To paraphrase Shakespeare, "ALL the world's a golf course and all the men and women merely players."
On a recent trip to the superb Dolomites region of the Italian Alps, I was intrigued as to why the pastures above the tree line were so beautifully maintained. We saw the locals swinging their scythes and collecting the straw, which was then astonishingly transported by helicopter to the farms to feed the livestock. The result of this high altitude maintenance effort was a landscape which called out for the distribution of flags and tee boxes! In the space of an hour the pastoral attractions of the valley could be transformed into a golf course for all ages and levels of play!
CROSSGOLF IS A WINNER.
It breaks through the barriers that are impeding the development of our game. The image of the private country club with its limited access, rules and regulations as well as its structured management governance is at the heart of the problem.
Who is a golfer and how is the knee-jerk statistic of 60 million golfers worldwide established? Does this include my three grandchildren who love to hit balls when they come to visit with us? Does it include the canine population the greatest pleasure of which is to go for a five mile walk away from cars to glimpse the wealth of trees awaiting their visit?
Are the street golfers in the slums of Mumbai playing from the rooftops of their shanty towns included?
So let's break down the barriers preventing golf from achieving liftoff. Let's get back to basics and away from Stimpmetre readings and rangefinders.
The pure pleasures of thwacking an object with a stick towards a target are what golf has always been about for the past 600 years and hopefully for the next 600!