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Used2PlayALot

Has golf gotten more or less popular in the last 10 years?

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After a 10 year hiatus from golf , I booked a few times this week at the local municipal, and I have no problem getting tee-times.

Back in 1993-1996, these places used to be mob scenes.

Has golf gotten more or less popular in the last 10 years?

Anyone here been in the game for 10 to 20 years?    Mid 1990s to today...

What sort of trends have you seen over this time?

I know Tiger Woods had some effect on golf's popularity back in the 1990s.   But, since then, his "impact" has waned.

Also, has the 2008-2012 recession has much impact?

In some areas, private clubs have lost members or been hurting for members, and they dropped initiation fees and dues.

People with no job might not want to drop $30 on golf.   Then again, people with no job have TIME to play golf finally!

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/nyregion/21golf.html I'm new to golf, so I don't know how it was, but this article says it was dropping in popularity by 2008. Don't know if it picked back up since then.

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I would imagine the economy has had more of an impact on golf. $50 rounds aren't cheap for the majority of folks out there, many of which are just happy to have a job.

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Originally Posted by Used2PlayALot

After a 10 year hiatus from golf, I booked a few times this week at the local municipal, and I have no problem getting tee-times.

Back in 1993-1996, these places used to be mob scenes.

Has golf gotten more or less popular in the last 10 years?

Anyone here been in the game for 10 to 20 years?    Mid 1990s to today...

What sort of trends have you seen over this time?

I know Tiger Woods had some effect on golf's popularity back in the 1990s.   But, since then, his "impact" has waned.

Also, has the 2008-2012 recession has much impact?

In some areas, private clubs have lost members or been hurting for members, and they dropped initiation fees and dues.

People with no job might not want to drop $30 on golf.   Then again, people with no job have TIME to play golf finally!

He's not in my demographic since I was a relative veteran by the time Tiger burst on the scene, but I'd say overall his impact on players taking up the sport might have been a slight blip on radar. There were too many courses built in the real estate boom of the early 2000s and it was unsustainable. Even if the economy hadn't corrected itself in 2008, there'd be courses closing all over. It's seen as an overpriced time sucker in the current (iphone) era. It used to be seen as just over priced.

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Yea, forget bubble areas, but for example in Suburban NYC, the number of public courses have stayed constant over the last 20 years.

Actually, I know of ONE new course.   So, any vacancy is more from the demand side than from the supply side.

Interesting article about family dynamics and men schlepping kids to soccer instead of playing golf with friends.

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There are far more players today than in the 90's, but there are also double the amount of golf courses, splitting up the player base far more than it was up to the mid 90's.

Your a fool if you refute Tigers effect on the game, and yes, he still has that effect today. Kids who would barely even ever seen a golf club otherwise, end up playing the game because they know who Tiger Woods is. And yes, it is still happening today, in droves.

In my area, with a very small population to begin with (less than 100000 people in a 150 mile stretch), has triple the amount of members at all 4 clubs in the area than they had in 90's. But that is because there were not 4 more golf clubs created to split the playerbase the way it has been from '99-08, till the economy bursts, and clubs started losing members in droves, because people were losing jobs, and having hours of work, as well as salary cut back. Its just the way the world works. The economy hurt the sport, but it has hurt every sport. We are not the only sporting communities seeing membership drop. People can't afford to golf when they are making 1/2 what they used to, and struggl;ing to stay above the bankruptcy line.

Many of us here on TST, in general, are lucky individuals, with more disposable income than 80% or North America. I know I was very lucky to be born into a family where money should never be a problem, very lucky. Sure, it can't buy happieness. But it buys food, and a home, as well golf memberships.

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The Muni where I live has doubled its business in the last two years.  In contrast, the country club here has seen a decline in memberships.  My wife and I have a "social" membership which allows us to play 3 times a year plus in any club events.  Since the course is rarely used they are fairly flexible on people playing.  One of the reasons my wife and I joined was because of the waived initation fee, reduced rates, and some other perks (they offered unlimited free golf in the month of April to members).  The only reason we did not get a golf membership is that we could not justify what amounted to a new car payment for something I play only once to twice a week if that (my wife plays even less).  Plus, the price for a round of golf at the Muni is considerably cheaper ($32 w/ cart vs. $60).

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With my group of friends, it's gotten more popular with us.  I'm 32, and ten years ago only one of us regularly golfed. Now five of my buddies from back then do.   We usually try to go to the cheaper places to play due to the economy, but we still go.

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I think the popularity of golf has gone down tremendously. The two factors I account for this is 1.) the economy and 2.) it is viewed by the younger generation as an "old man sport". A lot of people just cannot afford to play golf every weekend in tougher times. Golf is by no means a cheap game. As for the second point, from the point of view of a college student, there are only a few of my friends that play golf consistently through the year. They don't like to play because it takes more skill than throw a ball in a hoop or kicking a ball into a goal. It is also too slowed paced for the ADD generation. Combine this with the older generation that used to play getting older, there is just a complete lack of faithful golfers.

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While the economy has had an effect I think golf has maintained it's popularity and with the young players coming through .....Rory,Ricky Fowler and others.... kids still see golf as an option.Not everyone has the skills to play Football or soccer and team numbers are limited anyway.At one of the courses I play I have noticed schoolkids playing as a school sport instead of the aforementioned ..the teachers with them getting paid to play ..dream job.But the point is out of say twenty kids , two or three will get the bug and continue to play beyond school sport plus a lot of younger players....20's , 30's.... after their bodies and skills can't handle Football or soccer anymore.. are still athletic enough for golf so I don't think golf is in decline .

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I certainly believe it got more popular. There are more golf courses around, more people talk about golf, it is going to make a Olympics comeback, the field, I would imagine, got more competitive internationally, more international events have some prestige now...

I guess it depends at what level you are talking about. If each of you is talking about your local level, I guess you might be the experts on that. Worldwide, however, not that I am an expert but I would hazard a guess that it is more popular.

And the economy has been tanking for four years now... I think that today compared to 2002, golf got more popular.

I feel like 2002 was yesterday... am I getting old?

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While I think the OP was talking local you only have to look at Asia to see that golf has exploded over there.New golf courses being built virtually every week in China , Asian women dominating ?the LPGA and if you look at the leaderboards on Golf.com you will see flags of countries that 10 years ago would not know what a golf ball looked like.So in the long run I think golf on the up.

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I'm sure golf has increased dramatically in popularity as well as the amount of people that play.  With the 1st tee becoming more popular to kids and with the whole Tiger scandal making headlines, it has put golf in more people's minds I think.  The recession had an effect on private courses, though, as to my experience.  A lot of private courses in my area has turned semi-private (meaning memberships, both full and partial, and public play).  I'm not sure if that is true elsewhere though.

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I'm not sure you can rate popularity when the economy seems to be a large factor.  It's an expensive sport to play, even if you don't factor in equipment, so to a large extent, popularity seems to wax and wane with the economy.

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golfnow has made such a difference - I play so much more than I would if I had to pay normal prices.    I regularly play $45-55 golf courses for $14 mid day on weekends.     Bottom feeder golf - I LOVE IT !!!!!

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At the local course I play at I am in the minority being 34. Most members are in their late 60's and on with a decent amount in their late teens/early 20's. Most people my age are too busy chasing the dollar to have time to play golf. I lucked into a dream job which only requires 6 months of my time a year and the other 6 I get to fish and play golf to my hearts content and the best part, it pays more than enough that I can afford to play and fish those 6 months off.

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