With fewer people taking up golf, former world number 1, Lee Westwood says the sport needs to change to survive and needs modernising.
One issue is how long the game takes to play and he suggests that instead of golfers awaiting their turns, they could all tee off simultaneously using multiple tees.
Anyone who’s been hit by a golf ball will shudder at the thought of seeing a torrent of golf balls cascading down from the sky and, unless golfers are using multi-coloured balls like in crazy golf, I’m not sure that painstakingly trying to recognise your own white golf ball from the others will speed up the game.
He also suggest that maybe if they cut out the trees, the lakes, the sand and the rough areas – basically the only interesting parts of a golf course – golf balls wouldn’t get lost as often, which slows the game up.
But maybe if the balls were inserted with a GPS tracker or they allowed golden retrievers on the course, they wouldn’t get lost so often?
He also argues the cost of clubs is prohibitive, that the game is too expensive to take up and that it isn’t very appealing to women – unless they love seeing a guy in Premier Man polo shirts and outlandish trousers.
But his main gripe was that the game was just too hard. You whack a ball as hard as you can and, once found, whack it hard again and if you’re lucky you might just see a flagpole. Why not just make the holes nearer to start with, why does it have to be a quarter of a mile away so they have to drive a buggy to reach it? I used to have a shorter milk round in a similar vehicle.
But his best idea to make golf accessible to all is to make the holes bigger. Brilliant. If they made the holes the size of craters and moved them ten feet from the tees, I’d take the game up tomorrow.