enshrined in the rules that if your 'friends' bring their smartphones on the course and use them for anything but actual legtimate life or death emergencies (not 'business emergencies'), you are allowed to tee up their smartphone and use it for a practice shot.

Re:the problem with golf in the USA. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 6 months ago | (#46803929)

is that it's played by republican douchebags in khakis. you know, the type of people who are against universal health care because f you they've got theirs.

I am not sure how President Obama fits into that description.

keeping score so analcystically causes problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803841)

everywhere,, stalled movements etc... just hit the balls around for a while then get back onto stray deadly asteroid hunting with our truck mounted laser cannons,,, where a hole in one saves us all.. what a gig..

News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803843)

What the fuck, this isnt news for anything other than fat rich assholes and they are NOT nerds. This isnt stuff that matters either.

Re:News for nerds? (2)

xming (133344) | about 6 months ago | (#46803883)

grep pizza article_content && if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then echo "News for nerds"; fi

Stop people from quitting (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 6 months ago | (#46803851)

experimenting with 15 inch golf holes the size of pizzas to stop people from quitting the game.

Why not make the entire green the hole? People would never be able to quit.

Interest (2)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 6 months ago | (#46803857)

Making an easy mode golf will surely bring people back to the expensive courses, like Reynolds Plantation resort! In fact, they should invent a throwing golf - Americans like throwing things - they could even use some sort of flattened plastic disc, to make it more aerodynamic. If only golf would be more innovative like that, people would flock to play golf!

Sarcasm aside, my friends and I never cared about how "hard" golf was. In fact, most of the charm of actually going out and playing was laughing about how bad we all were. We don't go back very often because most of us can think of 30 or 40 other things that we'd rather be doing for those 6 hour consecutive stretches on a weekend.

Because dumbing down the game... (2, Funny)

JavaBear (9872) | about 6 months ago | (#46803861)

Because "dumbing down the game" have worked SO well for Blizzard and World of Warcraft..

I'm being sarcastic.

Re:Because dumbing down the game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803939)

Let them dumb it down, if it means that more dumb people will be playing golf, which means they spend their time playing golf and not spend their time doing dumb things outside the golf course.

Think of dumb people as zombies and a golf course as a distraction.

Re:Because dumbing down the game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804087)

Well, it worked for Civ V :(

(though it caused at least this old-time Civ fan to quit the franchise)

Re:Because dumbing down the game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804149)

you must be being sarcastic about being sarcastic then, because it DID work for wow.

Yikes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803877)

Uh ... April Fools?

I see the disconnect. (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 6 months ago | (#46803881)

They lost me when they called golf a sport.

Re:I see the disconnect. (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 6 months ago | (#46803903)

its more of a sport than gymnastics or ice dancing..

Re:I see the disconnect. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46803935)

it used to be before the players all got lazy and now drive from hole to hole. real golfers walk and carry their bag, the lazy poesurs drive and have their caddy carry the bag from the cart to them and then back again.

Re:I see the disconnect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804099)

Yeah, nothing says sport like, "Carry by bag, youngster, while I walk through this immaculately manicured grass in my khakis and polo. Where is the gal with beer cart when you need her?!?"

I thought.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803889)

I thought that this story was an April Fools joke and then when I clicked on it read the comments it put me to beta. I guess it was.

Larger Holes... (2)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 6 months ago | (#46803905)

Won't help much if the game is just boring to people and/or expensive. Now if you told everyone to wear protective body armor when going out on the green and start aiming at each other then maybe you'd get your numbers up.

The sport didn't use to be this big (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#46803913)

and in the future it won't be this big... but it will continue to exist just as it did for hundreds of years.

Golf is fine... but its peaked as a sport and will now decline.

The solution is obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803917)

Just plough up all the courses and do something productive with the land.
This especially applies to all those exclusive 'Country Clubs' in the USA.

Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (4, Insightful)

Afty0r (263037) | about 6 months ago | (#46803927)

Wonder why - the most expensive popular sport in existence is losing millions of players, right around the time that the income of the group most associated with playing golf is dipping dramatically...

Maybe if Sherlock were here he could figure out why?

Re:Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 months ago | (#46804059)

Cycling is a lot more expensive than golf, and seems to be the new wealthy middle-class beer belly sport.

I've been riding a bike for more than 30 years, and I can't tell how how different it looks at the parking lot today - middle-aged men, 20lbs or more overweight, showing up in $100,000 cars with $25,000 bikes that they haven't ridden since last week's group ride, and every kind of electronic bike gadget you can imagine dangling off of them. They're there to show off their affluence and to compete with each other over who has the most expensive bike.

They never ride except at the weekly ride. They suck wheels like a baby at its mother's teat. They refuse to do the work when it is their turn - because they can't. Their solution to not being committed enough to the sport to be good at it is to buy a more expensive bike, because a more expensive bike will make them a better rider. Nevermind the fact that these people are DANGEROUS because they have no idea how to ride alone let alone in groups.

