Are The New Golf Rules A Sign Of The Time?
Back in July 2016 the chief executive of the European Tour stated: "...golf must embrace new formats" and suggested that 6 hole tournaments must be embraced by the golfing community. Golf has to be "...more open to letting the youth actually participate".

His statement was followed this week with the announcement from the R & A and the USGA that new rules for the game of golf are scheduled to be implemented in 2019. The idea behind them is that they want to make a game of golf quicker with simpler rules. They want the game to appeal to more people, younger people and attract people back onto golf courses. 

Other sports that have been around for a very long time have added new formats, versions of the game: cricket with Twenty20 and snooker with One-frame Shoot-out. Not only have the formats changed but so has the way in which the spectators participate: shouting out, music, shot clocks and PA announcements all aimed to increase the 'noise'. Even a change in dress code is being allowed. 

Is this a sign of the times that even our leisure activities need to speed up? Everything in our lives must happen quicker and faster. When we want something we want it NOW, instantly, we're not prepared to wait. We no longer seem to have the ability to wait, to ponder, 'to smell the roses'. Boredom seems to be banned, not allowed, a thing of the past particularly in our free time (well if you can call it free time nowadays). We must fill every second, every moment with something... anything! If we're not engaged in a conversation out comes the smart phone to 'connect us' to the wider world, afraid we are missing something. I remember when I was younger (I'm sounding like my grandfather now, let alone my mother!) and we went to someone's house or they came to ours, having to just sit and listen to adults talking, being bored - which actually meant having time to think, space in my brain to slow down, to create, to imagine and not worry about what I was missing out on.

Scientific research is showing that our attention spans are actually decreasing as opposed to increasing. So it's comes as no surprise that everything in our lives must happen quicker and faster. When we want something we want it NOW, instantly! We get anxious and stressed when things don't happen straight away and interestingly we also get anxious and stressed because things happen straight away, meaning we struggle to or can't keep up. We send a text and expect an immediate response, when we don't get it we start worrying: did I say the right thing? have I upset them? don't they like me? has something happened to them? Worry, worry, worry - whole days are spent worrying, getting stressed and anxious because we are trying to catch up with a world that WE are actually making go faster and faster. 

Should we be surprised that anxiety, stress and depression along with a whole range of mental health issues are on the increase at a younger and younger age? Should we be surprised that people in corporate life are getting burnt out because of the hours they have to work just to "keep on top of their emails"? When we're the ones sending them!We're the ones creating this stressed out, ever faster-paced world. But don't worry, it's OK, we can relax by watching or participating in a game of golf. 

Phew...thank goodness for that. 

Just as long as it's quick, keeps my interest for every second and doesn't take up too much time!