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Golf is a dying. How to make it more popular!

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 

More golf courses are closing every day. Many golf retailers describe their business as down by a third from 5 years ago. What can be done to grow golf and make it more fun and profitable for all in the sport?

I have thought about it and have a few ideas that might help:

1. Have 2 flags on every green and play to the closest one.

2. Allow the hand wedge- throwing the ball.(for beginners)

3. Mow the roughs to make play easier and speed up the game.

4. Reward fast play with a 2 shot reduction in score.

Just thinking. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 94

In my opinion one of the reasons I think golf has been struggling is that the economy made it hard for people to have the disposable income required to take it up and/or play. Golf is pretty expensive. Also, one of the reasons for the "explosion" of popularity of golf was due to the fame of Tiger, and now even that has calmed down. 

post #3 of 94

I think it's two fold, time and money, 5 or 6 hour rounds on a public course is not uncommon in my area, and $40 - $80 a round either (not to mention the price of equipment).  I think it's a question of reducing one or the other, changes are money won't go down, so a matter of reducing the time it takes to play.

post #4 of 94

Advertise it as a family sport. A family sport being not as competitive as other sports.

 

Many courses are already reacting in the Los Angeles greater area, by attracting more families. The successful ones charge a lot less for the kids, and of course, the parents go along with them. If it costs $60 for a family of 4 to ride out on a course for 4 hours, they will pay it. Families like to go out in the mid-late afternoons too, so they could readily go on twilight hours.

 

Families can play the game together. Make it less competitive for the family to enjoy. The game could be played scramble format with: kids vs.parents, moms vs. dads, sisters vs. brothers etc.

 

Kids like playing naturally, I think what turns off many of them are excessive rules and the distances of the courses.

 

I would never have thought that the par 3 and the 3000 yard executive courses would do well, but they are doing really well. The primary reason is that they cater to families.

post #5 of 94
Thread Starter 

The money seems to be a common problem. I was into competitive handgun shooting sports until the price of ammo skyrocketed! Golf seems reasonably priced compared to the shooting sports, even when you lose a golf ball or two!

I like the idea of promoting it as a family sport!

post #6 of 94
Golf doing well in TX, probably due to the economy, which is due to the conservative government.

So, to make golf more popular in some of the struggling regions of our fair land, vote conservative and unleash some of the trillions companies are sitting on.
post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther View Post

Golf doing well in TX, probably due to the economy, which is due to the conservative government.

So, to make golf more popular in some of the struggling regions of our fair land, vote conservative and unleash some of the trillions companies are sitting on.

 

This can go tangential...:-O

 

Golf if not dying.  It's just trying to adjust post Tiger era.  It will continue to grow but much slower speed than we have seen past decades.  Growth in golf has been insane just as Tiger's career has been so far.

post #8 of 94

One thing I have found in the last few weeks a lot of courses do not offer Jr rates until 12:00 or later. Or they don't offer at all on the weekends.

My son and I play every week so to play some what nice course is $48 on up per person. Compound this with lessons, range cards, balls it can add up.

I would assume a young family just cant afford this, and it seems some of the courses would rather not have kids play?

 

But Lihu I would agree that if a course offered more of a family value you may find more family's playing, I would think this would help grow the game.

post #9 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post

In my opinion one of the reasons I think golf has been struggling is that the economy made it hard for people to have the disposable income required to take it up and/or play. Golf is pretty expensive. Also, one of the reasons for the "explosion" of popularity of golf was due to the fame of Tiger, and now even that has calmed down. 

Explosion of watching golf not playing it. Golf participation levels since tiger turned pro have trended down? I'm not blaming this on him. But rather pointing a non truth. There was also a build up of courses anticipating growth....that the media hyped,but it never materialized.
post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfisher View Post


Explosion of watching golf not playing it. Golf participation levels since tiger turned pro have trended down? I'm not blaming this on him. But rather pointing a non truth. There was also a build up of courses anticipating growth....that the media hyped,but it never materialized.