A couple of times a year I get up the courage to show up at one of these things in a distant hope that things have changed. But, it only seems to get worse.

Horseback riding and flying are also both more expensive than cycling. Golf is actually pretty cheap to get into. You can get a decent used set of clubs pretty cheap, usually from someone who took up the sport thinking they could be Tiger Woods after a week, bought he most expensive clubs out there, and then discovered that becoming proficient in a skill take a lot of hard work and effort, and gave up to do something easier.

Re:Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804161)

Cycling is more expensive than golf?

Re:Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804177)

Sounds like someone has bike envy!

Re:Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804117)

I agree with you except in all my 40+ years, I've never considered golf a middle class sport. Bowling and mini-golf are middle class sports.

Re:Expensive Middle Class Sport Losing Patrons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804247)

showing up in $100,000 cars with $25,000 bikes

If you see someone as described above and your first thought is that your sport is being polluted by the middle class, you may be out of touch.

Everyone gets a medal. Yayyyyy (0, Flamebait)

bazmail (764941) | about 6 months ago | (#46803931)

If you suck at a sport, pick another. don't expect the rules to bend to suit you. God damned generation of pussies growing up expecting a medal every time they play a sport.

Soccer-mom-itis infecting the gentlemans sport.

Re:Everyone gets a medal. Yayyyyy (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46803963)

If you suck at a sport, pick another.

Or keep practicing until you get better.

Fun? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 6 months ago | (#46803937)

We have to do something to get them into the fold, and then maybe they'll have this idea it's supposed to be fun."

That's the real money quote right there. Golf is fun? Minigolf while drunk is fun. Standing in the sun playing one of the slowest and least exciting games of precision is a challenge open to the dedicated, it's a problem to be solved, it's done to prove something to someone. I have never considered this "sport" fun.

Mind you I also find fishing incredibly boring. Maybe I don't have the patience for slow games like this, but really there's better things I could be doing, and I'm not the only one who has this belief.

Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (-1, Troll)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 months ago | (#46803953)

In my lifetime alone, I've seen so many cases of "loweing the bar" to compensate for society's general lack of interest in becoming proficient at things.

In the 1990's and 2000's, the FCC seriously dumbed-down the Amateur Radio licensing material and requirements, eventually completely eliminating the morse code requirement - and an Extra exam today is nothing like the Extra exam I took in 1998.

Not long after that, the FAA created the "sport pilot" class that does not even require a medical exam, so people on life support can fly around in 2000 pound, high-velocity projectiles and put them into random peoples' houses when they have their in-flight hypoxia-induced heart attack.

Now we're going to FIFTEEN INCH golf holes? Are they serious? Let's go down to six bowling pins while we're at it, and drop the 1st down requirement in football to 7 1/2 yards. Oh wait, we can't do fractions anymore, so just make it 5 yards.

While they're add it they may as well add a stroke to each par as well, just to attract more mediocre players and discourage them getting any better at the skill.

People need to stop being such fucking assholes and try to be good at things. Everyone wants a goddamn trophy for simply showing up. This, right here, is why America is failing. The rest of the world is BETTER than us at shit because most Americans are lazy assholes who just want to consume and don't give a damn about proficiency, skill, or ambition. Yes, everyone wants to be rich, but they want to do it by simply taking it from people who ARE good at things, and who have earned their wealth by using those skills.

Fuck you all. Every last goddamn one of you entitled little brats.

Re:Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46804019)

You are a fool, life in a modern society should not be a competition. So what if we lower the bar, ITS SO MORE PEOPLE CAN GET PAST IT. Big fucking deal. Why do you care if the world becomes more inclusive? We dont need extreme competition at every level of life.

Re:Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (1)

visualight (468005) | about 6 months ago | (#46804139)

Handicap.

Re:Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 months ago | (#46804039)

I'm not sure that amateur radio has been dumbed down as much it moved from proficiency in something annoying to young people (Morse code, inhaling solder) to something annoying to older people (digital modes, software stacks) while keeping the level of brainwork involved about the same. I've since left the hobby, but when I was active in my local club, the old boys who ran the show didn't really care for discussion of new technology, since computers baffled them. They much rather would have talked about CW on a QRP transmitter that they soldered themselves (without really understanding how it works) from a QST article.

Re:Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804111)

You can't make a less intelligent demographics smarter if it's 'not in the genes' but you can lower others to be equal. Since we are doing that in schools and everywhere else, it's only necessary to lower requirements of other pursuits otherwise there would be no mass of people to keep it going.
Idiocracy at work,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy

Re:Why is Lowering the Bar always the Solution? (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 6 months ago | (#46804315)

The golf course owners want people's money, because there's too many of them for the demand. So naturally they're going to try and make it easier so more people want to play.

