Will Golfboarding Attract Millennials to the Course?

It’s no secret that golf courses around the country are looking for ways to attract younger players to the game. A much-needed influx of a younger demographic like millennials will not only add to the growth of the game of golf, but it will also keep golf course businesses healthy and robust, but can GolfBoard, named the “Best New Product” at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, bring millennials to the course?

Who Makes up the Millennial Generation?

Millennials, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are the largest generation in the U.S., representing one-third of the total U.S. population in 2013. Most are at the beginning of their careers, and will be a driving economic force in the decades to come. Ethnically diverse and well-educated, millennials are the first generation to have grown up with the internet. They are also a generation that grew up with board sports of many kinds. That’s why the GolfBoard promises to energize the sport of golf and bring millennials to the course.

What is Golfboard?

Part golf cart, part motorized skateboard, GolfBoard is a stable 15 inch wide electric board on which the golfer rides in lieu of the traditional golf cart. Easy to master, GolfBoard adds more activity to the game while improving speed of play and allowing users to experience more of the landscape. Its four-wheel drive and turf-friendly tires enable it to easily and safely handle all of the aspects of typical golf course terrain. The battery can last anywhere from 18 to 36 holes before needing to be recharged.

How Does Golfboard Work?

Users stand on GolfBoard like they would on a skateboard, and then shift their weight in whichever direction they want to move the vehicle. Operated with wireless handheld remote control, GolfBoard has two speeds: low (seven miles per hour) and high (11 miles per hour). While riding GolfBoard, golfers can use a stability handle or enjoy a free ride without the handle. They can carry their clubs or use a bag mount.

A Fun Way to Golf

GolfBoard lets people discover golf in a whole new way. It creates a more active, engaged and exciting way to experience the golf course, much like the way snowboarders experience the slopes, skateboarders experience the streets and surfers experience the ocean. With a base price of $3,995, GolfBoard can be purchased by individual golfers or acquired by golf courses to use as rentals.

Are you a Potential Golfboarder?

Let us know what you think of GolfBoard and if you see yourself using it instead of a golf cart during your next round of golf. Do you think innovations like GolfBoard will encourage more young people to take up the game? Tell us in the comments below!

Golf Often and Live Fuller

Golf is frustratingI don’t know about you, but there are days why I wonder why I play golf.  One day I’m in the “zone” shooting my best round ever and the next I’m so “zoned out” I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

Sometimes I think, “If golf doesn’t kill me, it will most certainly drive me insane.”

Well, I’m wrong on both accounts. Here’s why…

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FORMING YOUR OWN GOLF CLUB

Forming a golf club is not at all difficult. A “golf club” is an organization of at least ten individual members that operates under by-laws with committees (including a Handicap Committee) to supervise golf activities, provide peer review, and maintain the integrity of the USGA Handicap System™ . A golf club must be licensed by the USGA® to utilize the USGA Handicap System. A club can obtain a license agreement directly from the USGA or through its membership in an authorized golf association that is already licensed by the USGA and that has jurisdiction in the geographic area that includes the principal location of the golf club.

Members of a golf club must have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other. They must be able to return scores personally. These scores must be readily available for inspection by others, including, but not limited to, fellow members and the club’s Handicap Committee.

Each golf club must determine its type. A golf club is one of three (3) types:

1. It is located at a single specific golf course with a valid USGA Course Rating™ and USGA Slope Rating® where a majority of the club’s events are played and the club’s scoring records reside; or

2. Its members are affiliated or known to one another via a business, fraternal, ethnic or social organization. The majority of the club members had an affiliation prior to organizing the club; or

3. The members had no prior affiliation and a majority of the recruiting and sign-up of the membership is done by solicitation to the general public (e.g., Internet, newspaper).

An organization of amateur golfers at a public course is considered a golf club if it satisfies the above conditions. If a “golf club” which utilizes the USGA Handicap System is not readily available to you, you can create such a club with a minimum of ten golfers. The club can be formed from business associates or just golfing friends, provided that they live in a close geographic area and play golf regularly together.

New Old Rivalry with Tiger and Phil at the Top- But not at Pebble Beach

photo-1Tiger Woods isn’t returning to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after playing in the event last year much to the disappointment of anticipating fans. Woods returned to the AT&T last year for the first time since 2002. Woods’s next start will be at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Feb. 20., an event he’s won three times. Woods is notoriously choosy when it comes to Tour stops, so it appears his addition of Pebble Beach last year might have been a one-time-only appearance. He has reportedly had issues with the tournament in the past despite winning in 2000. He doesn’t like the poa annua greens, unpredictable weather, long rounds and celebrity-driven crowds.

His decision is unfortunate given that he dominated in his last win 2 weeks ago while Phil Mickelson dominated last week at the Waste Management just a week ago. This would have set up an epic rivalry week that fans and the media would have loved to have watched.

Both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson appear to be coming into form and are likely to be major factors this year. Imagine a world in which Mickelson (or Woods, for that matter) is an efficient driver or, at the very least, his wildest shots have a much smaller dispersion.

At least last week, Phil At 42, seems to be inching away from his aggressive mentality and replacing it with more of a conservative aggression. When he shot that first-round 60, he was dying to post in the 50s—the only time he has done so was at the 2004 Grand Slam of Golf, when he shot 59—but on the final two holes he didn’t go for broke on his approach, hitting wedge shots he made sure to keep below the hole. Smarter conservative play accented his game. The last birdie putt, for 59, lipped out so forcibly that a stunned Bones slumped in disbelief to his knees, then to his elbows.

