1st Tee

Learning - To Love The Game


by Bryan Outram - Over the last few years a lot of questions have been raised about the state of the game of golf, particularly at the grass roots level. There are fears regarding participation decline for various reasons.


As with any sport or pastime, it’s critical to the ongoing growth and health of golf that each new generation is introduced to the game and hopefully carries on the traditions as well as offering new ideas to help improve and perpetuate the fascination with this most unique endeavour.

Whereas a lot of attention has been focussed on the struggling business side of golf and the high number of course closures, due in large part to supply and demand issues, it will always come down to the age old requirement of passing on the love of the sport.

Image Caption : Sr. Editor Bryan Outram Loves The Game Alright, But He Still Has A Lot To Learn

From at least one writer’s point of view perhaps the most endearing element of golf is where you get to be. Face it, when it comes to playing arenas, a golf course has it all over a hardwood floor, or a sheet of ice enclosed with four walls.

But we digress. Aside from the glorious surroundings that golf courses the world over offer us, a certain degree of proficiency goes a long way toward increasing the enjoyment of the game. And that all comes back to perhaps the simplest and purest aspect of playing golf - making contact with the ball.

Anyone who has ever attempted to play golf can attest to both the frustration and elation that can be experienced from the result of attempting to hit a golf ball in the direction you’d actually like it to go.

Which is probably why we are so fascinated watching the pros, be they men or women, who can make the game look so easy, especially when we all know it’s anything but.

The focus of this particular iG issue (spring 2014) is on the teaching of the game and some of those in our own backyard who excel in that area. Much like our first kiss, golfers all remember when they first made solid contact (with a golf ball) and what that felt like. Once you’ve experienced that feeling, in typical human fashion, you want more of it.

So we pursue getting better at the game. It goes from there to whatever level each individual is able to achieve. Regardless of what that level may be, our chances improve greatly when we enlist the help of those who have had success and figured out a way to show others how to get there.

The point of it all comes back to the purity of hitting a golf ball. The business of the game has experienced its ups and downs throughout its long history and will no doubt continue to do so and those involved in that aspect will continue to find ways to make it work.

But as long as we continue to pursue golf for the basic love of the game it will find a way to survive and even thrive.

In that regard, with the likes of a Rob Houlding or a Dean Spriddle and so many others who spend countless hours dedicated to teaching this wonderful game to the next generation, golf’s future is truly in good hands.