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Why isn't golf attracting more new players? - Page 7

Poll Results: What's the major reason golf isn't attracting many new players

 
  • 34% (78)
    Economy - disposable income is down
  • 12% (27)
    A round of golf just takes too long these days
  • 6% (14)
    Bad image - people think golf is for the old and rich
  • 2% (5)
    Tiger isn't playing as well as he used to
  • 0% (2)
    Rules are too complicated
  • 6% (14)
    Golf clubs are too expensive
  • 8% (18)
    Greater time demands from family and job
  • 0% (2)
    USGA is taking the fun out of golf - Anchored stroke ban
  • 10% (23)
    Golf is too hard and frustrating to play
  • 0% (0)
    Not enough qualified instructors for kids
  • 1% (4)
    Lack of public courses in your area
  • 0% (2)
    Not enough golf ranges in your area
  • 0% (2)
    Insufficient coverage by mainstream media
  • 0% (2)
    Fear of playing as single or with strangers
  • 13% (31)
    Golf is doing fine, there are no problems with it.
224 Total Votes  
post #109 of 192

Just my 2 cents, I don't think golf is in trouble at all! If anything it's just responding to the economy. How many car dealers are selling a lot less cars now than they did 5-6 years ago. In fact in my area I've seen a lot more car dealers go under than golf courses.

 

Funny but reading through the thread many if not most of the reasons people cited as to why players are leaving or not trying the game is no different than what they were in 1975 when I started playing. Waste of time, too expensive, too difficult. Fix the economy and playing numbers will stablize or start to trend back up!

post #110 of 192

I noticed several posts regarding young players perception of the game and what can be done to change it.  But, when you think about it from a child's perspective, it's a game of a) be quiet z4_blink.gif, b) hurry up, now wait g1_wacko.gif and c) frustration c1_cursing.gif.  I can't think of one child that would find those qualities appealing.  And unlike, most sports - golf is not a fan friendly game (cheering is limited, sports action is limited and you have to whisper or not speak while the action takes place).

 

Truthfully, I don't have a clue as to how you change that perception without altering the "sanctity" of the game a2_wink.gif

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy golf - but even I think that some (not all) folks try to take what's meant for the majority of us as recreation (fun) and turn it into a formality of traditions / stringent rules and compliancy.

 

Just my two cents and definitely worth less.

post #111 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

I have a new thought about this after talking this over with my high school students.  I would say close to 90-95% of the kids I talked to about golf have had only 1 way to experience golf so far, and that is on TV.  The overhwelming majority of them said that it is one of the most boring things they have ever watched, so why would we go out and try a sport that appears to be the most boring thing on the planet.  I don't know how they could improve on golf coverage to make it more exciting to novice/new/young people.  I doubt there is anything they can do to make it more appealing but it is a reality that could be hindering new/young players from entering the game.  I never thought of it in that light before.  I have always liked golf, but even sometimes I find golf boring on TV.  I do understand where they are coming from. 

My biggest issue with the golf coverage on television is they spend too much time showing guys lining up putts and putting.  I know sunk putts are golfs version of scoring, but most are boring to watch especially anything less than 6'.  I'd much prefer to see bunker shots, shots out of the rough, even drives over short putts unless the guy putting is in the lead or misses one he should have made. 

post #112 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

My biggest issue with the golf coverage on television is they spend too much time showing guys lining up putts and putting.  I know sunk putts are golfs version of scoring, but most are boring to watch especially anything less than 6'.  I'd much prefer to see bunker shots, shots out of the rough, even drives over short putts unless the guy putting is in the lead or misses one he should have made. 

Yep. If it's in gimmie range and he makes it: don't show it, but if he misses...show it over and over againb2_tongue.gif

post #113 of 192

I think golf is doing just fine.  Sure it's not still riding the Tiger wave of everyone and their cousin playing golf and watching every tournament on TV, but did anyone think that was going to last forever?  Now that the economy is in the toilet, not as many people have as much money to spend of golf and the interest is down.

 

Also, Tiger's rep taking a huge hit probably didn't help things at all either, but that is a different story.

post #114 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleur View Post

That's the point newtogolf, my mates turn up with a hand me down set of clubs to their local course because that's the one the see when they think of wanting to play, and then everyone expects them to know all of this other stuff outside of putting the white dimpled thing in the hole in as little strokes as possible.

 

They just want to play, they don't know anything else other than go to course with clubs and balls and go hit. That's why these experienced players, rather than being doofheads, could make a difference and help them out to learn the ropes, so that they don't cause these 'problems' supposedly ruining the day of other doofheads in future?