Welcome to the free market in action.

The pace of life has changed (3, Insightful)

floobedy (3470583) | about 6 months ago | (#46803955)

I'm an avid sailor, and the same discussion is being had in the sport of sailing. The sport of sailing is in rapid decline, at least in the US. It's far less popular than it was 30 years ago. Most of the people who do it are baby boomers who will soon retire from it.

There is great consternation within the sport of sailing about what can be done to save it, but really, nothing can be done. The sport is not appropriate for the times.

It's not a matter of cost. Sports like golf, sailing, lawn bowling, and other sports which are in rapid decline can be done affordably. Sailing, for example, is cheaper than ever because more and more used sailboats are dumped on the market every year (fiberglass sailboats almost never wear out).

The pace of life has changed. That is the issue. Young people, who've been reared on dizzyingly fast-paced entertainment such as first-person shooter games, are not thrilled at the idea of racing at five miles per hour (or sometimes less) in a sailboat for four hours. Nor do they find it exciting to play shuffleboard or do golf. By the standards of today, those sports are boring.

Nothing should be done to make golf or sailing more interesting for younger people. It won't help to make golf holes bigger. The only way to make these sports more interesting is to make them drastically faster paced, which will ruin them for the people who enjoy them now. These sports should just accept unpopularity.

Re:The pace of life has changed (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46804037)

Sailing is not a sport, its an activity. Sailboat RACING might be a sport, but putting around on your boat is not.

But why? (1)

RaccoonBandit (2597025) | about 6 months ago | (#46803957)

While I have little sympathy, given the expenses involved with the activity, and given that far too often a golf club seems really more like a get-together of the wealthy, frolicking in their wealth together, this is a terrible idea. Why do beginning golfers need to have it easier? They just don't score as well. Isn't that what that handicap system is about in the first place?

What's next? "Chess too difficult -- FIDE considering switching to a 6x6 board to encourage more beginners."

Though I agree with that Curtis fellow, who says that it's all just talk and nothing will come of it.

Putting doesn't put beginners off - driving does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803967)

Driving the ball 200 yards+ in a straight line is a bitch. Most beginners hook/slice a large percentage of their shots. Then they have to go and look for the ball, which is probably in a horrible lie assuming that they find it.

A beginner slows the game down tremendously with their wayward drives, and it ultimately becomes humiliating/embarrassing for all concerned. Anyone can get a lucky putt - a lucky 300 yard drive, not so much.

There's a B.C. comic strip that says it all (2)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 6 months ago | (#46803969)

I can't find a link, so I'll summarize:

Char 1: whatcha doin'?
Char 2: Playing golf.
Char 1: What's the object of the game?
Char 2: Get this little white ball in that hole over there.
Char 1: [picks up ball, walks over to hole, drops it in hole] Stupid game.

'Tis a silly game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803985)

With high monetary and time costs, you literally pay for every game.

You cant really just go out and shoot hoops or kick a ball like basketball and soccer.
You can't just have an impromptu game by dropping down 2 t-shirts for goal post, sticks for wickets, or bags for bases.

in the gulf planet still leaking from big holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803987)

no one is keeping score the holes just keep getting bigger as the crowd flees... & what is that awful smell?

Softball (4, Interesting)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 6 months ago | (#46803995)

15" holes seem pretty ridiculous, considering you still have to get to the green. Accurate drives and knowing how to deal with situational shots comprise at least half the difficulty of golf. Nobody takes a mulligan on a missed putt, they take them when they slice a shot onto the next fairway over or into a water hazard or whiff it entirely and launch a clump of divot instead of the ball.

But no one derides amateur softball players for not hitting 85 mph pitches or being able to throw out a runner at first with a bullet from 130' away. What might make golf more accessible is building smaller 9-hole courses heavy on par-threes with more forgiving hazards and flatter greens. Less of a time commitment, cheaper due to faster turnover... Change the name somewhat (Golf-lite? Softgolf?) so as to defuse objections from people who want to maintain “pure golf’s” identity as is.

Re:Softball (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 6 months ago | (#46804179)

That's what I found, as well. Putting is relatively easy to learn compared to driving (at least at a reasonable distance), and if they want to reduce difficulty, they should be building smaller, easier courses instead of messing with the size of the hole.

Re:Softball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804239)

It's the same thing with progress bars in application installers that go faster towards the end: What really seems to matter in terms of how a user/player remembers the experience is the last few moments. That's why they want to make putting as smooth as possible.

Re:Softball (1)

labnet (457441) | about 6 months ago | (#46804285)

Great suggestions ludwig.
I've also found golf attracts anal retentives, making a round a chore rather than some fun. Not much you can do about them though.

