How dull and inconvenient would street basketball be if everyone insisted on playing NBA rules at all times? Fortunately for basketball, that doesn’t exist. And the game is better, more widely played, and more enjoyable because of it. The same is true of other sports.
The game of golf isn’t so lucky, however.
Many purist, elitist players, and top officials insist that all players should abide by professional standards at all times, even non tournament or recreational golfers. Either that or they turn a blind eye to customary rule infractions when it’s convenient for them. Think gimme putts, mulligans, scramble play, carrying more than 14 clubs, and failing to return to the tee after losing a driven ball—all of which are forbidden by the United States Golf Association.
Why the double standard? Polara believes that Golf officials have failed to distinguish recreational players from tournament or professional ones. As such, it’s expected that everyone plays by the same unbending rules. Not only is this unfair to recreational players, it’s unrealistic.
What percentage of golfers, then, play solely for recreation? The number is staggering, around 85%. According to recent estimates, just 15% of players keep a handicap or compete in USGA sanctioned tournaments—everything from club championships to The Masters. The other 85% play purely for fun or social reasons. At Polara, we design the best golf ball for recreational players. Bottom line: We are just trying to help recreational golfers have more fun.”
But playing by USGA rules at all times isn’t just sucking some of the fun out of the game. It’s slowly killing it. More than 6% of the 16,000 courses in the country are in or near bankruptcy. After a surge in players at the turn of the century, the number of participants is in sharp decline.
So why not play a ball that makes the game more fun, quicker (because you don't spend as much time looking for it), less expensive (don't lose as many balls), and could bring new players to the game and bring former ones back?P
To validate his point, we note other sports that have relaxed the rules in an effort to encourage more participants. Think oversized tennis rackets. Slow pitch softball. Non-conforming basketball rims. Pop Warner football. Even different engine classes in car racing. All those changes were implemented to make those respective games more appealing to recreational participants.
Obviously, players need to abide by the rules when competing in a tournament. And there’s certainly value in taking lessons and aspiring to same standards used by professionals.
But only if that’s your goal - For the rest of us - all 85% of us - the goal is to have more fun. And playing golf from the fairway is a lot more fun than playing from the rough (or worse) out of bounds. Polara golf balls make that a reality for non tournament players.”