 

Then people like those I know who have been turned off are far more likely to want to play in future. I like the sound of ColeMC's little old lady fans, that's the approach I'd prefer.

 

But, it's my opinion.

 

I have a few friends that I've tried to get involved and I've told them we need to put some time in at the range first.  Then move to par 3 golf and then eventually a normal 18 hole course.  It's the logical thing do and that's what I did when I started.  I didn't want to totally suck when I went out to play 18.

 

With that said, if I come up to someone on a course that is playing slow, because they are terrible.  And say something like, hey you should probably put some more time in on the range before you come out here, and if you must play a round, go play par three golf.  They are going to look at me like I'm a total A - hole.

post #115 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

My biggest issue with the golf coverage on television is they spend too much time showing guys lining up putts and putting.  I know sunk putts are golfs version of scoring, but most are boring to watch especially anything less than 6'.  I'd much prefer to see bunker shots, shots out of the rough, even drives over short putts unless the guy putting is in the lead or misses one he should have made. 


This is a very good point about TV coverage over here. I watched a lot of European Tour events and think they do a better job of covering shots. They tend to just follow the top 3-4 on the leaderboard while I think USA coverage feels they have to cover more of the field. 

post #116 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGasPasser View Post

I'm late to the thread, so my apologies if this has been covered...

 

I voted "too difficult", but I really think it's a combination of too difficult, too expensive, and takes too long.  If the game was easier, and beginners were quicker to hit those satisfying shots that make us addicts, then I could see them finding a way to justify the cost and the time away from family.  But, golf is pretty frustrating to learn, and the newbie usually has to spend time really learning the game to get to the point where the financial and time costs are justified by the enjoyment returned...

 

For example, I work in a field (medicine, anesthesia to be precise) that traditionally has a large number of golfers.  I can't think of another golfer under the age of 50 in my work circle of colleagues (an OR staff of about 50 anesthesiologists and around 100 surgeons, plus many nurses and techs that are potential golfers).    Plenty of older guys golf, but most of the younger guys are into cycling, tennis, running, adult basketball or soccer leagues.  These are all sports where they can quickly do their thing after work or on a weekend morning, then still be home to get the kids/wife to whatever activity it is that day.  I can think of maybe 3 or 4 guys that have tried to pick up the game, only to quit after their first year.  The reason?  They had more fun doing other things that they could excel at with less practice.  They had fun golfing, but not ENOUGH fun to justify the time, and they didn't see themselves having the time to practice and get to the point where every round was worth finding a way to make the free time.

 

Similarly, if I make the argument that joining a club would reduce the time obstacle (generally faster rounds vs. public courses, and free access to practice facilities), the money obstacle takes over.  Not enough disposable income to justify anywhere from $6k to $15k/year (at least in our area), on a sport that they aren't fully committed to (yet).

 

Oddly, I know about 6 guys, all under 40, that grew up golfing (via parents at a country club), and at one point in their life were pretty good at it.  They are now successful in their careers, have the disposable income, enjoy the game, but just don't have the time to play regularly.  Wives, kids, career, etc...

 

I'm fortunate enough to have some financial flexibility and a supportive wife, but I see a day in the next few years, as the kids' activities increase, that my rounds per year will go WAY down.  Then, if I'm only playing 5-10x per year, giving it up completely isn't that far off.  Golf is incredibly fun when you're playing well.  Hacking your way through a case of balls over 6 hours?  No thanks...

 

All good points.  But I think you're narrative supports the issue of shrinking "disposable time" rather than too difficult.

post #117 of 192
I think it's the intimidation factor. Have you ever seen a non-golfer pick up one of his buddies clubs in the backyard and try hitting a ball for the first time? That's a moment of truth for that person. They either find out they can't hit the ball at all or they make great contact and next thing you know they are out buying clubs and going to the range. Now, for that person that didn't make contact at all was intimidated by the game and ran from the thought of even playing.

Other than that....cost.a5_crying.gif
post #118 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

A good set, but how many new golfers need a new good set.  There are plenty of clubs good enough for brand new golfers that are cheap enough to get them in the game if they want to. 

In my area people want about 80% of what equipment costs new, even if it's 10 years old. It's very hard to find a decent deal on used clubs. The initial cost of getting golf equipment is high.

 

The courses near me are usually packed. There are multiple people that I work with that won't golf (but own clubs), because they're afraid of "embarrassing" themselves. 

post #119 of 192

Here's a thought, I just don't think golf has ever been a young persons sport, by and large.     Alot of people tend to filter into the game by chance when they get older and have disposable income (me for one).     Could be for many reasons - business associations, introduction through friends/coworkers, plain curiosity, etc.     Funny, looking back on it in my case ... I must have walked past the golf dept in Dicks Sporting Goods hundreds and hundreds of times on my way to the fishing dept over all my years - never once even gave it a thought, ever.     Then I played one time & got hooked (z2_scared.gif) ... nowdays, I rarely even make it past the golf section to the fishing dept.

