It’s how the game is perceived by many, if not most, non-golfers and it is the single biggest barrier to a significant number ever trying the game.
In an unscientific survey of about half a dozen unafflicted types that I know, ‘boring’ was the single most popular answer when asked for one word to describe golf.
That perception, along with a few other clichés including the game being stuffy, expensive, a ‘boys only’ club etc, is what stops many from ever picking up a club and experiencing a recreation that we, as golfers, know has so much to offer.
For the vast majority whose only exposure to golf is the televised professional game a few times a year, it’s not hard to see why they might find it less exciting than soccer or AFL.
But the truth is that if you could convince 100 of those same people to actually have a go at golf, it is guaranteed a percentage of them would be immediately hooked.
What that tells us is that professional golf is only a part of the answer to introducing new people to the game and that the real driving force is actually us: existing golfers.
In a wide-ranging discussion on the iSeekGolf podcast this week with Golf Australia Media Manager Mark Hayes, this very topic came up.
As is his duty, Hayes was giving a plug to the upcoming Golf Month initiative and the opportunity it is offering to win a trip to King Island and Barnbougle Dunes (well worth entering, by the way).
The essence of Golf Month (which is October, by the way) is to celebrate the game across the country and drive interest at the grassroots level.
The golfing trip of a lifetime prize that Hayes talked about is pure genius in its simplicity because it taps directly into the game’s greatest resource.
To win you need to explain in 150 words or less who you are going to ‘share the golf bug with’. The best answer wins and the author and a mate will be off to golfing paradise.
But the real beauty of it is that for every entry received, we know that at least one non-golfer has been exposed to the game, by far the best way to get people into golf.
Golf Month is a big concept but an important one and Golf Australia and all involved are to be congratulated on the work they’ve done to bring it to fruition.
But organisations can only do so much. The real driving force of Golf Month needs to be those at the coal face: golfers and the clubs that we are members of.
The Golf Month website has listings of activities taking place in every corner of the country in October but, more importantly, also has a section with suggestions and ideas for clubs and facilities.
If your club isn’t already involved, encourage them to get on board. If they are, offer to help with any planned activities.
Those of us who play, know how many different words we use to describe golf (including a significant number deemed not safe for work) and we also know that ‘boring’ is never one of them.
The goal now is to encourage those who find the game akin to closely observing paint dry that they might just be missing out.
ALI WHITAKER AND THE INNOVATIVE 'FLOATY DRILL':
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.