Jump to content
Used2PlayALot

Has Golf Gotten More or Less Popular in the Last 10-20 Years?

25 posts / 1689 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

What is the latest word on the popularity of this sport?

Are courses still closing?   Private club decline in favor of golf now?

Helicopter parenting not letting parents go play golf for 5 hours?

What has been the story the last 10 years?

Any articles you can link to?

 

LAst thread on this from 2012

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Argentina golf is less popular than 20 years ago. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

29 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

The NGF's annual Golf Industry Report consolidates many of the game's key metrics, providing a holistic view of...

The takeaway may be the first graphic:

Golf-Participation-Slide2x.jpg

Indoor or "screen golf" is growing pretty rapidly. Golf itself is staying about the same. Some others:

Quote

That was abundantly clear in 2018, when rounds-played dipped 4.8 percent to 434 million, a decline driven by heavier precipitation levels than normal across the country during the busiest months for golf. The reduction in rounds was more due to a lack of playable days than a lack of interest, however. In fact, participation increased incrementally for the first time in 14 years, with an estimated 24.2 million people playing golf on a course.

Beginners-Slide4x.jpg

Quote

Interest in playing golf among non-golfers is at an all-time high, with 14.7 million people saying they would like to play golf on a course, but that latent demand is not enough to celebrate. The industry needs to continue making golf more welcoming and less intimidating for beginners while at the same time embracing its steady pool of committed golfers, a core group that accounts for about 95 percent of spending and rounds-played.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Based on what I have seen, talking with course managers, courses closing , and green fees dropping to get more golfers to play, my guess is this. Based on the number of potentially new golfers available, but not taking it up, I'd say golf is not as strong today as in the past 10-20 years. 

I can remember courses being busy during the week, and pretty much over crowded on weekends. I don't see much of that anymore. This, while living in a golf destination area of the country.  

Obviously the more famous courses are probably doing ok, but over all, I think golf could use more folks playing the game. There is plenty of room. 

Edited by Patch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

29 minutes ago, Patch said:

Based on what I have seen, talking with course managers, courses closing , and green fees dropping to get more golfers to play, my guess is this. Based on the number of potentially new golfers available, but not taking it up, I'd say golf is not as strong today as in the past 10-20 years. 

I can remember courses being busy during the week, and pretty much over crowded on weekends. I don't see much of that anymore. This, while living in a golf destination area of the country.  

Obviously the more famous courses are probably doing ok, but over all, I think golf could use more folks playing the game. There is plenty of room. 

So you're taking the local scene and applying it to all of golf?

Because where I live, golf is doing quite well. Today at my local but somewhat pricy public course, they have a full tee sheet until about 4pm. I was on the practice green and two foursomes of women went out, followed by some 20-something guys, and then some 60-somethings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

In my rural economically depressed area in southern Ohio at 3 courses have closed in the last few years and the remaining ones struggle to make enough money to maintain the courses properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 7/4/2019 at 11:14 AM, iacas said:

So you're taking the local scene and applying it to all of golf?

Because where I live, golf is doing quite well. Today at my local but somewhat pricy public course, they have a full tee sheet until about 4pm. I was on the practice green and two foursomes of women went out, followed by some 20-something guys, and then some 60-somethings.

No not really a local small area, (Vegas) but an area thar could cover as much as 4 or 5 states, and upwards 20 or so golf courses. I travel alot, and can consider this my local area. I am less than 100 miles from several quality courses in NV, AZ, CA, and UT. This is where my observation comes from.

On another note, I read somewhere that a golf analytical company "Pullucid Corp" (my spelling might wrong here) stated that from 2000, to 2016 (?). the game of golf lost over 10 million amateur golfers. It went from 30 million to 20 million. They concluded that golf was not growing, but in fact suffering. I don't remember if they actually used the term "a dying sport".

Now, I also remember taking a course in college on analysis, statistics, and polls. We were taught that these were never 100% accurate. More like 75-80 % accurate. So, maybe Pullucid's numbers might be flawed alittle.