Re:Softball (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 6 months ago | (#46804287)

I seem to have the opposite experience. When I go golfing with people (rarely), hitting the green is pretty easy. Every one then get's 2 or 3 tries at the putt, then just gives up, picks up the ball. Frankly, I see no reason to change hole size, because we already treat it as two games. Hitting the green is golf. Trying to get the ball in the hole is a the other game of "@&#$ing stupid %#! son of a @*%@# get in the $%&#ing hole... awww ^*@& it, next fairway..."

The issue for me is spending hours just trying to get through 9 holes before my legs fall off and my head burns in the sun. It's not money or the hole size. I play with a $15 set of mismatched clubs I found at a garage sale and I play on public courses.

think cost (1)

slugstone (307678) | about 6 months ago | (#46804027)

rounds, clubs, balls, tees, and status, they all need to come.

Others respond immediately. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 months ago | (#46804029)

The top competitor of Golf, Football reacted immediately and reduced the first down yardage to 10 feet. Spokesman for NFL said, "young people these days have lots of thumb power, quick button pressing abilities, but not much else. So to attract them we are reducing the first down yardage". Baseball announced that they are introducing a sister franchise, Major League T-Ball.

Knowing the things that fail in the West make an aggressive move in the Asian markets, Cricket too announced pre emptive measures. It has already reduced 5-day matches to one day match and then to 60 over match then to 45 over match and now they are at 20 over matches. It announced reducing the boundary line from 80 yards to 40 and reducing the wicket to one stump.

Harvard economist Itso B Vious said, "All sports are in intense competition to win over people's mindspace. And they are all at a disadvantage because almost all of them require young people to get off their butt, out of the airconditioned homes and into hot sweaty fields. Video games are not only eating into the profits of Hollywood, but also into the profits of sports".

um... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46804049)

A 15-inch-hole event was held at the Reynolds Plantation resort last week...

How about instead of screwing around with the size of the holes, you just stop naming your golf courses after something that's basically synonymous with the 200yr holocaust that was slavery? It doesn't help that if you're not white you have to call the course up ahead of time to make sure they'll let you in.

Shouldn't change it. (1)

kgroombr (608645) | about 6 months ago | (#46804067)

This is like trying to make people smarter by lowering the test standards.

pretentious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804091)

Golf is one of the most pretentious sports. This is the primary reason I don't play. Most other "primary" sports require very little money to play. Then there's golf with exclusive country clubs, all sorts of fees, strict rules, and snobby attitudes. (Or perhaps it's the mere perception of that) This also could have lead to the popularization of mini golf. It's not snobby and it's fun.

It surely wouldn't attract me to the game (1)

kennykb (547805) | about 6 months ago | (#46804105)

I don't think I'd try golf, even watered down. I'm a hiker. I can have fun walking around and toting a heavy bag without a little white ball anywhere in the picture, and it's a lot cheaper. Besides, I go hiking to get away from the folks who are only out there to suck up to a client or boss. I'm with Sam Clemens, who observed that golf is a good walk spoilt.

troLl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804155)

Skip putting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804185)

I enjoy golf for the air time. The short game is uninteresting to me once shots are nothing more than rolling the ball along the ground. I'd just as soon play a round where I don't bother with the putting at all. Get the ball onto the green and you're done with that hole. If you want to keep track of how you're improving, keep a running total of how close you were to the pin once you got onto the green. So for 18 holes you'd shoot 10 under par at 480 feet. Shooting 10 under par at 0 feet is for the pros to worry about.

What about disc golf? (2)

Wayne Osteen (3575995) | about 6 months ago | (#46804203)

Just go play disc golf! Lots of fun, just as much exercise, and free (in most locations) to play. Also, *WAY* cheaper to get into than buying or renting clubs!

Re:What about disc golf? (2)

arb phd slp (1144717) | about 6 months ago | (#46804311)

Disc golf has exploded in popularity around here.

Caddyshack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804219)

Dumb it down and allow anyone to join! Then blow it up!

my wife says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804231)

don't cheapen the game with bigger holes
MAKE IT CHEAPER TO PLAY if you want more people playing

ACCESS and AVAILABILITY might be issues here

well... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 6 months ago | (#46804243)

Top Golf [topgolf.com] has a number of different computerized games you can play, all involving driving. Pricey, but I guess it could be fun if you're competent enough to drive a golf ball. (Turns out I'm not. Heh.)

I love golf, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46804259)

... it takes too long to play due to slow players, is expensive and is difficult to get a tee time unless your schedule is wide open.

I am pretty sure dumbing down the game is NOT the answer though.

Replace hole with net (1)

rlp (11898) | about 6 months ago | (#46804289)

They could replace the hole with a net. Then instead of a golf ball, golfers could throw a plastic disc. They could call it, oh, wait, nevermind.

Is this is to encourage... (1)

Roxoff (539071) | about 6 months ago | (#46804343)

...Americans with Really Fat Hands to play golf?

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