Tensions reached a fever pitch several days ago at the Glen Waverley Golf Course in Melbourne, Australia when a clash between golfers and Pokémon Go players got physical. Now management teams at courses around the world are scrambling to address the summer’s hottest craze and its impact on the game of golf. Many are calling for the ban of Pokémon Go from courses entirely, but perhaps there is room for compromise. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Pokémon Go on the Golf Course
- Sharing the Beauty – There’s a reason golf courses are ideal locations for Pokemon – they’re beautiful with a vast geography. By allowing Pokemon users access to courses, perhaps limited to specific times and with specific guidelines, those who wouldn’t otherwise see the splendor of a course are able to enjoy.
- Making Money – Although they ultimately cancelled the event, the folks at Sahm Golf Course in Indianapolis, IN might have been onto something. In an effort to bridge the gap between golfers and Pokémon go players, they were planning to shut down the course early one evening and for a fee of $20 per participant, Pokémon Go users could search the course for the elusive Pokémon.
- Increasing Interest – The average age of golfers in the US is 54 years old, with seniors far outnumbering younger players. If you are a golfer and want to get your children or grandchildren interested in the sport, the ability to play Pokémon on the course might just encourage that. And courses may be wise to woo the next generation of golfers.
Cons of Pokémon Go on the Golf Course
- Distractions and Disruptions – The biggest complaint thus far from golfers is the distraction and disruption Pokémon Go has had on their game. When searching for Pokémon, people become obsessed and will often not stop, even if it means trespassing or interrupting a golfer. Golf courses are often seen as quiet and serene. Pokémon Go players shouting out their latest find and traipsing over the course contradicts the calm.
- Trespassing – While there are public golf courses, many courses are private and Pokemon Go users are clearly trespassing when they enter the grounds. Not only is this rude, but it’s also infuriating to members who are paying a pretty penny to belong to the private course, with the expectation that it is just that – private.
- Safety Hazards – Pokémon Go players wandering the course can lead to serious injury. When players are looking down at their phones, focused intently on the game, they are often unaware of their surroundings. Whether it’s flying golf balls or golf carts, their safety and that of the golfers is put at risk.
Do the cons outweigh the pros? Should Pokémon Go be banned entirely from golf courses? It’s hard to say. Perhaps like most crazes, this one will be short-lived. But in the meantime, it seems like it would be beneficial to find a way for golfers and Pokémon Go players to peacefully co-exist.