Wait, so there wasn't a large increase in players of golf when Tiger first came on the scene and gained widespread notoriety? Funny, because I was pretty sure a lot of parents got into golf as well as getting their kids into golf thinking it they may have the next phenom. I could have mistaken how much of an impact that was on the numbers of people golfing though. I know for a fact that there was a pretty large increase in kids taking up golf during that time in my area and parents along with them. Could have been something that didn't repeat everywhere though.

post #11 of 94

I don't buy the "time" excuse for golf, or anything for that matter.  If something is important or worthwhile, you would make time for it.  Period.  Like I've said before I think it comes down to cost.  People eat a lot of garbage food like McDonalds because of cost, much of their entertainment is TV/movies because of cost, etc.  If golf was more affordable I think you'd see many more people playing it.

post #12 of 94

I think that golf has been declining for a bunch of reasons the biggest one being money.  Clubs are expensive, balls are expensive, a round of golf is very expensive and to top all of that off, golf is hard! It is very easy to lose interest in the game quickly especially if you dont have the time and money to practice enough to make playing worth it.  A big way to make the game more popular would be for courses to reduce these costs by offering deals on tee times and in particular deals for kids to play with parents at a very low price--if it were to only cost an extra 10 bucks for a parent to bring their kid along instead of paying a full green fee for them it would give parents incentive to bring their kids golfing and get them interested in the game.  Also discounts on lessons or courses sponsoring "learn to golf days" where someone new to the game can pay a small amount ($5, $10 or $20 depending on the course) for a few hours of a group lesson to learn the basics of the game including full swing, short game, and course etiquette and then end the day with a free 9 holes or something.  programs like this might be able to get people who have had an interest in the game a little more actively involved since they wont have to invest too much money to give the game a try.

 

I also saw another very good idea at a course that i played this weekend.  The course had an extra set of what must have been "junior" tee markers on every hole which were in the fairway, never further than 100 yards from the green and some as close as 10 yards off the green.  The markers don't really cost the course anything, are a great place for someone who is just learning the game to start and they would still be able to maintain a decent pace of play since the kids (or novices to the game) that would use the tee would take forever to make it all the way down a 500 yard par 5

post #13 of 94

It's not dying.  It's just regressing to it's own mean.

post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
 

I don't buy the "time" excuse for golf, or anything for that matter.  If something is important or worthwhile, you would make time for it.  Period.  Like I've said before I think it comes down to cost.  People eat a lot of garbage food like McDonalds because of cost, much of their entertainment is TV/movies because of cost, etc.  If golf was more affordable I think you'd see many more people playing it.

I disagree. Time is an issue. For players like us (those that love golf to the point that we go on the internet to talk about it) it's not as big of an issue as our love for the game is strong enough that we are going to play regardless. However for somebody just getting into the game or players not as dedicated time is a big factor. On a good day, a round can take 4 hours and when you start talking about rounds that hit and exceed the 5 hour mark, it becomes not worth it for many. It's frustrating when you feel like you have to wait on every shot and there aren't a lot of people willing to pay $50 or more to be frustrated.

post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post
 

I disagree. Time is an issue. For players like us (those that love golf to the point that we go on the internet to talk about it) it's not as big of an issue as our love for the game is strong enough that we are going to play regardless. However for somebody just getting into the game or players not as dedicated time is a big factor. On a good day, a round can take 4 hours and when you start talking about rounds that hit and exceed the 5 hour mark, it becomes not worth it for many. It's frustrating when you feel like you have to wait on every shot and there aren't a lot of people willing to pay $50 or more to be frustrated.

 

That's not what I mean.  I'm talking about the people who say they don't have time to do some thing that they apparently would like to do (implying their day has fewer hours in it than everyone else or something?).  It's mostly just a pet peeve of mine, I would prefer it if people would simply say they choose to spend their time on other things instead of saying they don't have time to do X thing (like golf)-- because that is the reality of what is going on.  If someone is a little bit interested in golf but not interested enough to spend 4 hours on a course, that's totally fine and I'm cool with that.. but just say so, don't throw some nonsense out there like you don't have time.  It's just a bogus, meaningless excuse that has come to annoy me over the years for some reason.

 

Anyway, carry on!  :-P 

post #16 of 94
Thread Starter 
I really like the junior tee markers close to the green. That could be great for beginners and make for a nice day for a non avid golfer.
post #17 of 94

I am not seeing a down turn in MA.  Most of the courses I play are busy.  It has been tough to get on as a single.

post #18 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther View Post

Golf doing well in TX, probably due to the economy, which is due to the conservative government.

The second I saw these two words, I knew this thread was gonna take a different turn than it was intended to. It is okay to look at perhaps the declining popularity of golf and the lost revenue to courses, but I think that just comes with the times. Honestly coming from many people that I know, they enjoy watching and knowing about golf when the pros that they like are in contention. Especially fro my dad and my uncle, both lovers of golf, but now that Tiger has gone for surgery and hasn't played in months, they sort of stopped watching it. Like my dad always says, "I will watch final round golf, as long as Tiger is near the top of the leader board".

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