Just a decade ago, it looked like the golf industry had hit a hole-in-one. Interest in the game was surging, and consumers snapped up equipment and booked tee times.Recession and bad winters? CBS doesn't offer too many deep insights into why the interest in golf has weakened. Sure I think high prices for tee times and equipment could have something to do with it. The fall of Tiger Woods from super-stardom might be a factor, which they don't even mention.
These days, though, the sport is caught in the rough.
Golf is losing more players than it's gaining, as 4.1 million people left the sport in 2013, outpacing the 3.7 million who picked it up last year. With an overall decline in the number of players, that's causing a ripple effect in the golfing world: Sales of clubs and other equipment are plunging, while some courses are pulling up their tees and calling it a day.
"The main issues that cause people to leave the game and not to try the game are the same. They boil down to time, cost and difficulty," said Steve Mona, the chief executive of the World Golf Foundation.
Golf reached what Mona calls its "high water mark" in 2005, when the sport had 30 million participants playing 550 million rounds of golf. Last year, that had shrunk to 25 million participants and 465 million rounds.
The recession had an impact, as well as tough winter and spring weather the past two years, Mona noted. But the industry is also aware that it needs to overcome some perception issues about the sport's expense, the length of a game and the time it takes to master golf, he added...
Or maybe golf was a long-lasting fad whose time has passed. [HT to K :-)]