Thursday, January 10, 2013

Do beginners like interesting?

Recently I read about a municipality building a six hole beginner course to compliment its main golf course.  They will be using donated funds in an effort to introduce people to golf - it will cost $10 and not take very long.  This sounds great, I'd love to have someplace to bring youngsters to play, I can think of no good place in Houston.  Hopefully they will be able to use the existing golf infrastructure to keep costs minimized.
One thing puzzled me however:

"The course would be set up as a “learning center” with flat greens, flat bunkers and holes just 60 to 120 yards long, where golfers of all ages and abilities could play."

Why build flat greens?  The most famous putting course in the world, The Himalayas at St. Andrews, is also the wildest.  All ranges of people have been playing there since 1867!  Check out these pictures. It costs $3.  And it was something I was looking forward to playing when I visited St. Andrews a few years ago.

Flat greens are boring.  If I were to introduce someone to the game, I would like them to see the fun parts first.  Golf is interesting, and complex.  Why hide its best qualities?

Pictured above is the 17th green at Wolf Point - it is filled with interest - so can every green.


  1. Good read - 6 hole course might work. I am always looking for new golf blogs--I will visit again.

  2. Mike, very interesting post. I've thought about this before, too. I remember I was playing Mountain Lake and watched a beginner, and I mean real beginner, hit the ball 4 times to cover the first 150 yards. She then hit a very nice 5th shot that travelled 100 yards and into a bunker that protrudes all the way into the centre of the fairway. When she got to the ball she looked very unhappy, went into the bunker and pulled it out. I concluded watching her that NO, beginners don't like interesting. I wonder if they are worse than low handicappers in believing that their good shots should be rewarded. No goofy stuff.

    Keep up the interesting posts.

    Mark Saltzman


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