Fergus Bisset describes a virtual world in which a GM is given a white paper and a chance to design golf from scratch.
Golf 2.0 – Blueprint for the best game
Golf has been played on these islands for at least 550 years. There’s a reason for its longevity – it’s a great sport.
But, like anything that grows into old age, golf has developed its properties over the centuries.
Changing society and culture has affected the game over a long period, and while we enjoy golf’s rich history, there are elements of the sport, embedded over the years, that don’t quite fit in with today’s world.
While waiting to return to the course, golf monthly The team pulled their heads together and thought about the question: If we had a blank canvas and could design golf from scratch, what would the sport look like?
Here, we consider “Golf 2.0”.
First of all, it’s worth noting that we (as you might expect) love golf a lot, so we wouldn’t change much in terms of the basics of the game.
It will still be the goal to hit the ball from one point to the next, finding the bottom of a small cup at the end.
What we really think about here are the auxiliary elements of golf – the courses, shapes and situations within the sport.
What courses can Golf 2.0 be played on? How will it be played at different levels? And what are we going to do to make this sport popular?
Over the centuries, golf courses in the UK and Ireland have evolved from primitive driveways between two points to manicured and carved layouts on joints, park and health.
The path to the current standard of a course was greatly influenced by early pioneers such as Old Tom Morris, who drilled holes in Prestwick’s natural terrain – only 12 of them at first.
St. Andrews He had 22, which became 18… which became the norm.
In the modern world where time is precious, 18 holes is simply a waste of time for many people.
Starting from scratch, no 18 holes will be required.
The number of holes will be determined simply by the space available – why not have a really cool five-a-side pitch?
If there was room for more (18, for example), the goal would be three six-hole loops that start and end in a central club. Then one can choose to play six, 12 or 18 depending on the timing.
Episode ranking will rotate on a daily basis, so those who only want to play six will experience each episode.
The courses will be built with environmental sustainability in mind, and will be considered from the start as nature havens as well as sports arenas – an approach that would suit well with the wider audience.
One of the great qualities of the sport is one of the great qualities of the sport, and of course it always will be.
Golf 2.0 courses will sit naturally within their surroundings, whether on the coast, through the woods or in the mountains, and today’s great course designers will continue to lead the way.
Popular golf clubs
We believe the clubs will continue to be the beating heart of Golf 2.0.
As in golf today, many of our clubs remain a throwback to a bygone era.
Although most of them made efforts to fit in with the modern world, few were able to shake off all the shackles of the old school that were holding them down.
Starting from scratch, Golf 2.0 clubs will seek to replicate the recent success of gyms and leisure clubs.
Open and inclusive with family membership offerings, our clubs will be modern and welcoming to all, offering attractive facilities to a wider range of residents, male and female.
We will simply not have a course attached to the bacon roll bar and seller.
There would be no such thing as a dress code to provide a baton to beat our sport. We know that people take great pride in their appearance and love to dress well in any style they choose.
With the opportunity to start over, Golf 2.0 clubs might consider having an on-site gym or spa, tennis courts and possibly a swimming pool…
Yes, we still have the tape! But we also have family-friendly cafes and sitting areas, quiet areas where people can work, children’s play areas, and teens meet areas.
There will be more significant initial outlays, but it will be a much more sustainable long-term model that offers something for everyone.
Currently, there are two groups that we feel are underrepresented in golf – women and juniors. This is how we advise you.
For Golf 2.0 to have a future, it must attract the younger generation.
Getting into golf should be fun. The junior programs in all of our virtual clubs will be staffed with enthusiastic young professionals offering a range of classes showcasing all the great things about sports, from both the social and gaming aspect.
Clubs will use simulators to set up fun games for target practice, mark out times for the little ones on the course (but no restrictions at other times), encourage kids to get together at the club for parties or lunches and hand out prizes left, right and center for inspiration – whatever is possible To make the game attractive to young people.
To make Golf 2.0 attractive to more women and girls, we will have nothing like the outdated second-tier ladies division. Women will be equally represented at all levels of club life and within the overall operation of Golf 2.0.
We were looking to have coaches and training programs to inspire newcomers, more mixed competitions and social events for better inclusion within the membership, and we were planning and decorating the clubs with the goal of attracting both genders, not just the big guys!
We also have nursery facilities in each club so young parents can enjoy a game, lesson or catch up with friends at the club.
It is indisputable that the rules of golf are very complex.
It has evolved from the original thirteen books set about 250 years ago and now fills a decent sized book.
Because of the length and detail of our current laws, much of the game has been postponed.
Wouldn’t it be cool to go back to a point where we have a primitive set of rules that fit on one piece of paper?
This would make golf much easier to understand for those outside of the sport, or those who are just getting started in the game.
In the world of Golf 2.0, we will simplify the rules for amateurs as much as possible to basically mention: go from the designated area, play the ball as it is until it is in the designated cup and count the number of strokes.
When it comes to equipment, we will have separate regulations for professionals and amateurs, the latter being more relaxed to allow players at the club level to get the most out of the game.
“Ready golf” will certainly be the norm.
There will be no honor system and no remnants of it as it is now.
When you’re ready, and if it’s polite, Golf 2.0 players will hit.
Where possible, the tees will always be adjacent to the previous green to facilitate the fast pace of play.
There will be much more focus on the points-based scoring system (okay, we’ll just borrow Stapleford).
This will be the standard for golf, and as such, people will have a better understanding of when to pick up and admit defeat – again a boost to the pace of play.
We will have fewer 72-hole stroke events in Golf 2.0.
There will still be a selection of major leagues that will be ahead of others in importance.
Since this is default, we can do whatever we like, so we still have The Masters, The Open and the US Open, but we’ve created venues that have the infrastructure to run simultaneous tournaments, allowing men, women and seniors to compete at the same time, as we see in the events Tennis is like Wimbledon.
There will be complete equality, with equal monetary prizes for men and women.
Less than four or five annual majors, we’ll have a variety of formats in the professional game on a unified world tour – shootouts, match play events and team events, many of which are mixed. But there will be none every week.
We want to get the best players in each of these events, so they’re going to need some time off.
We will of course keep the Ryder Cup and Solheim!
We’re also looking to mix things up to ensure all golf skills are tested – there will be events where players are only allowed to hold eight clubs, others where cans tips or DMDs etc.
Some weeks, the onus will be on making shots, and next on strategy and course management.
The global ranking will be organized to reflect the player’s abilities across skill sets.
At a lower-elite level, there will be more emphasis on local professional circles to encourage competition and inspire youth at the grassroots level.
Each club will host a Pro-Am program annually over a few days, during which professionals hold workshops and coaching sessions for beginners.
This will be funded by professional associations and governing bodies, with professionals serving as golf ambassadors.
They will play fairly competitively for money, but they will also get paid to educate and spread the word about the game.
In the pro game, slow play will get a short neglect. In any of the main events, it would be two bad times and one penalty kick – no exceptions.
Brave new world
The monthly World of Golf 2.0 will hold all the best in our game – the integrity of the participants, the challenges, the beauty of the diverse courses, and the excitement of competition.
But the game will be more in line with modern thinking, more inclusive, more sustainable, and more attractive to younger generations.
Many around the world are currently making a concerted effort to move our sport in that direction, and change is happening.
But the golfer is a stubborn 550-year-old mule and it would take a good deal of persuasion and traction to get him to a new pasture.