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The Many Forms of Golf

Greetings Golfers,

Golf can come in many forms. Remember, it started with Scottish shepherds hitting a rock with a stick while tending their flock.

And over time it evolved into the 18 hole game we know and love today.

However, we can hit balls at a range … or practice our short game on a chipping green … or play a 9 hole course or one of the new “short courses”. 

Pinehurst started the trend with their “The Cradle” short course. It’s 13 par 3 holes … and all you need is a wedge and a putter. It’s casual - music blaring out from big speakers … and a bar in the middle of the holes.

Is it popular? It did 63,000 rounds last year. 

People love to hit a rock with a stick. Sure, it’s fun to putt … but it’s especially fun to take a whack at it. 

Top Golf has gone crazy. Golf simulators are packed in the winter-time up here. 

The other day I read an article that the big threat to the future of golf is computer golf. Are you as sick of constant “threats” as I am? Golf is not going to die because of computer golf. 

Nice restaurants didn’t die because of fast-food restaurants. 

I think people want more variety - more options.

The threat or the danger is in trying to be everything-to-everybody. For example, if I go to a restaurant and they have everything on the menu - French, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Steak, Seafood, Ribs, etc … I know that everything is probably bad. They can’t do it all well - not happening. 

Same with a golf course. Maybe a giant golf resort like Pinehurst can do a lot of different things … but even they have to be careful.

Not every course has to be 7400 yards and able to host the US Open. 

Golf was too hung-up on that for too long. Does making a golf course really hard make it better? Does making food super spicy make it better? Isn’t good a good thing?

I’ve played golf courses where every hole is tricked-up? Is that fun? Maybe, if you think golf should be a crazy carnival-ride … or a house-of-mirrors. 

But I think a golf course should be straight-forward and a common-sense challenge of risk-and-reward. Boring isn’t interesting … but it beats ridiculous.

However, I’m not the King-of-Golf. Fortunately there are a lot of golf courses out there … I’m not stuck having to play “Alice-In-Wonderland GC”. 

Even though golf is an old game … people have been eating a lot longer than playing golf. So of course there are more food options than golf options.

But golf is catching-up. Those Scottish shepherds would be proud. 

Whatever form it takes … it’s still all about the joy of hitting a rock with a stick.



Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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