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Has golf's demise been greatly exaggerated? - Page 2

post #19 of 46

I think it depends on who tells the story and how they want to manipulate / tell it.  I watched HBO Real Sports last night which addressed the declining state of golf in the USA and featured Mark King as "Chicken Little".  According to King, the USA has averaged 130 course closings per year over the last three years.  There was no mention to how many new ones were built during that time other than Jack stating in his interview that his company is not contracted to build any new courses in the US and is focused on building new courses outside the US.  There was also no mention of how the real estate / mortgage collapse impacted golf course communities and closed courses due to the neighborhood failing rather than the golf course.

 

King cited expense, time and difficulty as the main causes for golfs downturn, yet seems more than happy to keep it expensive (based on TM pricing of equipment) and instead focus on making it more fun and less time consuming, i.e. hackgolf.

 

I don't like King (great marketer though) and I was 100% against hackgolf and the larger holes but after seeing the piece on Real Sports I've softened my position.  If Hackgolf will attract kids and lesser skilled players to the game, then it can act as a gateway sport to golf though King's involvement in it is purely self serving and a means to simply sell more golf equipment to more people.  If this is going to be a real initiative the golf community takes on I'd like to see the USGA take the reins and lead the charge with it, not King.

post #20 of 46

I would probably not play golf if they had larger cups, to me golf is a challenge and that is what makes it fun. If the cup was 15" it would make the game less of a challenge. 

To me what prohibits new people from playing golf is the expense and the stuffy old fart I'm better than you because I play golf perception that golf has. Also of the # of people that have stopped playing golf how many of those people are still alive? Golf is really the only sport that has an older demographic, how many 70 year olds play baseball, basketball, football, etc...? So I'd like to know if they have taken into account people who have just stopped playing because well, they died of old age, or they stopped playing because they physically can't anymore. I know a lot of people that play golf, and none of them have given up the game, if they don't play its just because they are too busy with work and family.

 

Yea the business has gone down, why because who has a $700 to buy brand new irons every year or a $400 driver, that is the market saying to the golf companies hey the price is to high, its time to adjust. It's simple economics, just like GM a few years ago, they refused to see the light and kept making big unreliable suv's that no one wanted because nobody had $80 to dump in their tank every two days, what happened to them? Well they should have gone out of business, but the american people go forced into bailing them out.

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowcelica View Post

I would probably not play golf if they had larger cups, to me golf is a challenge and that is what makes it fun. If the cup was 15" it would make the game less of a challenge. 


To me what prohibits new people from playing golf is the expense and the stuffy old fart I'm better than you because I play golf perception that golf has. Also of the # of people that have stopped playing golf how many of those people are still alive? Golf is really the only sport that has an older demographic, how many 70 year olds play baseball, basketball, football, etc...? So I'd like to know if they have taken into account people who have just stopped playing because well, they died of old age, or they stopped playing because they physically can't anymore. I know a lot of people that play golf, and none of them have given up the game, if they don't play its just because they are too busy with work and family.

Yea the business has gone down, why because who has a $700 to buy brand new irons every year or a $400 driver, that is the market saying to the golf companies hey the price is to high, its time to adjust. It's simple economics, just like GM a few years ago, they refused to see the light and kept making big unreliable suv's that no one wanted because nobody had $80 to dump in their tank every two days, what happened to them? Well they should have gone out of business, but the american people go forced into bailing them out.
I agree that playing with a 15" hole would not truly be golf and I don't think I'd play using one either but we're not the intended market for that game. That's designed to draw new people to the golf courses which I believe, will lead more folks to play the true game of golf.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowcelica View Post
 

 

Yea the business has gone down, why because who has a $700 to buy brand new irons every year or a $400 driver, that is the market saying to the golf companies hey the price is to high, its time to adjust. It's simple economics, just like GM a few years ago, they refused to see the light and kept making big unreliable suv's that no one wanted because nobody had $80 to dump in their tank every two days, what happened to them? Well they should have gone out of business, but the american people go forced into bailing them out.

