Numerous studies have been conducted to determine what the factors are that are limiting the growth of golf worldwide. Most people assume it is either cost related or the time commitment required to play a round of golf. Interestingly though, it has been determined that the main factor causing people to leave the game, or for not taking it up, is the difficulty of golf. Despite the numerous advances that have been made in club and golf ball technology, the game hasn’t really gotten any easier, it has become even harder.
Why is this? Simple – most golf courses, and especially the ones that have been built since 1990, have been designed to challenge the best players in the game, completely ignoring the fact that 95% of the players that will play the course are mostly people with handicaps of 15 or higher. Golf course architects, egged on by the developers and / or owners, seem to design or renovate golf courses as if they will someday host the U.S. Open, rather than for their true clientele, the average golfer.
Here is a great example of what the average player is facing when they play a 7,000 yard course. By calculating the average driving distance and approach club distances for Joe Golfer and extrapolating similar distances that would correlate to touring pro’s, that 7,000 yard course for us would translate into an 8,800 yard course for them. How much fun do you think they would have playing those courses? It is estimated they would average scores in the low 80’s.
At the Warren Course we recognized a few years back that our course perhaps crossed the line of challenging to too difficult for some golfers. Granted, we have a portion of our clientele that require a difficult course (ND’s Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams) so we have to keep that in mind when maintaining and setting up the course. However, we have been able to please both groups through a number of changes over the past two to three years. Those are:
- Cut back the fescue rough in the areas where the average player’s drive lands.
- Introduced a new set of tees (white tees – 6,300 yards)) that offers an alternative between the blue tee yardage (6,700) and the green tees (5,400).
- Have our starters suggest the appropriate tees for our guests to play depending on their skill level.
- Installed new irrigation heads on all holes that throw water only on the fairways and primary rough, not the fescue. Over time the undergrowth that now exists and make the fescue so difficult from which to play, will disappear.
These changes have resulted in much more enjoyable rounds of golf for our guests. An added feature is that the pace of play, which has always been good at the Warren, has been reduced even more. Come out and play our Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design and see for yourself……golf should be fun!