Originally Posted by iceman777
The reason the game of golf is losing participants by the thousands , is because of this very minutia that's being debated . The powers that be should forget about the length of putters or the grooves on clubs and make the game playable , so as to make just being average , attainable , for the masses . Most of us don't care about phony handicaps or meaningless club championships won by guys named Reginald. Get some exercise , par a few holes and hit the damn ball .
In reality, there really is no one single answer to why the game is losing golfers. Economy (cost of golf equipment, course rates, employment, etc.) will play a major role overall. Employment alone can dictate one's allotted free-time to dedicate towards this game. Many people are no longer making what they used to and can no longer justify golf, or any other leisure activities in general. Many people are now working more hours and/or more jobs to supplement income and no longer have time to play.
I think beyond anything else, this the primary reason as to why this game is in a decline. There are also many other reasons, I'm sure. However, if this were a poll of some sort, I am sure that the difficulty of the game would be like one of those Family Feud answers where you get maybe 2-3% of the overall mass saying, "I quit because the game is too hard". While on the other hand, summed up under one general term, economy, you would get maybe 70% or more. I know the 'economy' thing is played out to some people, but it is a reality and a lot of people are still down from where they once were, or should be.
The rules, no matter how simple or complex, are not going to change the participation level of this game. Almost every golfer knows that you play the ball down and do not fluff lies, yet many people still do this. Most golfers know that you do not take mulligans and free drops according to the rules, yet nearly 75% of who you see on your local public course is taking a mulligan on each 9. The list goes on and on. I can assure you that what is written in the rule book, which is typically only followed to the "T" by a minority of all golfers as a whole, is not the reason why golfers are quitting.
I had to bite.