I don't know who the Golf Channel's ad agency is, but they have succeeded in created the most cringe worthy ads I have seen in the golf space in a very long time. The truly awful "Golf Now" ads showing constantly on the Golf Channel are embarrassing and about as authentic as a $3 bill. The dialogue is trite and the golfers watching must be scratching their heads at the bizarre scenarios and scripts.
Golf Now is a discount tee time booking service part owned by the Golf Channel and the constant bombardment of these ads is intended to encourage viewers to use the website to access these cheap times - these ads may have completely the opposite effect and if I owned one of the courses in the program I would run for the hills! You can see the strapline above....Driven from the program more like it!
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Bifurcation" means the division of something into two branches or parts.
The mere mention of the "B"word in the golf business right now sends different vested groups into a frenzy. You're either for it or against it. Those who are for it think it will cure all ills in the golf business and send manufacturer sales, greens fees and all things golf related back into the black, after several dire years in the red. It will lead to GROWTH! (They are wrong by the way!). Those against it think that messing with the game will mean eternal damnation for all those who would even speak of, for example, changing the size of the hole from its existing 4 and 1/4 inches....presumably to something larger!
Last week at the golf show an organisation was launched called The Alternative Golf Association with an idea call "Flogton." It doesn't take an English major to work out that this rather clumsy word spells Not Golf backwards. Their vision, fronted by Scott McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) is to create a game that doesn't abide by the ancient rules of the R & A and in the US the USGA. You can tee it up in the fairways, move your ball at will to a better lie, even play to a larger hole, use non-confirming clubs. Pretty much anything goes. McNealy is serious about his golf and plays off 3, so for him to front this organisation says a lot about his belief that something needs to be done. He also know a thing about building an organisation, as he started Sun with about $100 in his pocket and sold it for $7.4 billion.
There are many discussion points here, not the least of which include - Will this new fangled version of the game bring people to the game? Was it really the equipment that was holding people back or snooty country clubs, many of whom are now getting their comeuppance! Where do people play the new game? - are Supers going to cut 4 1/4 inch holes in the morning and 8 inch cups in the afternoon? Alot of questions and no answers but at least a healthy debate about what can be done to stem the loss of people from the great game of golf. We are increasingly having these discussions with our golf clients and look to 2011 to be the year of an ongoing debate from new groups within the game to make some positive changes to slow the rate of decline. Growth in the game this decade - that's a whole other story.