 

Most young kids get into the game through their parents, and they're the lucky ones - parents have to be financially able and offer support / sacraifice to get their kids into it - transportation, cost of tee times, lessons, junior clubs, time, etc.     I just think golf has always been a sport for the more affluent amongst us - not always, but more often than not.     And most importantly, kids have to WANT to play ... I have a nephew who was given everything by his father who is a serious golfer & has absolutely no interest (having to actually work at golf goes against his aptitude for video games, for which I understand he is legend amongst his peers, and where he gets his jollies).      So many factors influence peoples decisions to start golfing ... I just don't think it's ever been about young people.

 

Seems for a person to get involved with golf, there has to some sort of introduction to the game.    Either through family, friends, coworkers, business contacts, etc.    I could be wrong, but I doubt very many people just see golf on TV, and think to themselves., that looks like fun, maybe I'll buy some clubs and try it ...


Edited by inthehole - 3/4/13 at 9:26pm
post #120 of 192

Maybe a perusal of all of the negativity in the playing with strangers thread might also partially explain it.
 

post #121 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

Here's a thought, I just don't think golf has ever been a young persons sport, by and large.     Alot of people tend to filter into the game by chance when they get older and have disposable income (me for one).     Could be for many reasons - business associations, introduction through friends/coworkers, plain curiosity, etc.     Funny, looking back on it in my case ... I must have walked past the golf dept in Dicks Sporting Goods hundreds and hundreds of times on my way to the fishing dept over all my years - never once even gave it a thought, ever.     Then I played one time & got hooked (z2_scared.gif) ... nowdays, I rarely even make it past the golf section to the fishing dept.

 

Most young kids get into the game through their parents, and they're the lucky ones - parents have to be financially able and offer support / sacraifice to get their kids into it - transportation, cost of tee times, lessons, junior clubs, time, etc.     I just think golf has always been a sport for the more affluent amongst us - not always, but more often than not.     And most importantly, kids have to WANT to play ... I have a nephew who was given everything by his father who is a serious golfer & has absolutely no interest (having to actually work at golf goes against his aptitude for video games, for which I understand he is legend amongst his peers, and where he gets his jollies).      So many factors influence peoples decisions to start golfing ... I just don't think it's ever been about young people.

 

Seems for a person to get involved with golf, there has to some sort of introduction to the game.    Either through family, friends, coworkers, business contacts, etc.    I could be wrong, but I doubt very many people just see golf on TV, and think to themselves., that looks like fun, maybe I'll buy some clubs and try it ...

I trolled and posted and read a lot of posts on this thread about cost and kids, okay how about this for money time and kids, soccer and baseball. go out fit your kids with the latest equipment (baseball) go to select (if they are good) tournys have them join club ball, look at the cost there and time. for us in s texas we had to travel to san antonio 2.5 hrs drive one way (time) club fees, any where around $750 $2400 depends on the division and type of team you get "placed" in hell trips to houston, austin, 3.5 plus each way and thats not including tourny time wether 1or 2 days tourny plus hotel food. baseball bats, they have changed to a composite bat bccor type. $200 -$350 each and you always need 2 or more. o read about vidio games how much does the console cost plus games. what i am trying to get across quit making exscuses go play and have fun enjoy

post #122 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by el shanko View Post

I trolled and posted and read a lot of posts on this thread about cost and kids, okay how about this for money time and kids, soccer and baseball. go out fit your kids with the latest equipment (baseball) go to select (if they are good) tournys have them join club ball, look at the cost there and time. for us in s texas we had to travel to san antonio 2.5 hrs drive one way (time) club fees, any where around $750 $2400 depends on the division and type of team you get "placed" in hell trips to houston, austin, 3.5 plus each way and thats not including tourny time wether 1or 2 days tourny plus hotel food. baseball bats, they have changed to a composite bat bccor type. $200 -$350 each and you always need 2 or more. o read about vidio games how much does the console cost plus games. what i am trying to get across quit making exscuses go play and have fun enjoy

 

Things sure have changed ... I played baseball from little league up through summer babe ruth & legion leagues all the way through high school ball.    Back in the 80's ... the teams always had a big canvas bag full of bats and helmets - you just grabbed an aluminum bat the right length & weight and stepped up to the plate.      The biggest expense my dad had was he bought me a top of the line Rawlings pro infielders glove for $90 (when most of the other kids had lesser $20 Spaulding models), which lasted me through all those years.      I can NOT believe kids today have to supply their own bat  ... this baffles me.     

