3 Changes to Improve the Game of Golf

Golf has increasing become a game for older generations.  One could point to many different factors for why interest in golf has decreased with the younger crowd…..the length of play, the cost to play a round, the pace of play, etc…  What can be done to change how golf is played to attract younger players to the game?  TopGolf and similar offshoots may hold some of the keys to making golf popular again.

  1. Add technology to the game – there is no reason not to add RFID chips to golf balls.  This would enable tech savvy players to better track their round, find lost balls and improve their game.  Imagine being able to determine how far you can hit a 5 iron on average.
  2. Shorten the game – why not allow players to pay per hole instead of having to commit to 18 or even 9 holes.  This would open up the game to more casual golfers who might only have an hour or two to play but who want to do it on a course rather than hitting the driving range.
  3. Shorten the course – this would be a combination of regular golf with miniature golf…..a variation of a par 3 course but even smaller.  It would enable you to still use clubs but would be much more focused on your short game.  This could open up year long play even in cold weather areas since you could arguably fit this indoors or in a covered space.

5 Steps to successfully setting up a corporate golf league

Playing in a corporate golf league can be a very rewarding experience.  Setting one up, however, can be challenging.  This article is meant to walk you through the steps of setting up a corporate golf league.


1.  Gauge interest
The first step is to determine the level of interest that exists.  You don’t want to invest the time and energy required to get a corporate golf league rolling before you are sure that there is sufficient interest to sustain a golf league.  That being said once started, corporate golf leagues tend to take on a life of there own.  They gain momentum from year to year due to the many benefits that they bring to a company and its employees (e.g., increased communication and trust at work). 


Finding out whether or not there is sufficient interest can be harder than it sounds.  Oftentimes, individuals are hesitant to show interest in joining something until they know that others are also interested.  They don’t want to spend their time on something that does not have the potential for actually amounting to anything.  This makes a broadcast announcement to gather interest (e.g., using email) an ineffective method on its own to getting people behind the idea.  If, however, you can personally convince a small group of people to become ambassadors for forming the golf league and use that in conjunction with some sort of broadcast message, you have a better chance of succeeding


2. Pick a time and place

There are several factors you should consider when deciding which course or courses that your  corporate golf league will use.

  • location, location, location – make sure that the course or courses that you select are well located and are relatively close to work.

  • cost – depending on who and how many co-workers you want to ultimately take part in your golf league, you will want to use that as a factor in picking the course or courses that you pick.  Golf can be expensive especially if you play on a regular basis and you don’t want to limit the success of your golf league by choosing a course that is prohibitively expensive.

  • availability – you will need to call around to make sure that any courses you are interested in have time slots that are open that your golf league can reserve.

  • policies –  do they require an upfront payment or deposit.  What is their cancellation policy.  What is their refund policy. Do they require payment in full for all tee times.

As for picking a time to play, it is best to try and determine this when gauging interest above.  Find out when most people are available and when most people would be able to make it to a course.  Make sure to reserve a day and time early enough so that you are not locked out for the season.


3.  Decide on golf league administration

If you are the one responsible for setting up the golf league, you are probably the first candidate for the job.  If so, you will certainly want to make it as painless as possible.  You could go analog and do everything by hand, but that can quickly become a burden that would make you rethink why could wanted to start the league to begin with.  The league administrator wears many hats – they are responsible for setting up the schedule, league rules, posting scores, keeping track of handicaps, and more…


There are easier ways to handle the administration of a golf league – use an online golf league administration tool such as http://www.netgolfleague.com.


4.  Setting the ground rules

This can be a tedious process if you let it.  Try to keep it simple to begin with.  You can always inquire from other leagues as to the types of policies they use for such things as refunds, greens fees/fee payments, substitute policy, etc.  It is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands or has easy access to league rules from the beginning to decrease the possibility for conflict in the future.


Setting the ground rules also means deciding on how handicap calculation and utilization, individual and team scoring methods, and no show rules, among other things.  Coming up with the ground rules for your golf league gives you the perfect opportunity to get members involved and invested which will make them more eager to see the league succeed.


5.  Keep people informed and involved

The key to kick starting a corporate golf league and maintaining momentum is communication and involvement.  You need to responsive to questions and prepared to provide members with quick and accurate information about the league, including individual/team standings, rules and upcoming events.  Again, this can be made much easier by using an online solution to manage you golf league.  Online golf league management give members instant, 24/7 access and, in turn, gratification.  This can only be good when it comes to the health of the league.  The most important thing is to keep it fun, something people are looking forward to all week.

