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Does Difficulty in Skiing Relate To Profitability ? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by 98brg2d View Post
 

As for advancements in equipment, this one is harder to judge as golf's main measure (handicaps) have been stable for a period of decades but we are also playing much longer, harder courses with no more practice than we did decades ago and scoring the same. The maximum performance of the equipment however, in both sports, has undergone a complete revolution in the last thirty years with the most significant advance in golf (the solid core ball i.e. the Titleist Pro V1) being introduced only 14 years ago, about the same time as short radius carving skis and powder skis became popular (or at least significant).

It is pretty well agreed upon that people skiing modern gear go from total novice to skiing difficult terrain and even OB stuff much faster than they did previously to the late 90s when things really started to evolve.  I see the correlation for both sports evident.  As for profit I believe the gear vendors see quicker and larger returns than the resorts do as new tools that are sooo much easier and provide more utility than old ones are an easy sell.  Think about how much better overall MS Office was compared to Lotus for most.  It reaped huge prices all through the product proliferation to market saturation.  Resorts enjoy longer term gains thanks to more riders being able to excel and enjoy the sport.

post #32 of 44

You make a lot of assumptions

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

I have made a few posts here, but this is my first OP thread. Please understand that I don't have a point to prove here, or a complaint, just an interest in the subject.

 

Golf is a difficult sport - Agree, in skiing, once you learn to weight the inside edge of a ski and make it turn, you are well on you way to being able to have a fun day.

 

, and the governing bodies of golf work very hard to prevent it from becoming too easy, with rules and regulations that restrict golf equipment design.

Strongly disagree. The US Golf Association makes the rules with the intent of establishing a level playing field and keeping with the traditions of the game. Can you be more specific about what changes will make the game easy? Hitting the ball with a square clubface going at 90 mph will always be difficult. There is no magic club, tennis racquet, ski, baseball bat etc. I know the USGA has banned some equipment, we can discuss specifics, but, there is a ton of devices marketed to improve your game that never lived up to improvement claims.

 

 A lot of this has to do with competition, but almost all amateur golfers comply with these rules.

- Agree that the rules address competition, but, golf is a game of keeping score. In skiing, we don't keep score and there are no rules...other than the skiers safety code.

 

Although the intent isn't profitability, the golf industry thrives on golf remaining difficult.

Disagree that the game thrives because of difficulty. It thrives because it's fun to play, at least for those hooked on the sport. Yes, the challenge of consistency and improvement plays a big part in keeping golf fresh and interesting. Golf is not a physically difficult activity in which to participate. The difficulty is playing your misses.

 

Not only does it drive equipment sales, game improvement products and instruction, but it also contributes to the fascination and addiction that keeps the sport so popular.

You are putting the cart in front of the horse. The sport does not remain popular because of the equipment, the manufacturers remain profitable because of the popularity of golf. Golf and skiing both are equipment centered sports subject to marketing ploys by equipment manufacturers.

 

There are easier ways to play and teach golf (like non conforming clubs), but they tend to be ignored by the industry and the public.

Again, please be specific. What are the easier ways to teach and learn golf? Instruction is distinct in that it's provided by independent contractors who would do everything in their power to make the game easier to both learn and improve, resulting in more income for that segment of the industry. There are no market forces holding back instruction. 

 

I guess we like the challenge and the industry is happy to keep selling us lessons and equipment.

Both ski shops and golf shops will be glad to take you $$$. Nothing new here and it applies to thousands of other purchases we make. Marketing rules!

 

Those profiting from the difficulty of golf certainly don't seem to be in a hurry to change the status quo.

Again, you keep coming back to a basic premise that difficulty drives the popularity of golf. That may be truth to you, but, I play because it's fun. I believe most golf service and equipment providers would love to change the status quo as low growth and revenue is an issue. Cost, time and difficulty all make it hard for newer people to enter the sport. Cost and time keep existing customers from returning. Same with skiing.

 

Does this concept relate to skiing?

I'm really not trying to belittle your question, but, I can't concur with your logic and assumptions. Supplier groups will do whatever they can to entice participants to purchase services based on perceived need. Let the buyer beware.

 

 

post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post
 

 

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Unfortunately there is so much we disagree on. Let my try to address a few of the points, from my perspective.

 

You say you play golf for fun, but why is it fun? If you just want the company of friends in the outdoors, with light exercise, you could just take a walk in the park and save thousands in equipment and green fees. Golf is fun because it constantly challenges you. The same is true of skiing, no matter how good you get there is always room for improvement. We find challenging sports to be satisfying.

