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Golf's Big Problem
By kickntrue on 5/18/10
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a great article by Matthew Futterman on the biggest problem facing golf; the lack of participation by kids. If you're limited on time- scroll to the bottom and click through to the article. It's a must read!
According to the National Golf Foundation's most recent participation report, the number of golfers age 6-17 dropped 24% to 2.9 million from 3.8 million between 2005 and 2008.

Here's a reason: Want to make an eight-year-old cry? Tee up a ball for him on a 450-yard hole with a green surrounded by bunkers and tell him to hole out before the group waiting to tee off starts complaining to the course superintendent. All the testosterone-induced courses constructed over the past decade just make it worse.

...

Golf has to accept that today's parents don't have the patience to traverse the local muni with their kids for six hours and get yelled at for slow play, said Joshua Jacobs, chief executive of Total Golf Adventures, which runs after-school programs in 2,200 schools.

"The future of golf not only for kids but for families has got to be short-course facilities, like the nine-hole executive course that wraps around the range, or the pitch-and- putt next to the larger course," he said. "People aren't spending money on the lessons or on private courses with $75 green fees. You have to make golf affordable and accessible and I'm not sure the game is equipped for that yet."
I pretty much agree with the whole article including the fact that this is a serious problem facing golf in 10-15 years. There is a really interesting comparison sport, too- tennis. Basically tennis saw the same thing with their sport but made a couple very small decisions that has made it a growing sport with kids. Instead of saying, "kids play a sport based on the pros playing" they made decisions to make the game easier to learn at a younger age, and it's worked.

This really is an interesting article (and topic to discuss). Click through to the whole thing and feel free to comment on ClubSG in the comments below.

Golf's Big Problem - Wall Street Journal


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[ comments ]
ChappyEight says:
Great article. However, the people that need to be listening, probably aren't.
5/18/10
 
paddyhibernian says:
We have recently added a new set of tees at The Glen. All our juniors and many very elderly people are now able to easily reach the green in 2 or 3 strokes. It doesn't take too much time or money to make the game more accessible for our younger players. Our neighbours at North Berwick have a short course which adults are allowed to play but only if accompanied by a child. That is the way forward and both clubs have produced some excellent young golfers.
5/18/10
 
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