Could I learn a couple pieces of sheet music for the piano and record them for my friend’s daughters to sing to? Uh, yeah, if the arrangements are simple enough.
As it turns out, my friend is serious, and she bought me a case of Corona to sweeten the deal. I accepted the beer, and in my experience that makes a contract. So I’m in.
Once upon a time this would have been the work of an afternoon … now it will take me all of the couple weeks I’ve been given. The arrangements are blessedly simple, at least.
They’re snappy little ‘50s-early ‘60s tunes that should work as audition pieces for parts in “Grease," which is how they'll be used. You know them: “Teenager in Love” – Dion and the Belmonts had the best-known version; and “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” made famous by surfer dudes Jan and Dean.
But I digress … in fact, I opened with the digression (so is it a digression at all?).
What I’m getting around to is an online discussion in the LinkedIn group Golf Industry Professionals about how to bring new people to the game of golf, a sport for which – depending on who’s quoting what – two people leave the game for every one who takes it up OR 1 million people start the game every year and 1 million leave it.
I’m still not crystal clear how building my LinkedIn network is benefiting me, or how LinkedIn justifies its recent IPO, one of the biggest in history. The golf industry group (which let me in) has more than 2,600 members, so maybe that begins to answer how exactly LinkedIn got so valuable.
The discussion took off from the comment, “It’s time we break the mold and look at unconventional ways of bringing new players to our game. Talk is cheap..."
Cheap, yeah, and it’s gone on for months in this forum. It’s all about a game that, in perception or reality:
· Is elitist
· Is too expensive
· Takes too long to play
· Is too hard to learn.
What to do? Learn golf by hitting off a t-ball tee ... make the hole bigger ... offer golf rounds of only six holes ... have PGA interns teach free (or cheap) ... All of them are ideas offered in the discussion.
This month’s Golf Digest has a story about a tournament where the holes were cut 15 inches in diameter. The theme of the piece was expressed in a pull-quote: “At the moment, golf is not really in a position to be haughty about new ideas.”
I have an idea to attract new golfers: Give ‘em free beer. It worked to get me to the piano.
Will they come back if you don’t KEEP giving them beer? Problematic. And what if they’re kids? Give ‘em Arnold Palmers*?
I accepted remuneration in return for producing some music. Does that make me a professional musician? Maybe not precisely. It does give me a new understanding of the dude on the corner with the sign that says, “Will work for beer.”
It might work for golf.
* In legend, Arnie's favorite drink: Half iced tea, half lemonade.