 

Golf could be made easier with changes to the rules and equipment. Just changing stroke and distance to a lateral hazard penalty (has been proposed) would make a huge difference to most peoples scores. About twenty years ago a product called the Air Hammer came out. It was a driver with air slots in the head that would immediately add 50 to 100 yards to your drive. It was banned. These are just two examples of many ways to make the game easier. The reality is that we don't want it easier, it wouldn't be fun anymore.

 

You are correct that the USGA tries to insure a level playing field. However, at the same time they try to maintain the level of difficulty. For instance, they banned anchored putters and COR drivers when it would have been easier just to allow them. Part of it is tradition, part of it is to maintain the integrity of courses, part of it is to maintain the challenge. The bottom line, anchored putters make the game too easy, banned.

 

So is golf easy?C an a regular golfer break 80 with time and practice. I don't like statistics, who knows what they really measure, so take them with a grain of salt. The general belief is that two to five percent of golfers can break 80. If you make them play form the tips and follow the rules, this drops by a factor of ten. That means only one in five hundred golfers can break 80 when they play the game properly.

 

I'm going to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but golf instruction is far from optimal. Most pros try to teach you the "correct" swing, instead of adapting to individual needs.This is one of the reasons average handicaps have not dropped in twenty years, despite all the advances in equipment.

 

I could have made the title of the thread, "does the difficulty in golf and skiing make them popular", but I wanted to put in "profitable" to explore the possibility that the industry benefits from the level of difficulty. I don't mean that this is deliberately contrived, but as a beneficial result. Imagine a sport so easy that lessons are not needed, equipment advances not required, training aids redundant.

 

There is a huge secondary market in try to help people succeed in difficult sports. Is it so hard to believe that it would benefit theses sports to maintain that difficulty?

post #34 of 44

I think Mr Golf's idea is on the right track.  But in golf the courses (mostly)stay the same and game changing equipment is banned.  In skiing more and more expert terrain is added as the equip makes the old challenges passe.

 

I dont buy the "bad teaching on purpose" idea, though.

post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

You say you play golf for fun, but why is it fun? If you just want the company of friends in the outdoors, with light exercise, you could just take a walk in the park and save thousands in equipment and green fees. Golf is fun because it constantly challenges you. The same is true of skiing, no matter how good you get there is always room for improvement. We find challenging sports to be satisfying.

 

I think your own example is evidence of the opposite.  To make your theory really bulletproof, you have to show that all challenging things are fun; and all things that are fun are challenging. 

You have listed some things that are "fun" but not challenging.  So perhaps your own personal assessment is the challenge of golf is what is fun for you; but that is not the reason for everyone else.

 

Just as I can have fun doing non-challenging activities, perhaps it is one of those same non-challenging factors that also makes golf fun for me.

post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

 

I dont buy the "bad teaching on purpose" idea, though.

 

Sorry, I didn't phrase that very well. I don't believe that poor golf instruction is deliberate, but the result of a flawed system.

 

Edited to add that it took me three years, several hundred hours and training and several thousand dollars to get my level three martial arts instructor certification. Many golf instructors are giving lessons at their local course whilst wishing they were on tour. It's not exactly their career choice.


Edited by MrGolfAnalogy - 10/9/13 at 9:18pm
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

I think Mr Golf's idea is on the right track.  But in golf the courses (mostly)stay the same and game changing equipment is banned.  In skiing more and more expert terrain is added as the equip makes the old challenges passe.

 

I dont buy the "bad teaching on purpose" idea, though.

 

But the most profitable areas are not the areas with the most expert terrain. Not by a long shot.  If expert terrain was truly what drove spending in skiing, Vail would be less of a vacation destination than Telluride or CB. Or hell, Telluride and CB wouldn't see less vacation dollars than Steamboat, to level out the remoteness aspect.

 

Many areas have lost money opening expert terrain in the past 15 years, and the solid majority of expansion plans in the pipe are for intermediate terrain.

 

So, before we even get into golf analogies, which I just can't see a correlation to the economics at play in skiing aside from the fact that wealthy people do both, I think the data shows a having a ton of intermediate terrain which is skiable by the masses on current ski equipment is what brings home the bacon.

