Michael Barratt writes about ‘The Campaign for Real Golf’
It’s now six months since the Campaign for Real Golf was launched by five men concerned abut the decline of a great game and eager (at their own expense, with no other vested interests) to campaign for its restoration as Recreational, Enjoyable, Affordable and Less time-consuming.
Sadly, one of those enthusiasts – Nick Park – was to pass away within a few weeks of the Campaign’s formation. But the remaining four – Stig Backen from Denmark, Michael Coffey, Malcolm Peake and myself – carried on with Nick as our inspiration.
In the short period since then, support has grown from virtually every corner of the golfing world. Tony Jacklin CBE has become our `President with an enthusiasm that can only be called passion. Leading professionals and amateurs have pledged their support, Vivien Saunders has joined us, emphasising our concern for women’s place in the game.
But how are we to achieve our objectives and save the game from what many believe may be ultimate death? Well, our view has been that we need first of all to establish which of our objectives call for the most effective pursuit.
To that end we have launched a survey on our website – www.realgolfcampaign.org – seeking the views of people everywhere – professionals, amateurs, club managers, greenkeepers, everyone who wants to preserve the true values of the game. With the evidence now accumulating – and clearly backing our principles but varied in assessing the problems – we can move to the next stage of working to effect our objectives.
My personal view is that golf can be a key factor in everyone’s personal development. It’s not only fun and healthy exercise – it has so many other key benefits. It teaches sportsmanship, good fellowship, good manners and the kind of challenges that are faced in family and professional life.
Let’s not kill if off by allowing it to concentrate on the elite game and so shut the door on young people, families and businessmen by becoming too difficult (excessively long courses) too expensive, too time-consuming, too complicated with its rules and handicap systems, too elitist in clubs’ clothing requirements and so on.
I don’t know what your priorities are in that little list. But I’d like to know! Tell us by completing our survey on the website and help us in our efforts to save our great game.