The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011 - (Page 10)

ALTERNATIVE GOLF Alternative Golf? Or an affirmation of how many of us play already? By Harvey Silverman I was intrigued when a rather mysterious e-mail appeared in my inbox just days prior to the PGA Merchandise show, containing words like “alternative golf ”, “founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy,” “Silicon Valley,” and “rebuild the golf industry.” Needless to say my curiosity was piqued and the invitation to the presentation went onto my calendar as a “must see.” So on Thursday, Jan 27, I made the long walk to the far end of the Orange County Convention Center to be introduced to the Alternative Golf Association. (Note: as Pellucid found out several years ago when scheduling our State of the Industry presentation with the PGA, where they put you is likely an indicator of how much they really want you there. Such was the case here, I think). Here is how they describe themselves in a press release handed out at the meeting, quoting Commissioner McNealy: “The Alternative Golf Association encourages ‘golf for the rest of us.’ We hope to preserve and promote all of the char- acteristics we love about golf while relaxing its rules, social restrictions, and technological limitations to popularize a game – a competitive sport – where more of us can have success and more of us can have fun. The AGA can do for golf courses what snowboarding did for the ski slope operators.” Founder Bob Zider (Pixl Golf ) added that the AGA will establish a brand that develops both rules and equipment that will unleash inventors, engineers, and scientists challenged with creating tools to take average players to a goal of 25/100/200. “That’s 25% longer drives, 100% higher wedge spin, and 200% more fun,” Zider exclaimed. The brand name is Flogton (“not golf ” spelled backward) and the first edition of a website is up at CEO Pat Gallagher made it clear that both “Flogton” and “Alternative Golf Association” are placeholder names and will not be the brand names they go to market with. “We’ll let our growing social community help us with that”, Gallagher told us. The website includes areas for golf course operators and equipment developers as well as a social network component designed to connect Flogton golfers and create a dialogue vehicle for golfers, course operators, and inventors. It sets aside current USGA conformance standards, so any equipment on the market today can be used, and possibly new products that inventors or manufacturers may devise, regardless of whether or not they are USGA-conforming. Flogton has four “games” outlined that range from using a mulligan on every hole, to moving the ball up to six feet from obstructions, to teeing up a ball anywhere but on the green. Within those frameworks, Flogton wants to promote “fun and fast” golf that encourages a faster pace of play. “We aren’t tied to any existing rules and we don’t have to observe any current limits. Everything is open to discussion,” says Zider. The Discussion The presentation initiated much discussion between the Pellucid trio of myself, Jim Koppenhaver and Stuart Lindsay. Jim wrote two Outside the Ropes newsletters in April of 2005 suggesting the bifurcation of rules and equipment standards:, http:// So what we had heard was, to us, not revolutionary, but maybe evolutionary. The difference is whether Scott McNealy, founder of one of the most significant innovation companies in Silicon Valley history, and his group can navigate the barriers imposed by various associations and stakeholders entrenched within the golf industry, and succeed. Later that night seven of us dined and discussed what we 10 The Pellucid PersPecTive February 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011
Is Groupon Good for Golf: The Sequel
Solving the Professional Payment Predicament
Jan 2011 YtD Weather Impact, Dec 2010 YtD Utilization
Reynolds Plantation Courses on the Market
Atlanta, GA Core Business Statistical Area (CBSA)
Alternative Golf? Or an Affirmation of How Many of Us Play Already?
Custom Clubfitting in 2011: A Solution but Not a Cure
Pap-Agony for Phoenix Muni
Show Time - Again

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011