 

I could go on a serious rant about how politically correct little league is today - I've been told every kid has to play, there are no cuts - everybody makes the team ... back when I played, coaches recruited kids - there were across town rivalries / dynasties and everybody wanted to play for those better teams - kids were groomed from a young age - it was very competitive & all the better for it (my dad hit me grounders in the back yard after work for years leading up to my first tryout).    Today, there is no competitve nature at all to kids sports - it might damage little Jimmy's fagile phsyche to not get put in the game or if he can't hit a fastball, to get cut, heaven forbid ... aiiiii, OK, I lied ... a little rant was inevitable - LOL.


Edited by inthehole - 3/5/13 at 10:34am
post #123 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by el shanko View Post

 

I trolled and posted and read a lot of posts on this thread about cost and kids, okay how about this for money time and kids, soccer and baseball. go out fit your kids with the latest equipment (baseball) go to select (if they are good) tournys have them join club ball, look at the cost there and time. for us in s texas we had to travel to san antonio 2.5 hrs drive one way (time) club fees, any where around $750 $2400 depends on the division and type of team you get "placed" in hell trips to houston, austin, 3.5 plus each way and thats not including tourny time wether 1or 2 days tourny plus hotel food. baseball bats, they have changed to a composite bat bccor type. $200 -$350 each and you always need 2 or more. o read about vidio games how much does the console cost plus games. what i am trying to get across quit making exscuses go play and have fun enjoy

 

But Little League in most places and under most situations isn't remotely as expensive as golf.  When it comes right down to it, all a kid really needs is a mid range glove and a ball to play catch with, and whatever fees the team or league requires.  Bats and balls are team equipment.  In my experience the leagues are mostly run through local parks and recreation departments and in part are tax supported.  When I was in Little League (a long time ago) each team was sponsored by a local merchant, and some of the fees were paid by them.

 

A junior intermediate class at my home muni is $95 for just 4 hours of instruction, but that doesn't include any gear or practice time on the course.  Then if the kid gets the bug (which most every golfer dad wants), he's going to expect to be able to play at least once or twice a week during the summer when he's off from school.  That's where it starts getting pricey, even at junior rates, if you don't have a family membership at a private course.  Again, my home course junior rate (17 and under) is $15 for 18 holes Monday - Thursday, and $37 Friday - Sunday.  Once on a weekday and once with the family on a weekend and its $42 per week or $168 per month, not counting lost balls or range balls.  With 2 kids that becomes prohibitive for most families.

post #124 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

But Little League in most places and under most situations isn't remotely as expensive as golf.  When it comes right down to it, all a kid really needs is a mid range glove and a ball to play catch with, and whatever fees the team or league requires.  Bats and balls are team equipment.  In my experience the leagues are mostly run through local parks and recreation departments and in part are tax supported.  When I was in Little League (a long time ago) each team was sponsored by a local merchant, and some of the fees were paid by them.

 

things have changed over the years, i talked to my buddies that coach and play B.B. all over the state and how much some of those parents pay to have their kids play is unbelievable amounts, and when i mention this is to correlated to golf, lessons, practice, equipment, time, money etc.

post #125 of 192

I find majority of people start golf way later in life. But i do think we probably capped off on the number of new young golfer's joining. For example, i started golfing when i was about 14 or so. My cousin's who are a few years younger than me, started in college. They were into other sports, but got hooked on golf later. I would say the rate of new golfers is pretty much steady or should retreat a bit. This isn't a bad thing, its just statistics. 

 

 

Yes, golf is more expensive than most sports out there. The only one comparable, i would think is some exotic sports like winter skiing, some niche sports. Though i think most people tend to think they need the newest clubs to start out. You can easily get set up with a set of good clubs for under 500 dollars, go buy golf balls on sale for multiple dozen for less than 20 bucks. The really downer is the green's fees. but you can get memberships and really save if your planning on playing alot. Or, take advantage of twilight rates, i know some course who basically cover cart fees, and you play as many holes as you can get in. Alot of pro's do discount rates if you buy multiple lessons, or do group instructions. 

 

So, its not overly expensive, if you know how to work the system to your advantage. 

post #126 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

So, its not overly expensive, if you know how to work the system to your advantage. 

agree on this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ dont by a ferri when you can get away with a VW. green fees depends on how much you play per month 1-4 times at avg $30 around $120 per month at a muni plus a little more for extras, my wife waste more money just by waking up.

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