19th Hole

Brady Wilson
PGA, General Manager
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Maricopa, AZ

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Thoughts, Myths and Half-truths for an Arizona Golf Çourse in January…

Instead of following the traditional “lead – body – conclusion” format for an editorial article, I thought we would step out of the box and follow the more the modern media trend of social media and millennialism with fast, hard-hitting statements, that address the 3 major issues facing the game of golf.

•  Golf takes too long to play – Contrary to what you may have heard five years ago, golf facilities have found ways to allow you to get a “quick fix” for golf. Many courses are now offering Twilight, Sundown, 9-hole and short course rates. Troon North put in the Monument Express, which is a very short version (1500 yards) of the Monument Course. Also, Troon Golf has implemented a program called Troon Values Your Time, which ensures that each Troon Golf managed course establishes a “time par” for each facility and holds themselves and their guests accountable to meeting that minimum time for a round of golf. It’s an awareness program, much like DARE brought awareness to drug issues in schools in the 90’s. Take the time to research your favorite facilities and find out how many options they have for you to be efficient with your time for the game of golf. At Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, we are working on an option to turn our practice facility into a 6-hole short course in the afternoons to help grow the game for both juniors and novice golfers alike, while providing a great “playoff scenario” for our many guests that finish our 18th hole with their day undecided.

•  Golf is too hard to play and get “good” at – We all like to do things we are good at and enjoyment comes from success in some form from our personal activities. Golf isn’t any different. The game is counterintuitive by nature. Swing hard and you will hit is shorter, aim to the left and you will hit It further left, spend your time practicing the driver which you use 12 times a round but never practice your putting, which you use 34 times per round, etc. Please seek out your local PGA professional and make the investment in at least learning the fundamentals of the golf swing. Get Golf Ready is a great initiative by the PGA of America to establish these basic fundamentals for every golfer to fall back on. Many people offer up free advice on the practice tee or golf course, and there are a lot of imposters out there in the form of golf instructors. Do your research. Find a PGA professional and interview them before booking a lesson. Find out what their background is and if their personality matches yours; then book a lesson and stay committed to their development plan for you.

•  Golf it too expensive – While certainly golf is big business in Arizona this time of year, course value loyalty is more so than ever. Ask your favorite courses if they have a loyalty program of some sort and many times you will find an option that will save you money. Programs like the Troon Card that offer routine discounts at multiple Troon managed facilities are hard to beat in the terms of value for your loyalty as a guest. Routine visits to the same course or multiple courses under the same umbrella will save you money and make it possible for you to enjoy the game of golf more often.

Enjoy the Arizona climate, play more golf!