Born and raised in Guelph, Ontario. Attended St. James Jr. High 1974-1977, then Centennial CVI 1977-1979. My dad and uncles opened Victoria Park East Golf Club in 1974. Got my BFA in Film Production from York University 1980-1984. Worked in video production and editing in Toronto until 1993. Moved back to Guelph with my young family and got back into the golf business.
There's no question, the prevailing sense among the very casual or very seasoned golfer is that golf is an "18-hole" game; and on some golf courses, it can be a 5-hour commitment (or more!) if you factor in some warm-up time, and a beverage afterwards. Over the last decade, as we have had to become more competitive to keep and grow our customer base, we've learned to think outside the box a bit. The "time factor" of golf has definitely been a major consideration in our marketing plans. For example, we began promoting a Fun Nine & Dine to groups and companies, as an alternative to the full-on 18 hole tournament. We've had some marginal success with this, and the groups that have bought into it love it: start at 4:00, play 9 holes, have dinner, and away you go! We've even began replacing the word "Tournament" with "Event" or "Golf Day", since learning that many people new to the game, or non-golfers who wish to participate in a company golf event, are intimidated by the word "Tournament".
Back to the article: Golf does NOT have to take TOO MUCH time. The options are: hitting balls on a driving range, or practice putting; play a 9-hole round instead of 18 (for example, 9 holes at our Victoria Park Valley course can be walked in as little as 90 minutes or less!); or, a membership can offer great flexibility: if you don't want to play competitively, with a membership you can golf as little - or as much - as you want. Some of our members come out in the evening and play 4 holes.
The game of golf is certainly going through some changes, but I firmly believe there will always be room for the Purist, and if you ask around, always be options for those who are new to the game... or just enjoy getting out for a bit of fresh air!