What the heck is MOI and how can a square-headed driver get you more of it?

MOI stands for moment of inertia. Something could be characterized as inert if it is resistant to movement and motion. The moment of inertia refers, more specifically, to the resistance of an object to movement around its axis of rotation. The higher the MOI, the more resistant an object is to movement.

How is this relevant for golfers? It is relevant because the main objective of golfing is to use various types of clubs to strike a golf ball and make it travel in a desired direction. The way a golf club reacts when it strikes that golf ball can affect the distance, trajectory and direction it takes. The MOI might not matter as much when you hit the ball square with the center of the clubface, but it can make a considerable difference if the ball is struck off-center.

Since a club with a higher MOI does a better job of resisting the natural tendency of the clubhead to twist on an off-center hit, the distance and accuracy of the ball’s path is less affected. This is especially the case for drivers, where a minor change in the direction that a ball is traveling can greatly affect a ball’s final resting point, since drivers are designed to cover the greatest distances. As a consequence, a higher MOI = greater forgiveness when a ball is mis-hit.

How can club design affect its MOI?

The way in which a clubhead is designed directly affects its MOI and its corresponding forgiveness factor. One early trend that major golf manufacturers incorporated into their drivers was to increase the size of the clubhead face. This lead to a bigger sweet spot and some distribution of weight away from the center of the clubhead which affects the center of gravity and leads to a higher MOI.

A more recent trend has been to move away from the traditional shape of a driver’s clubhead toward a square design which moves more weight toward the perimeter of the clubhead giving it a boosted MOI. Nike was the first major manufacturer to put a square driver on the market with its Sasquatch Sumo2. Calloway has followed with its new FT-I drivers that sport the same square design. Given the excitement generated over these new style drivers, you can be sure that other manufacturers will soon follow with square-headed drivers of their own.

 Nike SasQuatch Sumo²                                        Callaway FT-i Draw Driver
Nike SasQuatch Sumo²                 Callaway FT-i Draw Driver

What is Stableford?

Stableford Scoring is an individual scoring system used by many golf leagues. It is where points are given depending on the number of stokes relative to par. Your league needs to decide whether it wants to use “Net Scores” vs. “Gross Scores” relative to par for awarding points.

You decide how many points to award for each score relative to par. Below is an example of how Stableford can be set up. It is the standard used by a majority of golfers who use the Stableford scoring method. Of course, you can customize the Stableford system however your golf league deems necessary. One popular modified version is called “The International” and it is geared more towards penalizing golfers for scoring worse than par on a hole by doling out negative points for such scores.

Scoring - Stableford

Here is an example of how the points are calculated for ‘PlayerF’. This golfer is getting a stroke per hole because of his handicap.

Stableford Results

(Screen shots courtesy of netGolfLeague.com)

Driving for Success – How creating a Corporate Golf League can be a win-win situation for the workplace

Most people would agree that success at the workplace is just as much or more about relationships as it is about a person’s ability to get the job done. Just as it has been documented that our society is less involved in community based activities, it could be argued that a similar trend has occurred at the workplace. You are as likely to know as much about a fellow cubicle worker as you are about the person that lives in the apartment across the hall or the neighbor down the street. Getting to know your fellow workers can lead to better communication at work which, in turn, results in greater productivity and job satisfaction. You win, your co-workers win and your company wins. It’s a win-win-win situation. With this in mind, it makes sense that companies might also be interested in encouraging or even leading the charge when it comes to setting up a corporate golf league.

Why golf? Golf is a unique activity Continue reading

What is a Course Handicap?

Course Handicap represents the number of strokes needed to play to the level of a scratch golfer—or the Course Rating of a particular set of tees. A Course Handicap is expressed as a whole number (11 for example).

Course Handicap is determined by using your Handicap Index and the Slope Rating of the golf course. You can calculate your Course Handicap using one of these methods:

You can try calculating your Course Handicap by using this handicap calculator:

Handicap Index multiplied by Slope Rating of tees played, divided by Standard Slope Rating (113) = Answer (rounded to nearest whole number, .4 rounds down and .5 rounds up)

Example: 8.6 Handicap Index x 134 Slope Rating / 113 Standard Slope Rating = 10.2 = 10 Course Handicap