Like I said in my first post, more popular areas are still doing ok. Places like Pebble, and Bandon, out west, still have lengthy waiting lists. It's the smaller less popular courses that are struggling due to current low number of golfers available to use them. 

jmho.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 7/4/2019 at 11:14 AM, iacas said:

I was on the practice green and two foursomes of women went out, followed by some 20-something guys, and then some 60-somethings.

Fortunately, all of them subscribe to TST.😁  Iacas, have you ever run a demographic analysis on your members?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Fortunately, all of them subscribe to TST.😁  Iacas, have you ever run a demographic analysis on your members?

Yes.

7 hours ago, Patch said:

No not really a local small area, (Vegas) but an area thar could cover as much as 4 or 5 states, and upwards 20 or so golf courses. I travel alot, and can consider this my local area. I am less than 100 miles from several quality courses in NV, AZ, CA, and UT. This is where my observation comes from.

It's still pretty localized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

No stats here but...

-Boomer numbers have to be effecting rounds due to health and passing...in my community there are three residential subdivision golf courses closing or struggling...two public courses have closed. With a very few exceptions, Private courses are all offering "annual tryout deals" and are reassessing share price buy-in...folks can't sell shares so are offering their annual access on kijiji...its gonna take a while before the millennial cohort start effecting golf rounds

-mobile computing has to be effecting golf rounds in the same way it has affected or killed many industries. If you have grown up on a screen, many will play golf on a screen. Pay as you go, no weather issues, less time away from family,  job, friends and other screen activities...If I had the $$ and house size, I'd have an indoor simulator

-and I wonder, going forward, if the climate change issue is also going to somehow create a backlash against golf...water use, chemical use etc...courses may have to do a better job of environmental advertising (recognizing courses probably do a better environmental job than a multi level parking lot i.e. animal safety in cities, water retention)

-all this means, as #'rs decline in my area and while my health is still good, I'll continue to easily get my rounds in...the wife and I are probably getting +100 rounds in...we are doing our part

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Golf is in decline.  I say the answer is in marketing (I'm a marketing consultant).  What do your local courses do to encourage participation?  Do they ever reach out to the community?  Host events?  Offer incentives to first timers to come to a free clinic?  Do the courses we play at recognize and appreciate our patronage?  Have you ever received so much as a "thank you" card or birthday greeting with an offer for a discounted or even free round?  How about programs to encourage you to bring others to the game?

Golf courses are small businesses.  And like most small businesses that see their sales falling off, they do nothing proactive or, God forbid, aggressive to change the situation.  They blame the market and the "kids these days".  I say nonsense.  Get the message out.  Educate the public about the virtues of golf.  Kill the "fuddy duddy" image.  Get off your butts (course owners) and DO something.

If you need help, let me know...

Oh, and another thing:  what kind of "customer service" do you receive at the courses you play?  I rank my experiences between Indifferent and Appalling.  No greeting by the cart attendants, curt pro shop staff, a bombardment of signs telling me what I can't do, surly starters, ill-tempered rangers...  I constantly ask myself, "I paid (insert fee here) for this?"

Just recently, I was playing by myself and was accosted by a ranger telling me to "pick up the pace", then demanded to see my receipt as if I just stole the cart and tried playing for free.  There was no one in front of or behind me, and I play there frequently.  Not once have I been greeted with "Good to see you again!" or anything like it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, LightsOut said:

Golf is in decline.  I say the answer is in marketing (I'm a marketing consultant).  What do your local courses do to encourage participation?  Do they ever reach out to the community?  Host events?  Offer incentives to first timers to come to a free clinic?  Do the courses we play at recognize and appreciate our patronage?  Have you ever received so much as a "thank you" card or birthday greeting with an offer for a discounted or even free round?  How about programs to encourage you to bring others to the game?

