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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
August 22, 2017

Golf Psychic Reads His Crystal Ball And Proclaims, "Golf Is Trending Toward An Upward Cycle!"
RJ Smiley


Let me introduce you to The Golf Psychic. During the 2016 golf season the Psychic will peer deeply into his crystal ball for visions into golf's future. You will agree with some of his predictions and some you may not! Time will ultimately prove the accuracy of his predictions.

As golf industry insiders wring their hands they ask, "What is wrong with golf? How can we save the game?" The Psychic moves his hands rhythmically around the crystal ball and says, "There is nothing wrong with the game of golf!" In fact, he says, "Golf is in the early stages of a new upward cycle! Everything moves in cycles! The economy moves in cycles. Our weight moves in cycles. The moon moves in cycles. The seasons move in cycles. GOLF MOVES IN CYCLES!!

Each month the Psychic will peer into his crystal ball and predict where the golf industry should focus its efforts to accelerate the cycle. The Psychic will share his predictions and explain why. Stay tuned!

The Psychic Looks Back
Last year the Psychic read with interest as Tee Times spent the season looking at a variety of deviations from "classic golf" to increase cash flow from alternative recreational uses for golf course properties. Tee Times took an in-depth look at innovations like bike golf, disc golf, foot golf, park golf and larger holes. We interviewed executives from Topgolf's, new driving range concept. And we visited golf courses that have made Golf Boards available. The Psychic looks into his crystal ball and predicts that the only two of these fads, Topgolf and Golf Boards, will have any real impact on golf in the future.

Topgolf, the space aged driving range concept, is a combination of food, beverage and competitive entertainment that could bring some of millennial, lost generation (lost in terms of becoming golfers), to the golf course. Once this generation, who grew up playing video games and texting on the cell phones, come to understand how challenging and entertaining the game can be, a few will take up the game of golf seriously.

Golf Boards are the innovation that could attract some in the millennial generation to golf. For most of this lost generation, golf is just too slow. Compared to the rest of their life, golf takes way too much time. They want and expect instant gratification. The concept of riding a Golf Board, that replaces grandpa's golf cart, allows these golfers to roam free all over the golf course. Being the driver appeals to this generation who grew up riding skateboards and snowboards. They have spent time on stand up paddleboards and kayaked whitewater rapids. They want a thrill. Golf Boards offer a bit of a thrill, while still playing the game of golf. As they age the crystal ball predicts that the game of golf will prove the winner.

A Schedule Of The Crystal Ball's Predictions

How Will Baby Boomers Affect Golf's Future?
In April the Psychic will share his vision of how Baby Boomers will move the golf needle. He says that throughout his lifetime Baby Boomers have been seen as a large ball flowing through the digestive tract of a snake. Over the next ten years 10,000 Americans per day will reach age 65. He sees a huge increase in the number of people who will be retiring. The sales of second homes will increase. The number of people who will be moving to the Sun Belt will increase. But more importantly the number of people with plenty of money and even more time will be looking for a regular recreational activity to occupy their time. It will not be downhill skiing or snowmobiling.

Who Will Be The New Super Hero?
In May the crystal ball tells the Psychic that every up-cycle of golf has been associated with a super hero, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. He will review his vision of who will be the next great golfer with that magic personality? The persona that will take him above his ability on the course? He will discuss his vision of golf's version of the Pied Piper who will lead his followers blindly, and grow the game of golf subconsciously.

What Will Golf Courses Do?
The Psychic knows that golf course developers during the last golf boom got caught drinking the Kool-Aid. In June the Psychic will explain the changes necessary to fix many of the golf courses built based on making money on land not golf. Knowing that the lots on a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course were move valuable than lots on a course designed by a local architect developers chose Nicklaus. The number of golf courses he designed that were rated as top 100 courses determined Nicklaus' fee. Nicklaus built super tough championship golf courses. The developer, who is in it for the money, can't be blamed. Nicklaus and his fellow architects, who are in it for the money, can't be blamed. But, the Psychic asks, "Who were those courses designed for? Can everyday golfers enjoy playing those courses?" Next time you play a big time golf course go to the back tee and check the number of divots. Today golf course operators are attempting to soften their courses so that the average green fee paying player can enjoy them.

How Will Equipment Affect Golf's Future?
In July the crystal ball will share the vision of limitations on improvements to golf clubs and more importantly golf balls. As we hit the ball farther, new tees must be added. Additional length means larger maintenance budgets, which are passed on to the player in increased green fees.

Will More Kids Become Golfers?
In August the Psychic explains that golf has lost an entire generation of potential golfers, the millennials. Junior golfers of the future must replace the growing rounds played by Baby Boomers. If golf does not covet and develop this virgin group of potential golfers the next great down cycle will make the one we are coming out of seem like a 3.0 earthquake.

The Psychic will gain insight into these topics and will discuss them at length during the 2016 season. If you, the loyal Tee Times reader, has questions that need an answer from the Psychic and his mystic crystal ball, please email your question to golfpsychic@teetimespress.com.

As the days grow longer and the shadows grow shorter we will dream of having one of those special rounds in the upcoming season.






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