Golf In Decline In America
It is ironical that as golf develops in the other nations across the world, it is deductively declining in the US. Many sports and games such as cycling, basketball, rugby, soccer, hockey, and boxing have taken the toll in the US.
In many games, we are used to finding young and enthusiastic players who succeed the older players as they intend to quit playing. These players even shine more than the previous ones. But, on the other hand, in golfing, it has been a trend in the opposite direction where the famous players are retiring without anyone to succeed them. Apparently, many people are wondering, why is the Game of Golf in decline in America?
What are the Recent Golf Statistics?
For quite some time now, America has not witnessed young famous Americans golfer. According to National Golf Foundation, during the year 2003, there were over 30 million golfers in America including the famous golfers such as Tiger Woods. However, after then, it started becoming difficult to get new generations into the game based on their interest.
New Golf Equipment Popular but Expensive
It was noted that, golf equipment sales have gone down at a relatively high rate from year 2006 onwards. An example of this is the Taylor-Made Addidas Golf, which is the world’s biggest producer of golf clothes, clubs, and other equipments.
This company has recorded over 25% decline in sales for the last 3 years. As a result of this decline in golf, many companies producing golfing equipment were closed and over 150 golf facilities abandoned by 2013. Currently, the number of golfers ranges at 20 million people and has fallen with over 10 million people since 2003.
If you want to play the game the equipment you play golf with with will be important; things like your golf bag, golf clubs, apparel like shoes and of course training equipment like golf practice nets will play into the budget. Of course in recent years online reviews have lowered the price for these things but the prices on retail stores is still quite high that puts the average golfer away from the game.
Reasons for Golf Decline
Less active golfers and less interested-in-golf generation is here with us. The question is, what has rendered golf in such a decline? Here are some reasons why golf has declined in interest among the present generation in America;
a) Poorly Organized and Ineffective Programs for the Golf Beginners and Women
In the golf history, we have seen a generation with spectacular and perfect golf skills and knowledge for the game. We have seen the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson do well and succeed in many golf competitions. However, in the last few years, no any young popular figure has been heard of in America. Similarly, no any famous woman golfer has been heard of in America. It is prudent to attribute this occurrence to the bodies and departments which are responsible for developing the golf programs. Poor organized programs will make the beginners to lose the morale and interest they had in golf. They will direct their attention to other activities, especially those that they can be able to do by themselves such as skating or cycling.
On the other hand, women have never had a lot of interest in golfing. This is not because they can’t be good golfers. But it is due to lack of any golf programs designed specifically for women. This has reduced their interest and performance yet some have major talents in playing golf.
b) Golf seems currently Outdated as a Means for Business Advertisement
Before the recession, American golf was famous across the world. With players like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, many people became golf fans in order to watch them play live or on the TV. In turn, many companies such as; the Fly Emirates and Samsung, opted to advertise their businesses by sponsoring these players. However, when these players began to lose popularity especially when they started to lose in several competitions, many companies began withdrawing sponsorship. Currently, there are no famous companies who are willing to support American golfers due to the current golf trend. This, additionally, increases the decline rate of golf.
c) Golf is Elitist and Quite Expensive
From the past, many people feel that golf is associated with rich people. At the same time, many dealers of golf equipment such as golf clubs, golf balls, bags, and clothes have set these equipments at a relatively high price. This discourages many people from the start. For the beginners, they don’t even have the money to purchase them. Thus, they have been separated from golf. As the older generation nears their end of participating in golf, there is no replacement for them. Furthermore, club registration charges and driver fees are quite expensive for a beginner or a golfer without any sponsorship. A US Today Columnist, Christine Brennan, warned that, many people may continue with their feeling about golf that it is associated with elites and rich people.
d) Golf in not a Game for Kid’s Interest
The game does not involve the physicality with many games that the kids find interest in. For example, in hiking, cycling, swimming, rugby, or soccer, many youths usually enjoy the physicality of the game. For golf, it does not involve much physical activities. This makes it suitable for adults only. Many people usually start practicing golf at old age.
e) Many People think that the Golfers belong to Certain Families
Despite the fact that golfing is a talent, many people are attributing it to family relations. Usually, you will find the relatives of the famous golfers finding it easy to find sponsorship in the game. The famous golfers also mentor their relatives into golf.
f) Nobody Really Cares
When we find NBA, US Women Soccer, or Rugby declining, sports departments, mass media, social media, and even leaders take all measures to solve it. But in golf, nobody is caring about it. Despite countries such as Northern Ireland taking dominating the golfing competitions with players like Rory Mcllroy ahead of American golfers, nobody is yet concerned. Not even the sports media. Thus, golf has been constantly declining because of this reason too.
However, despite the recent retrogressive trend, it is not yet over for golf in America. Golf legends such as Tiger Woods are on toes to make sure that this game has a future. Together with the National Golf Foundation, they have designed programs in order to aim at reviving the quality of golf that dominated in the golf clubs in the past years.
Green Golf Partners which was established in 2011 was put in place to manage golf in the country. It is up to now managing over 15 courses and it is raising revenue of over $20million per year. Therefore, despite the recently past years of golf frustration, we can now anticipate for a bright future with a better golf performance.