There is an old song by the title: "Those Were The Days." In the song there is a line that sings: "guys like us, we had it made.....those were the days." It is a old song about the good ole' days, as many older folks tend to assemble in their minds. As it relates to golf, there were some good ole' days, and I remember them well. Golf in the US caught several tail winds beginning after WW II. Because we were just about the only nation building things, jobs were aplenty, television and Arnie showed up together, and people wanted to play. There were not too many courses then, or golf brands, or video games. Golf in the 60's, 70's, and 80's caught fire. We look back to that time and us "ole" guys have fond memories. Most of the players were men, and most of these males were white. We did not know then we need to build inclusion into the game. Life at that time was good for the game, for caddies like me, and for people selling sweaters and golf shoes.
Today, we struggle to grow the game. Those guys from the past are old and getting older. As a game, we have not properly engaged women, juniors, or minorities. Well, it is time. Time to try stuff, lots of stuff.. Time to look to your neighborhood to build new golfers. All should be welcome. All should be invited. It is time, I believe to put the foot on the gas and create stories about the game in your area. It is time to get out of the clubhouse, the pro shop, and begin to create an invitation. Bringing women, juniors, and minorities to golf is not a nice thing to do. It is essential for the future of the game. Next week the game will celebrate the first API tournament without Arnie. That should be a clear signal that the torch must be handed off to the next generation of people to love the game Arnie loved. Create welcome to golf events for the game at your course, and do it in baby steps if you must, but please do it.
- Meet with your team to develop a strategy, a structure, and a program for men, women, and juniors
- Build an invite that is about the neighborhood, your neighborhood
- Keep is simple: create an invite to experience just the clubhouse, then the putting green, range. Key to remember that you are the expert, your guests are not. Keep it simple.
- Make it totally free or at a very low price to "get in"
- For those who stay with it, build a 2nd tier to keep people in the game, through instruction, fellowship, and FUN!
Guys like us will not carry the game much longer. It is time to create the invite, the Welcome Party, and then never stop..........
Long live: THE KING!
Jack Dillon writes the highfives blog. Jack makes business better. He is an accomplished manager, speaker, and driver of business. Contact Jack at 407-973-6136. Jack lives in Orlando.