Fewer Golfers Hitting the Links

March 02, 2008 12:07 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Golf's popularity is declining in America, as the sport succumbs to the pressure on today's office workers and a flood of new courses.

30-Second Summary

The New York Times reports that golf is declining in popularity in the United States, with the total number of players falling from 30 million in 2000 to about 26 million today.
Surveys conducted by the National Golf Foundation blame economics, finding that more American are working two jobs and can’t afford the time or money golf requires.

The downturn isn’t confined to the United States. In 2005, a Canadian organization called Play Golf tried to stimulate the sport’s stagnant growth in that country by increasing its promotional efforts.

The Irish Independent reports that some U.S. golf clubs are trying to attract new patrons by offering free lessons, building spas and swimming pools for women and children, and improving driving range technology.

However, luring busy Wall Street executives and weekend warriors has proven difficult.

The blog Outside the Beltway concedes that for many modern workaholics, the hours required to change into golf clothes, drive to a course, hit a few practice shots and play 18 holes are difficult to carve out of a day or weekend.

Dismayed by the closing of their favorite clubs, some golfers in Pennsylvania have resorted to buying them back.

However, Canadian blogger Darren Barefoot cheers golf’s waning relevancy, writing that “golf clubs remain some of the most classist, sexist and racist institutions on the continent. More importantly, golf courses are vast swaths of monoculture grass and huge consumers of fresh water.”

Headline Links: Golf loses its edge

Background: Are Blackberries and treadmills emptying the fairway?

Reaction: Aching for the past

Opinion: Golf’s decline meets with approval and dismay

Reference: U.S. golf facilities closing in record numbers


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