If you haven’t heard by now, golf as a whole is in a tough spot. In my opinion, it is one of the harder sports to get access to. All your regular high school sports can be played at a local park with some friends at no cost to you but golf is a different story. Not only does the equipment cost a pretty penny but every time you want to play a real round you have to shell out $50 or more depending on the season, the course quality and the time of day. With these barriers being so high, it discourages newcomers to the sport from really getting involved and the PGA understands this. If they want their business to continue to be profitable they need to find ways to get their fans more involved.
With programs like the First Tee, the PGA seems to be making strides by making the game more accessible. As I perused Facebook this morning, I saw an interesting link, Pick the Hole Location Challenge, and decided to do some research. Just like American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance, the PGA is allowing fans to be a part of the action. But instead of picking which dancer goes home this week, golf fans get to vote on the hole location of a par 3 at the PGA Championship. Now fans have the ability to shape the golf course where their favorite players compete for prize money.
I think it’s a great idea. The PGA and the sport of golf needed a way for fans to feel like they play a part in this game. And by following seasons of reality shows, the PGA risks very little with this experiment of theirs. If successful, I bet the PGA will do this for all four majors. It will have a direct impact on viewership. Fans will want to know how their choices affected the game they love. Did the location I pick win? Did I make it harder for Tiger or easier? And if it fails, then no harm has been done to the sport and everything will remain the status quo.
For the record, I picked Location C. I wanted the water to be in play but for the players to try to challenge the pin.
What do you think? What location did you vote for? Let me know in the comments below!