FIRST WORD

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS - Ge­off Wit­ton / Pub­lisher

Ge­off Wit­ton casts his eye over what is go­ing on this month.

Kevin Norquay has writ­ten about golf around the coun­try. The head­line was:

Golf” In a hole? Modern-life pres­sures force golf clubs to adapt to avoid fi­nan­cial hazards.

The ar­ti­cle goes on in some length to dis­cuss the chang­ing so­cial na­ture of how we, as a so­ci­ety, con­duct and man­age our life­styles. The ar­ti­cle also climbs on to the cur­rently fash­ion­able topic of us­ing golf course land for hous­ing stock. The ar­ti­cle then dis­cusses clo­sures and changes and finishes with state­ments that con­clude that Golf is maybe dy­ing.

There is no doubt golf is chang­ing. The mar­ket is chang­ing, the club en­vi­ron­ment is ma­tur­ing and be­com­ing more so­phis­ti­cated and so­cial pat­terns have changed. The break­down of the sep­a­ra­tion of fe­male and male play­ers at club level is well ad­vanced. Cour­ses do close for a myr­iad of rea­sons, some eco­nomic – some by evolve­ment. At the same time new cour­ses are be­ing built!! They do not get built on a whim any­more. There has to be a num­ber of com­pelling busi­ness and fi­nan­cial plans agreed to by all the stake­hold­ers be­fore the first sod is turned.

How­ever, woe be­tide the club and its mem­bers who do not recog­nise the shift in times. New Zealand Golf is pour­ing a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of its fi­nite re­sources into sup­port­ing clubs in their de­vel­op­ment, and so of­ten we hear of clubs who choose to ig­nore their advice.

Kevin Norquay's and other ar­ti­cles on this sub­ject are by ne­ces­sity sim­plis­tic in their ap­proach, prob­a­bly for ed­i­to­rial rea­sons. Most Golf Clubs and cer­tainly NZ Golf and its Board are acutely aware of the is­sues fac­ing the sport. Plus they are act­ing on them.

There can be no ar­gu­ment that club mem­ber­ship, in its tra­di­tional form is on the de­cline. What has NOT been of­fi­cially recog­nised un­til re­cently is the huge in­crease in ca­sual/so­cial golfers across all forms of golf cat­e­gories. This lends fur­ther ar­gu­ments to the school of thought that golf is chang­ing and over­all is in a good space.

Time stands still for no man (or Club!) Isn’t Ben Camp­bell grow­ing! If he can just get over his in­jury prob­lems this guy could be­come really good. We also hope Ryan Fox’s golf con­tin­ues to head in an up­ward di­rec­tion, but he is quite a way ahead of Ben at this stage. We will be keep­ing an eye on both of them.

The 2019 NZ PGA Championship has been now of­fi­cially an­nounced for the first week of March next sum­mer. Pe­ga­sus is a beau­ti­ful and chal­leng­ing course that will present well to the event. Our in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors will en­joy their visit.

The answer to the ques­tion “Will Tiger win an­other ma­jor in 2018” is well an­swered. How­ever, we must look be­yond that and look at the trend. He is get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter each out­ing. He is fit­ter, that means he is not fad­ing as much to­wards the end of the 3rd and 4th days, and he is stead­ier off the tee box.

The real ques­tion is “Will Tiger win an­other ma­jor in 2019”. This time the answer is maybe he just might. If he can man­age his back prop­erly the fire and in­tent is def­i­nitely still there. En­joy this magazine

Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club.

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