By Alec Brzezinski
Published on Sep. 11, 2015
Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman ranted about the state of the game on afr.com Friday, saying 50 percent of golf courses in Australia are in a state of "financial distress" because the game has simply fallen behind the times.
“Quite honestly, you can't rely on the Baby Boomers to carry the game of golf any more, they have done that for a long period of time but you've got to reach down to the millennials,” Norman said via Golf Digest.
“Bring the kids in by letting them put speakers in golf carts, putting headsets on or playing in their board shorts or getting on an electric skateboard or something like that to take their clubs around, have fun with the game, speed it up, do what the kids like to do."
He thinks one solution could be reducing the amount of time it takes to play a round, and he has a fairly revolutionary solution.
“I’m a big proponent of increasing the speed of the game. Building 12-hole golf courses, reducing the time," Norman said. "Why do we have to build these 7000-meter long golf courses for maybe one week a year or not even one week when the cost of constructing and maintaining these ridiculous clubhouses gets out of hand. We've really got to get our crap together."
Norman compared golf's inability to change and branch out to skiing and its initial resistance to snowboarding.
“What happened was families wouldn't come because their kids couldn't snowboard, so the resorts were cutting off their nose to spite their face because they weren't reaching down to the millennials,” he said. “You have got to listen to what these kids do.”
Some of "these kids" are dominating the tour right now with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler all ranked in the top 5 in the world and all under the age of 28. This will help bring the younger generation into the sport.
But courses can be helped now, and it doesn't require cutting six holes off their 18-hole layouts. The problem is foursomes. The PGA Tour doesn't use them. They play in pairs or threesomes. Foursomes bog down the pace of play and should be outlawed to help rejuvenate the sport.