 

There is exactly zero interest by anybody in the sport to make skiing more difficult. They just make it difficult at the ticket window, but that's a different story.

post #38 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

I think your own example is evidence of the opposite.  To make your theory really bulletproof, you have to show that all challenging things are fun; and all things that are fun are challenging. 

You have listed some things that are "fun" but not challenging.  So perhaps your own personal assessment is the challenge of golf is what is fun for you; but that is not the reason for everyone else.

 

Just as I can have fun doing non-challenging activities, perhaps it is one of those same non-challenging factors that also makes golf fun for me.

 

My reference here is just sports. The very nature of sports is that they provide competition for us; either against others or against ourselves. Difficulty provides challenge and motivation. If you don't get that, I don't know what else to say to you. More than that, I do not believe that you play golf with no regard for your results. No despair for your failures means no joy for your successes. You might as well just take a walk in the park.

 

By the same argument, why do you ski? To never get better, to ski the same runs, to never take risk, to never challenge yourself, to never be exhilarated, to learn nothing new, to never improve?

post #39 of 44

i encourage you to search in this forum "why do you ski"  and look over all the responses in those threads.  You won't get the single answer as "challenge/difficulty".  Some will put that at #1. But it's not a black-and-white single and primary reason everyone does it.

 

If you don't get that other people may have different opinions than your opinion then I also don't know what to say to you too.

post #40 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

i encourage you to search in this forum "why do you ski"  and look over all the responses in those threads.  You won't get the single answer as "challenge/difficulty".  Some will put that at #1. But it's not a black-and-white single and primary reason everyone does it.

 

If you don't get that other people may have different opinions than your opinion then I also don't know what to say to you too.

 

Right now we are competing with each other. Desperate to make the next post and prove our point. We are in battle, using our skills to try to out wit each other and gain the favor of the forum with our acumen. It is challenging to contest a point with someone. You are not satisfied just to let it go, or even concede and agree. You are enjoying the difficulty of a challenge. It's fun.

 

Human nature.

post #41 of 44

I like what you say, MrGolf.  My experience with skiing is similar to yours.  However, be very careful about generalizing from yourself to everyone else.  People are often surprising, in large numbers.  Just look at the last election which did not go the way you wanted it to.

post #42 of 44

I have skied and golfed for 30+ years and am pretty good at both sports (6 handicap at golf and have recorded single digit Nastar handicaps skiing).

 

I think technological improvements have made both sports somewhat easier, but only if you have the skills to take advantage of the technology.  

     When the Titlist Pro V was introduced, driving distances on the PGA Tour immediately increased.  Ignoring the fact that this ball may not increase everyone's distance, hitting the ball 10 yards more will improve your scoring if you know where the ball is going, but won't help a guy much if he has no idea what direction he is going to hit the ball.

     Similar with an expanded sweet spot- it helps if you tend to hit it relatively close to the sweet spot, but doesn't help if you whiff the ball or hit 3 inches fat.

     Shaped skis make carving shorter turns easier, but you still need to use some proper technique to avoid skidding.

     Similar with wider skis- you have to have at least some basic skills before heading off into deep powder.

 

People like to see themselves improving or at least feel like they have a chance to improve.  In this regard, I think technological improvements have been good for both sports.  Although golf handicaps may not have come down, I do feel that there have been distance improvements due to technology for most players with many seniors hitting the ball as far as they did when they were in their prime.  Similar with skiing- Wider skis have allowed advanced intermediates to explore a lot more terrain even if their basic technique has not improved that much. 

 

People like a challenge, but not an impossible one.  There are some people that find both golf and skiing too hard at first.  I think both sports would benefit from technology that allows beginners to perform closer to the intermediate level quicker at which point they could then "take the training wheels off" 

post #43 of 44
Thread Starter 

Meanwhile, in a thread across town..............

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

Objection overruled. Bob skis those things for the same reason I ski backwards when I'm with a four-year-old. It takes him from six times as fast as the group down to twice as fast as the group, and makes skiing with us mortals tolerable, even fun. :D  It's a voluntary handicap designed to keep the game interesting.

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

I like what you say, MrGolf.  My experience with skiing is similar to yours.  However, be very careful about generalizing from yourself to everyone else.  People are often surprising, in large numbers.  Just look at the last election which did not go the way you wanted it to.

True enough, we aren't everyone.  I work with a guy who has been an internediate skier for 20 years and is happy with that.  I think for him its largely about getting away to his vacation home in New  Hampshire ski country on the weekends.

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