Golf courses are small businesses.  And like most small businesses that see their sales falling off, they do nothing proactive or, God forbid, aggressive to change the situation.  They blame the market and the "kids these days".  I say nonsense.  Get the message out.  Educate the public about the virtues of golf.  Kill the "fuddy duddy" image.  Get off your butts (course owners) and DO something.

If you need help, let me know...

I think courses are still "old school" and working under the assumption that if you build it they will come.  Or, if it's already built, they will still come.

Where I live I think there are more golf courses (15 within 20 miles) per capita than almost anywhere else in the U.S., except for Myrtle Beach, yet none of them have closed.  Always offering 18 holes of golf, a cart, a hot dog and a beer or a wide variety of golf tournaments or other deals.  One course offers group lessons for women with a glass of wine near sunset.  I haven't yet checked out the "Wine Aficionado" rating for the wine they're offering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, LightsOut said:

Golf is in decline.  I say the answer is in marketing (I'm a marketing consultant).  What do your local courses do to encourage participation?  Do they ever reach out to the community?  Host events?  Offer incentives to first timers to come to a free clinic?  Do the courses we play at recognize and appreciate our patronage?  Have you ever received so much as a "thank you" card or birthday greeting with an offer for a discounted or even free round?  How about programs to encourage you to bring others to the game?

Golf courses are small businesses.  And like most small businesses that see their sales falling off, they do nothing proactive or, God forbid, aggressive to change the situation.  They blame the market and the "kids these days".  I say nonsense.  Get the message out.  Educate the public about the virtues of golf.  Kill the "fuddy duddy" image.  Get off your butts (course owners) and DO something.

If you need help, let me know...

Oh, and another thing:  what kind of "customer service" do you receive at the courses you play?  I rank my experiences between Indifferent and Appalling.  No greeting by the cart attendants, curt pro shop staff, a bombardment of signs telling me what I can't do, surly starters, ill-tempered rangers...  I constantly ask myself, "I paid (insert fee here) for this?"

Just recently, I was playing by myself and was accosted by a ranger telling me to "pick up the pace", then demanded to see my receipt as if I just stole the cart and tried playing for free.  There was no one in front of or behind me, and I play there frequently.  Not once have I been greeted with "Good to see you again!" or anything like it. 

LIghtsOut - I 100% agree with your comments.  

Most of the golf courses that I play don't even have up-to-date websites or Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feeds/pages.

Golf courses should work on "selling the experience".  Nothing is more frustrating than spending $70 plus for a round of golf to feel like a second class customer by the rangers, starters, pro shop staff, etc..  However, the cart girls, halfway house staff, and bar staff are typically on point with cheerful and helpful demeanors. 

Great example, this weekend I left a gap wedge on a green.  Passing the Ranger, I asked if he could see if the group or two behind us found the lost club.  "Not his job"  The cart girl found the club and returned it to me almost immediately. Well worth the $20 tip.

Edited by Three Putts or No Putt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Three Putts or No Putt said:

Nothing is more frustrating than spending $70 plus for a round of golf to feel like a second class customer by the rangers, starters, pro shop staff, etc..  However, the cart girls, halfway house staff, and bar staff are typically on point with cheerful and helpful demeanors. 

How often do the rangers get tips vs the others listed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Talldog said:

How often do the rangers get tips vs the others listed?

How often do rangers do anything to earn a tip? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tigers success drove the mass marketing of the business of golf, and that has declined. But I think the game in general is still much more popular today in comparison to any past periods.  

I think the business of golf needs to adapt to a fundamental reality that it is a very difficult game and most people don't want to spend 4-5 hours of their day on a golf course. Especially the millennial generation who will become the games primary consumer in the next 10-15 years. Ive seen some courses be successful with three hole loops and shorter experiences like that. That kind of reorganization probably needs to become more of a trend. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LightsOut said:

Golf is in decline.  I say the answer is in marketing (I'm a marketing consultant).  What do your local courses do to encourage participation?  Do they ever reach out to the community?  Host events?  Offer incentives to first timers to come to a free clinic?  Do the courses we play at recognize and appreciate our patronage?  Have you ever received so much as a "thank you" card or birthday greeting with an offer for a discounted or even free round?  How about programs to encourage you to bring others to the game?

