Oscar Wilde and the USGA
I go to golf meetings and read golf magazines. Though I’m mostly just involved in running Deer Run GC, I do try to know what’s going on in the golf world.
But sometimes what I read and hear bothers me – I feel that too often the “leaders” become too removed from the trenches to really know what’s going on. So, I’m going to talk about what I see as a disconnection. But as Oscar Wilde said “If you want to tell people the truth, make ’em laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you”.
I’m not sure I’m that funny – so this might be pretty risky.
The United States Golf Association has a new President – Diana Murphy – and Golf Digest recently interviewed her. Their first question was: “What do you hope to accomplish as USGA President?” Mrs. Murphy’s response was “Obviously championships are our heart and soul”.
She was referring to championships such as the US Open and the US Amateur.
I think those tournaments are very cool and good for golf. But … the “heart and soul” of the USGA?
Obviously, (I had to use it) the average golfer is not the heart and soul of the USGA. But, she does care about the average golfer … just listen to her response to this next question: “Golfer retention is still an issue – what can the USGA do to help?” She replied, “You don’t have to be a scratch golfer to come to a championship”.
How refreshing! You don’t have to be a scratch player to watch a golf tournament! … and that’s the secret to retaining golfers? Really?
What about retaining golfers with these options:
* design more player-friendly courses
* improve and simplify golf instruction
* simplify the handicap system
* simplify the golf rule book
* emphasize hospitality at golf clubs
That’s how I see it. I hope Oscar Wilde was wrong.
GM and Head Golf Professional