I think the golfers that are most likely to buy new gear are higher handicap golfers looking for the silver bullet.  The club I belong to has a lot of wealthy members and being the club ho I am, I always check out the gear in their bags.  Based strictly on  my own observations it seems the lower handicap golfers don't buy new clubs very often.  Some of our best players are using older Mizuno, Titleist and Callaway irons, their bags look beat to hell and only a few have the latest and greatest woods, most are at least 2-3 years old.

post #23 of 46
Rounds are down 30% this year at Albany's only municipal course.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
 

Rio Secco GC in Las Vegas is the only one I have first hand knowledge of . When it first opened they charged $600-$800 for a round of golf. It was in an up scaled neighborhood, and Harmon's School of Golf was there. Sometimes Tiger Woods could be seen playing there as he was under the tutelage of Butch at that time. They stayed open at that price for quite a long time. Another plus was that they were in some sort of partnership with one of the larger, local, hotel casinos. Due to the way the property was purchased (for a public golf course) a class action suit was brought about . A judge went and played the course to see what it was worth to public. He decided that $400 a round was a decent price. The course continued to prosper. Long story short after the economy went bad, I could golf there for $55. As I understand it, right  now during off hours it's even cheaper .

 

I recently heard (what might be a rumor) that Cascata GC is now open to the public. It was at one time a very private course.  http://www2.cybergolf.com/sites/courses/layout9.asp?id=1050&page=61753 If indeed it is open to the public, I will give it a go in a few months as it is/was one of the very best courses Southern Nevada.  I golfed there several years ago when it was private as a guest. It was a very high dollar place, but course and the services were nothing short of amazing. 

As @Dave2512 put it, it seems like market correction to me. 

post #25 of 46

People need new grips every year, not new sticks.

 

About the size of the hole--Ben Hogan may have been the finest ball striker the world has ever seen, but his case of the yips was legendary.  I'm not sure how serious he was, but to deal with that, he suggested two rules changes, one of which appears to have resurfaced.  The first was to make the hole the size of a dinner plate.  That one's back.  The other was to only count putts as half strokes.  No one has proposed that (or maybe you heard it here first).

post #26 of 46
If the golf industry is serious about attracting new players, and the future of golf one good way to invest in the future of the game is to build more kids courses. Courses where kids can go play without worrying about holding up grumpy old men, I'm lucky enough to live in an area where we have 2 first tee courses one that was just built that is a 9 hole course and the other a 3 hole course. The 3 hole course I won't take my kids to again because they built it right behind a 225 yd driving range and to be honest it's dangerous for kids, it's covered in range balls.

The 9 hole is brand new but as soon as my 6 year old gets a little better I'm going to take her there. Start having family nights where you can bring your kids that don't hit the ball far and they can play if you don't have kids courses, you want to grow the game start by getting kids involved. Today it's an old mans game, what happens when all those old men disappear.
post #27 of 46

I'd like to see more par 3 courses built. There are a few newer ones here, a couple that dedicate entire days to 1st Tee and jr golf programs. But most newer courses around here usually all go up around houses now and the golfers they are trying to attract are usually retirement age. Family tees are an option but most go unused because dad doesn't want to play from them, I assume because I haven't seen any discounts to play family tees. I'd be okay with a couple hour blocks being dedicated to family day if they limited it to one side.

post #28 of 46

While playing on a Par 3 course is nice, most people are too intimidated to start out there.  One of the places touted by Real Sports which looked cool was TopGolf.  It tries to duplicate the fun experience of bowling alleys at night using music, food, booze and funky lighting set the stage for a high tech driving range.

post #29 of 46
The only par 3 course I've been to here was not in good shape at all, basically it was 9 greens in the middle of a flat field not a good course at all.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

I'd like to see more par 3 courses built. There are a few newer ones here, a couple that dedicate entire days to 1st Tee and jr golf programs. But most newer courses around here usually all go up around houses now and the golfers they are trying to attract are usually retirement age. Family tees are an option but most go unused because dad doesn't want to play from them, I assume because I haven't seen any discounts to play family tees. I'd be okay with a couple hour blocks being dedicated to family day if they limited it to one side.

I'd rather play golf with my kids then my golf buddies, I have much more fun with them. The problem is, they can be slow so I feel bad taking them to a regular course and letting them play because I dint want to hold anyone up.
post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

While playing on a Par 3 course is nice, most people are too intimidated to start out there.  One of the places touted by Real Sports which looked cool was TopGolf.  It tries to duplicate the fun experience of bowling alleys at night using music, food, booze and funky lighting set the stage for a high tech driving range.
I can vouch for this, it's a blast.
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Rounds are down 30% this year at Albany's only municipal course.

 

Where'd you get this info?

post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Rounds are down 30% this year at Albany's only municipal course.

Currently, or overall? How much of that, if any, is weather related from earlier in the year?
post #34 of 46

One thing a course near me does is set aside Sunday evening for families. They put the big holes in on the front nine for the kids and let em have at it for a few hours at a pretty cheap price. 

post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post

Where'd you get this info?

Directly from the starter.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Currently, or overall? How much of that, if any, is weather related from earlier in the year?

Overall. It might be a little weather related, we had a cool spring.
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