Golf courses are small businesses.  And like most small businesses that see their sales falling off, they do nothing proactive or, God forbid, aggressive to change the situation.  They blame the market and the "kids these days".  I say nonsense.  Get the message out.  Educate the public about the virtues of golf.  Kill the "fuddy duddy" image.  Get off your butts (course owners) and DO something.

If you need help, let me know...

Oh, and another thing:  what kind of "customer service" do you receive at the courses you play?  I rank my experiences between Indifferent and Appalling.  No greeting by the cart attendants, curt pro shop staff, a bombardment of signs telling me what I can't do, surly starters, ill-tempered rangers...  I constantly ask myself, "I paid (insert fee here) for this?"

Just recently, I was playing by myself and was accosted by a ranger telling me to "pick up the pace", then demanded to see my receipt as if I just stole the cart and tried playing for free.  There was no one in front of or behind me, and I play there frequently.  Not once have I been greeted with "Good to see you again!" or anything like it. 

My home course is not like you described. From management on down, they treat their customers graciously. Then again they are a small town course, with lots of retirees who golf. 

That said, with all the different courses I play, I do see these pompous, arrogant attitudes, on alot of courses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • TST Affiliates

    SuperSpeed
    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo
  • Posts

    • Without finishing the thread - all my money is on both of the Women.  All day long every day.  I am now finishing the thread.   GREAT Thread by the way!! @Bump-n-MI
    • Thats good to know, hopefully they'll allow me to do the same. My "refitting" is tomorrow. The one thing i didnt like last time is we focused on overall yardage and roll out quite a bit. I think im going to ask if we can just focus on carry this time, i just want to be confident in my carry yardage...hoping for consistent 250 yd carry. Roll out i dont care as much anymore. I don't know, they're the experts.
    • I am taking a lesson tonight, scheduled it with the Teaching Pro at the Club my wife and i joined in June.  This lesson is going out on the course to work on course management.  i wanted to take this lesson to get my head screwed on straight while golfing and to see if i click correctly with this young man before taking more lessons. Let me back up for a second, let me get myself and anyone on here who may care caught up - no negative intended with that statement, ok. I am 57 1/2 years old.  Yump as you age the half years start to come back as in when you were 7 1/2 years old.  I have been playing golf for 50 years.  Let that sink in for a moment.  This is my 50th year of golf.  I still have the very first 7 iron and putter that my dad taught me to golf with.  In fact i have only owned 4 Putters my entire 50 years of golf and i still have all 4 Putters. My dad was the very best Golf Instructor i have ever been around - flat out.  For some reason our entire life i never doubted him and always knew when it came to Golf, he was The Man.  Many people that knew him would agree with this.  i no longer have him to talk to, that's the hard part of life.   In my 50 years of golf i have been a 7 year old just learning, to a nervous wreck in 7th Grade playing Varsity Golf (lot of older kids were ticked off that i beat them out) to taking the game way to serious in attempting to get to Scratch to well where i am today.  i have played under Par, would get upset for not breaking 80 - i just got out of control with the quest to scratch in my 20s.  I hated the game then.  So i quit for a couple years, not 100% i would play a couple times a year and just go thru a course and shot an 85.  This tore my dad apart, i regret that period of time and wish i was more mature then and handled it correctly.  i really miss not playing golf with my Dad when i could try and stay with him.  Those round were fun. Fast forward to 2017; my index got into the 7s i leveled out at 8.2/8.4 - i was happy with that.  Golf was easy in 2017, see ball hit ball watch ball go the majority of the time where it was intended to go.  Not always or i would have had a lower index - but still, it was simple. 