from the no-pizza-was-harmed dept.
The NYT reports that golf courses across the country are experimenting with 15 inch golf holes the size of pizzas to stop people from quitting the game amid reports that golf has lost five million players in the last decade with 20 percent of the existing 25 million golfers apt to quit in the next few years. "We've got to stop scaring people away from golf by telling them that there is only one way to play the game and it includes these specific guidelines," says Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America. "We've got to offer more forms of golf for people to try. We have to do something to get them into the fold, and then maybe they'll have this idea it's supposed to be fun."
A 15-inch-hole event was held at the Reynolds Plantation resort last week featuring top professional golfers Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, the defending United States Open champion. "A 15-inch hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more," says Garcia, who shot a six-under-par 30 for nine holes in the exhibition. Another alternative is foot golf, in which players kick a soccer ball from the tee to an oversize hole, counting their kicks. Still it is no surprise that not everyone agrees with the burgeoning alternative movement to make golf more user-friendly. "I don't want to rig the game and cheapen it," says Curtis Strange, a two-time United States Open champion and an analyst for ESPN. "I don't like any of that stuff. And it's not going to happen either. It's all talk."