I’m going to Scotland in July to play Saint Andrews, the world’s oldest golf course. My buddy and I finally got tee times.
But the more I marvel about what we are going to do, the more I marvel at the fact that I think we are rapidly becoming part of a dying breed in this province and, in fact, this country.
No practice facilities
Recently I went over to MUN to walk the track and I was amazed. I could play every sport imaginable there. Tennis, racquetball, basketball, whatever, I could play.
But not a single place to hit a golf ball. That started me thinking.
I follow the Tely Tour and I can’t believe that some of the kids on the tour are shooting as high as 80 over 9 holes when a score around 40 would be expected.
But how can kids be expected to shoot better scores when first, they have to pay through the nose to hit a few balls to practice and second, there is not a single place in the province, particularly schools, where kids can practice their sports during the off season?
Golfing skills have to be learned early like any sport.
Kids should have the same access to golf through their gyms as they do to any other sport. Every school that has a gym should have at least one golf net where players can practice.
For a measly couple of hundred bucks, a golf net can be set up and kids who don’t want to play team sports can hit a few balls. The fact that golf is being treated like a pariah is very disturbing.
Golf is not the elitist sport that people think it is.
It promotes sportsmanship, good etiquette and a host of other great character attributes.
Kids can play the entire summer at Pippy Park, for example, for less than $500.
That’s certainly a lot cheaper than hockey, for example.
And finally, the media has to take some of the blame for this. If an NFL player, an NHL hockey player or an NBA player hiccups, it gets coverage.
When Mike Weir won the Masters, it was barely reported.
There are six golf courses in this region alone and not a single football field, more adults participate in golf than another other sport and yet golf gets little to no coverage. Canada ranks ahead of the United States in golf courses per capita, yet the latter offers kids the opportunity for education scholarships and a host of other things to kids in that country that we can’t even dream about here.
It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. I can think of some organizations who should make a few.