2018 i am excitted to play, continue dropping my index hoping to get to a 1.4 to play once in a US Open Regional, it was a goal.  i played 3 times in South Carolina in the early spring and came home and promptly fractured my heal. i was done golfing until the Fall.  i got 2 rounds in that Fall and played really solid, good golf.  i was happy and excited for 2019 that the skill had not eroded from the long injury.  Total 5 rounds for 2018. 2019 i am really excitted to play golf.  Head out to South Carolina and get 4 rounds in, some early rough moments some really awesome moments.  i get back home and my right knee gets infected, septic bursitis.  i was devastated.  No golf until it healed and it wouldn't heal.  Lost the entire summer and played 2 rounds in the Fall, even though i probably should not have.  Somehow i scored very well, like i should not have scored like i did.  Something was off with my Driver but the course i was playing was very forgiving for wayward Drives. 6 total rounds in 2019. 2020 rolls around - our company is blowing the doors off of sales, i am chomping at the bit to golf.  i played 1 round in South Carolina around February.  i did not break 100, i had 43 putts.  i had forgotten my Driver at home and hit my 5 wood until i borrowed my friends Driver.  i missed so many 2' and 3' putts it was ridiculous.  Yet, i was still and 8.4 index.  i was a good Golfer that had a little early rust in the game or so i thought and conned myself. i am conning myself.  i no longer can putt, i am averaging 40 putts per round.  i am mortified at a 2' putt.  i miss 80+% of 2 & 3' Putts, that is not an exaggeration.  When 18 rolls around and if my putt is 2 feet away everyone tells me to pick it up that i have had enough.  i get the mercy rule putting, it is heartbreaking. i bought alignment sticks, they have really helped but still i wonder how to line up over a golf ball and aim. i have never been that person that runs out and buys new gear to fix my game, yet i bought a Driver, a 5 Wood, a 2 Utility Iron, and now all new irons.  i went nuts over PXG.  By the way, these are amazing clubs and without a doubt Trackman showed issues in head to head comparisons with my old clubs - more on that later. The PXG Driver: i have NEVER fit so many fairways in 1 round in my entire career as i have with this Driver. 12 of 13 Fairways and no crap distance lying of averaging 270.  My swing speed at multiple check points is running a solid 108 this year.  Yet hitting all those fairways, actually did it in 2 rounds resulted in an 86 with 4 water balls and a 95 with 40 putts. I have never been happier playing golf as i was this season, i am playing golf.  My right shoulder is hurt but still i am playing golf.   Yet, i am not even close to being the 13.4 index i have currently.  It is more like a 22.  I am not the 8.4 i thought i was.  i am a 22.  i have only broken 95 once this season.   So - i need a plan.  i am at a loss.  i don't know what to do.  i am not even good enough to play against a hacker, i would get my clocked cleaned.  At the our new Country Club, they are all so nice.  Lot's of guys invite me to golf with them and ask me play again with their group.  Really nice people, they have seen the couple scores i posted from 2019 and they wondering what is real and what isn't.  i know what is.  i am a train wreck on the course. So, that's my get it off the chest, full-fledged Golf Confession.   To really put a dagger in my pride, i haven't had 1 Birdie yet this season.  Not one!  i  usually would get a least 1 to 2 per 18 holes.  Not even close to getting one as well. Even though i am averaging 40 putts per round i am not getting a new Putter.  i found an issue, i had gone to a very strong grip with the putter.  Yesterday i "clapped" the putter and as my practice session went on i got more and more comfortable putting.  More on line, better lag putting, forearms tension free.  I finished the session by sinking a bunch of 2' & 3' putts.  i wouldn't leave until i had a strong continuous sequence of watching the ball fall into the cup. i really like this game, i wish my Dad was here to fix my issues
    • My PCP told my wife to stop looking at the internet for medical info a few years back. Smart advice.
    • Day 131 - played 18 today with a friend at his course. Drove the ball better but still had a few misses. Chipped two in and pitted well. Pulled a few iron shots.
  • TST Blog Entries

  • Blog Entries

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Bob Bowers
      Bob Bowers
      (60 years old)
    2. Connor B
      Connor B
      (19 years old)
    3. GOLFNINJA
      GOLFNINJA
      (44 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...