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  1. #1
    Coaching Staff frazeHFC's Avatar
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    The young golfers of today

    10 years ago, when I was a 14 year old lad I would play in every golf competition that I could. On a Friday afternoon after school I would have the choice of whether to play the junior medal at Dundas or Linlithgow, and you could guarantee there would be at least 15 playing in each, often much more than this at Linlithgow. Linlithgow would have a dozen youngsters with single figure handicaps and the competition was quite good.

    Nowadays, with my brother who is turning 14, it seems like the juniors of today are in hiding. He has the same choice of Dundas or Linlithgow, but there will be a maximum of 2 or 3 playing in each competition, and there's even been times when nobody else has turned up. Between the 2 courses I think there is only 1 player who is off a single handicap.

    I thought this was just a coincidence, however he has his name in for a competition up in Nairn this weekend as my dad is away up there with him. And having just checked who he will be playing with, he's the only one with his name in for it!

    Where are the young golfers of today? There is no doubt there is some brilliant young golfers about, but it seems there is a lot less kids getting involved in competitive golf at a club level. I wondered whether he was just unlucky in his clubs or whether this is seen elsewhere. How are the junior sections looking at everyone else courses out of interest?


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  3. #2
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    Golf is too expensive for many youngsters.

    In addition the speed of it doesn't tie in with the instant gratification many want and as such, younger people don't watch as much of it on tv and aren't inspired enough to take it up.

  4. #3
    Looking at the World Rankings, Scotland are performing poorly.

    Our highest ranking player is Russell Know at 38. Then it's

    115 Martin Laird
    263 Scott Jamieson
    296 Paul Lawrie
    303 Ritchie Ramsay
    309 Stephen Gallacher
    356 Marc Warren
    359 David Drysdale
    392 Duncan Stewart
    416 Jimmy Gunn
    451 Craig Lee

    Scotland, the home of golf 11 players in the top 500 and only one in the top 50.

    England have 7 players in the top 50 and 12 in the top 100.

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceinawhile View Post
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    Golf is too expensive for many youngsters.

    In addition the speed of it doesn't tie in with the instant gratification many want and as such, younger people don't watch as much of it on tv and aren't inspired enough to take it up.
    I don't buy your first point about expense but your one about youngsters and instant gratification is spot on.

    Golf takes time to learn and a lot of boring practice to get good at which isn't something that's particularly appealing nowadays what with all the other things they can be doing.

    I remember when I was young I used to regularly walk from Slateford/Craiglockhart to the braids with a set of clubs on my back, play a round for three hours then walk back. I'm not sure that's something anyone would do nowadays as there are far more options.

    The reason I disagree with the cost aspect is that clubs are even cheaper now than they were back when I was younger. I used to play with a set of second hand cut downs but nowadays you can go to sports direct and get a full set for cheaper than one of these phones every kid seems to have now.

    Saying all this there is a bit of a drive on now with youngsters in Fife where I live. Easing them into it might not get them hooked immediately but it might leave the door open for them when they grow up.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    I don't buy your first point about expense but your one about youngsters and instant gratification is spot on.

    Golf takes time to learn and a lot of boring practice to get good at which isn't something that's particularly appealing nowadays what with all the other things they can be doing.

    I remember when I was young I used to regularly walk from Slateford/Craiglockhart to the braids with a set of clubs on my back, play a round for three hours then walk back. I'm not sure that's something anyone would do nowadays as there are far more options.

    The reason I disagree with the cost aspect is that clubs are even cheaper now than they were back when I was younger. I used to play with a set of second hand cut downs but nowadays you can go to sports direct and get a full set for cheaper than one of these phones every kid seems to have now.

    Saying all this there is a bit of a drive on now with youngsters in Fife where I live. Easing them into it might not get them hooked immediately but it might leave the door open for them when they grow up.
    That would be like a teenager wearing asda trainers when everyone else wears adidas. Bairns nowadays expect the best of the best and cheap doesn't wash it.

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceinawhile View Post
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    Golf is too expensive for many youngsters.

    In addition the speed of it doesn't tie in with the instant gratification many want and as such, younger people don't watch as much of it on tv and aren't inspired enough to take it up.
    I'd agree about the cost. It's not just about the equipment but the green fees and a particularly high expense when I was young was replacing all those lost balls!

    The point earlier about the media exposure of golf I think is a very good one. I don't think there's any golf on council telly. Golf sold out to satellite and the kids don't get to see heroes like Lee Trevino or Seve Ballesteros.

    I enjoy playing on my tablet these days. I suspect any interested kids will be playing cyber golf rather than wet and windy golf.
    Space to let

  8. #7
    Coaching Staff frazeHFC's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how much the cost of it is related to the huge drop in numbers in just the last decade. The cost of playing at the clubs I mentioned has not risen at all, and at the end of the day it's the parents who will be coughing up the money for memberships and clubs.

    I think the point of games consoles grasping kids attention more than sport is a more likely reason. Kids don't know what they're missing these days; I think getting out on bikes and climbing trees is a thing of the past. 👀

  9. #8
    As a junior I always felt like an unwanted guest as opposed to a paying member due to the way a lot of the adult members acted, particularly the seniors. I'm not sure that's appealing to youngsters.

    There's probably a lot of truth in the instant gratification aspect as well.
    I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women,. Suddenly, uncritically giving no thought to the pain it could bring. - Nick Hornby

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member Golden Bear's Avatar
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    Apart from cycling, the apparent lack of interest in pursuing sporting activities by todays youngsters is of great concern. Golf is not the only sport which is suffering at present.
    Last edited by Golden Bear; 15-06-2017 at 09:17 PM.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Bear View Post
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    Apart from cycling, the apparent lack of interest in pursuing sporting activities by todays youngsters is of great concern. Golf is not the only sport which is suffering at present.
    It's exactly the same in bowls.

    When I was a junior you had to be good to get a game. Now clubs would happily grab people off the street to make up the numbers.

    And to be honest that applies at a junior, adult and senior level.

    My take on it is that working patterns are very different to 20, 30, 40 years ago so people can't commit to those sports in the way they did in the past. When it's part of a parent's lifestyle you'll naturally bring more kids in.

  12. #11
    Testimonial Due Hibee87's Avatar
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    Id echo a few of the points.

    Playing with cheap clubs is a no no, even why I was growing up up was all nike and titliest etc so there is an expense there.

    I also used to walk about 5 or 6 miles to play, sometimes on my own, then walk home. I HATED being stuck in the house so there is also that trend of computers to compete with now as well. Lack of decent gold games for computers may also hinder youngsters taking it up.

    GOlf is a frustrating sport and I can see how the having to put effort in putting a lot of kids off these days (unfortunatly)

    The cost of a round is pretty expensive as well, for me to play local (craigentinny) they are wanting 25quid. Its not that great a course and never worth the same as what I could pay for a round at ratho/pumpherston/uphall etc.

    I really want to get my son into golf (he is 5) so was thinking of just getting a small club for him and taking him to the driving range to just hit balls and hope he enjoys it enough to continue. I also looked at lessons for him, but most places I looked were from around 8 or 9 years old on wards.

    I also had the feeling as a youth that we were just getting in the way of the adults, hated us being in the club house etc. I guess attitudes will change hopefully, but maybe there is a market for a junior course only with some club pros/ex club pros to provide some help and to work on their techniques etc

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