Another reason to stand behind Phil is his iron play. Wild drives, occasionally questionable decisions and erratic putt­ing (he’s using a modified claw grip now and rolling it great, by the way) have overshadowed the fact that other than a prime-time Tiger, nobody stacks more approach shots closer to the hole than Phil. In Scottsdale he led the field in greens in regulation and proximity to the pin.

Mickelson doesn’t often rank so high in greens or fairways hit, but no matter how poor his numbers are, he’s usually among the top 15 in birdies per round, often the top five. This is a fact: Phil is one of the best iron players from the rough. Golf is about scoring, and Phil is a great scorer because his iron play combined with a great short game and deadly mid-range putt­ing. Simply put, he knows how to get the ball in the hole. Similarly Tiger will often, even when is off of the fairway, recover with a super-classed short game and putting.

Watch out if they have both figured out their games

Golf Statistics- Improve Your Golf Game

img_0923-2If you have been following some of my posts on either Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that I have been posting a lot on the statistics of golf. In particular, I wanted to find out what statistical variables a golfer should pay attention to in trying to improve their game. This is, after all, a pretty important module in the Striker golf app that I am developing. Whether you are a student, amateur, or a professional golfer, understanding the statistic of your golf game is the second most important variable in reaching the next plateau in your golf game; the first is understanding and improving your golf swing. I would give you the argument, however, that even if you possess a beautiful swing, you might not score well simply because you don’t understand the game of how to get the ball to and into the hole.

So what are the most important statistics to follow? Do you know how often you hit the green in regulation? Do you know many putts you might take during a typical round? Do you know how often you hit a drive onto the fairway versus one that is just off the fairway or even worst, one that went out of bounds or into a hazard? Do you know how often you drive the ball left versus right? Finally, do you know the importance of being able to hit a lag putt or other kind of shot to within 3 feet or within 10 feet?

Understanding these statistical variables are the key to understanding how you play golf and where in your game that you can improve. Each of these variables obviously impact on each other, so improving one should improve them all. Which are the most important? Some would say that greens in regulation and/or putting are the most important. Remember the old adage of – drive for show but putt for dough? There is a lot to be said for that and even though it might be true, it is also true that it is a lot easier to putt if the ball is closer to the hole.

Most of us who play golf understand that golf is a lot easier if you can get off the tee and on to the fairway with some distance. More easily said than done. The average tour player hits a fairway 60% of the time. And the average tour player hits about 280 yards. We aren’t tour players. The sportsjournal.org published an article that made a point that senior tour players were worst than PGA tour players in reaching greens in regulation because they couldn’t hit it as far ( making for a longer second shot ) even though they were more accurate. The first variable to establish excellence in the sequence to scoring, therefore is not just fairway accuracy, but rather fairway accuracy with distance. For most golfers, we ideally want to be within 150 yards… or have a shorter iron in for accuracy in reaching the green in regulation. And we certainly don’t want to hook the ball left or slice the ball right of the fairway and introduce hazards. Fairway accuracy with distance is therefore a very important statistic to record in our app.

That leads to the second element in the sequence to better scoring in golf- Greens in Regulation or GIR. Golf Magazine points out that this is the most important criterion for scoring in golf along with putting. I would argue, however, that the average tour player makes the green only 60% of the time- and most of us aren’t tour players. That means that they are off of the green 40% of the time- which further implies that they have to be great at getting up and down or achieving par saves. This is not to say that putting isn’t important, but that 40% of the time, we have more work to do. Naturally, golf is a lot easier if we can make the green in regulation. If we could manage this hurdle of reaching the green in regulation, we wouldn’t have to worry about chipping, pitching, or sand shots. We simply have to worry about putting. But most us have to worry about chipping, pitching, and sand shots more than 50% of the time. We are not tour players. Most of us don’t practice this part of our game as much as we should. Many public facilities don’t even have a short game area. I personally don’t think that Greens in Regulation should not be elevated to the level of importance that it is if you are to improve your game. In summary, you need to know who you are as a player. If you are very good with your driver and irons, you can vastly improve your game by improving your approach shots and greens in regulation. If you are not, then the easiest way to improve your game is by improving the statistics of your short game. I think that breaking down the short game is far more important and measuring par saves is an integral statistic to record particularly if we are not reaching the green over 50% of the time.

screen-19-12. Greens in Regulation
3. Numbers of Putts
4. Numbers of Chips
5. Par Saves
6. Handicaps

Tiger Woods- Its all about the Short Game

Quote from John Cook about Woods. “I see his progress. I see [Woods’s coach Sean] Foley a bit around Orlando, so Tiger and I are in constant communication. I do know the feeling he has about what he’s doing, and he believes 100 percent in it. Right now it’s just about getting better with the short irons, because these guys all hit wedges to 8-irons into every hole. That control with the short irons is something that’s going to have to come back.

“He had that,” Cook added. “Mark [O’Meara] and I talked to him a lot about that in his early years, that he needed to control his golf ball more consistently, and he worked on that, which was why he went to the stratosphere and got to be so much better than everyone else. He’s got the new swing down, which took a couple years, and now that he’s comfortable again, I think he’ll dial the short irons in again and be back to where he was. I think he’s well on his way.”