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October 07, 2013

Tom Watson to design short course for kids

Posted at 10:41 AM by Pete Madden | Categories: Tom Watson
Tom Watson
Credit: Getty Images

Golf has a problem, and Tom Watson is on the case.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hall of Famer, eight-time major-winner and Kansas City native began sketching plans for a new kid-friendly, nine-hole course to be constructed alongside Mozingo Lake Golf Course in Maryville, Mo.

"This golf course is short by normal standards," said Watson. "This course is designed for beginners, for kids or anybody, really, to play the game where you aren't forced to play 400-yard par 4's or 500-yard par 5's or 180-yard par 3's ... That's the whole idea for this, to make it fun for them and not too long, where they can hit a shot and get rewarded for it."

As courses stretch to intimidating lengths to keep pace with new technology that can help average duffers drive staggering distances, attracting young players has become one of the sports biggest challenges. In 2010, Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal reported that "the number of golfers age 6-17 dropped 24% to 2.9 million from 3.8 million between 2005 and 2008."

Short courses for beginners, like this one, could be a critical entry point for the game's future players.

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