"In an effort to bring more subscribers into the sport of golf, professionals working in cooperation with the Euro-American Golf Association are proposing changes that will revolutionize how golf is played around the globe. “We simply wish to make the game of golf more user friendly and give folks new to the sport a more timely feeling of real accomplishment. And we’re borrowing practices from another popular sport—fly-fishing—to accomplish that mission, ” explained Lamare Purkevelle, President of the EUGA.
The best golfers today, not just the pros, enjoyed a long and involved learning curve that honed their skills. “Reaching a score of par, or under par, requires years of practice—both on the driving range, and on the golf course itself, “ said Antonio DeValenzo, an Italian pro-golfer who is trying to convince colleagues that this is the best move for the sport. “We want to bring in more people---ladies, gentlemen and kids. “There’s no reason that a person who picks up a club for the first time shouldn’t be able to hit par on their second time on a golf course. And why should anyone wait to hit the golf accomplishment of a lifetime---a Hole in One,” Antonio added while sipping a glass of Henri Jayer, Richebourg 1987.
The changes are driven by the golf equipment industry, which hopes to boost sales of the best golf clubs and putters on the market. Moreover, the recession has severely impacted golf country club memberships. The clubs are striving to fill empty slots. “Just look at the fly-fishing industry, how they boosted sales. The sport is now user-friendly, catering to prospective buyers who want to catch a trophy fish on a fly on their first time out. Most people don’t want a learning curve---they want a photo holding up a big fish. And they want it now, not in 10 years,” said Jeremiah Provolone, a fly-fisherman who won an award for catching no fewer than 50 trout in one day on “flies” using fly-fishing tackle. And he’s been at it for only three months.
Provolone, 16 years-old and who hopes to become a pro-golfer within two years, is helping prepare the new golf game proposals that he hopes will make first time players---and even pros---smile. “If you can make it happen with fishing flies, you can make it happen with golf balls,” he said. “My dad bought me my first fly pole and tied a big giant thing on the line. It looked like a big lizard or something with a big round metal head. But he told me it was an insect. The guy who tossed it over the side of the boat made my dreams come true!”
First, the size of the putting green hole is being changed from the standard 4.25-inch diameter to a 4-foot diameter hole. DeValenzo argues that the change allows a first-time golfer to get a Hole-in One. “He’ll tell a hundred friends, including his wife, to buy a set of clubs once that happens.” Golf historians explain that the 4.25-inch standard was originated at Musselburgh (now a 9-hole municipal course on the Levenhall Links near Edinburgh, Scotland). The first hole-cutter was invented there, in 1829. “It’s elitist, it’s wrong and it discourages players new to the sport. The 4-foot hole makes much more sense,” DeValenzo argued.
Second, the tee-off will be moved up 400 feet on a par 5 green, 350 feet on a par 4, and 300 feet on a par 3. “We want players on the green in one stroke,” DeValenzo explained. “We want players to relish their sport, and to feel good about their accomplishments with the game of golf.”
Third, the Mulligan — a free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played—will be enhanced so as to not discourage players, or embarrass them in front of players who may have 30-40 years experience with the game. “We’re proposing that if a player requests a Mulligan, the ball can be moved on to the green itself. But the Mulligan will be granted only if a licensed Caddy is used, paid in advance. The Caddy will be responsible for placing the ball on the green no closer than three-inches from the hole. “We hope to open up and expand the whole Caddy industry. The Mulligan change will provide a windfall for many individuals who prefer not to work a 9-5 job. Their fees are expected to rise 500%,” Provolone said. “One fellow that I know who has been working packing Mozzarella di Bufala cheese for a living already gave notice to quit his job. He wants to become a “Golf Bum.”
Many will argue that the game of golf can no longer be called “the game of golf.” But it IS golf, the new and improved golf, the user-friendly golf, the “feel good about yourself” golf. And that’s what the world needs---we all need to feel good! So, let’s go golfin’!"
Via: Mike Valla - Author, angler, fly tyer....and ball buster.