My Golf Spy

My Golf Spy
My Golf Spy Forums

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Golf's Biggest Problem (Please Read)

This is a discussion going at My Golf Spy's Forums, and it really effects us all. Please take a moment to read, post a response, give an idea, as something will have to be done to see golf continue.

The scariest number for the golf business has nothing to do with how many days Tiger Woods will miss from the bulging disk in his neck or exactly how many mistresses he may or may not have taken up with.

It's this: According to the National Golf Foundation
's most recent participation report, the number of golfers age 6-17 dropped 24 percent to 2.9 million from 3.8 million between 2005 and 2008.

Posted by SirMattikis:

I'm not in this stat anymore since i just turned 18 but, as far as my community goes, golf is a pretty common hobby among high school kids, but that's probably due to how small my town is. Small town kids (in Ohio) are playing golf more than ever ,but i would not be able to comment on inner city kids.


Posted By Jamo:

Posted Yesterday, 06:32 PM
I just made a lengthy post sort of about this on another forum, but here goes something a little different: I think there are 2 problems with kids golfing (being a minor myself): 1) the divide between those who are really good and can afford nice clubs and lessons and memberships and those who can't is huge. There are a lot of kids who devote their lives to it, and there are a lot of kids who just play every no and then with their father, but the middle ground is shrinking very quickly. At the tournaments that I play (especially the MA state championship) are just so many really really good kids, a lot of kids think that if they can't be that (and get that college scholarship that will satisfy their parents), what's the point? There seems to be no middle ground.

The other problem I see is social. I'll admit it, I'm no social butterfly, but playing golf definitely doesn't help that. In fact, I rarely wear my golf team sweatshirt because I wonder how people will think of it. I know that is a little bit of my inner superficial-ness coming through, but golf is on a much lower level than football, or cross country, or soccer (golf is a fall sport in my HS), and my school is really good at golf. I can't imagine what it is like in schools that suck at it. I wouldn't say it is looked down on, but no one like being "the kid who is good at golf", they want to be "the fastest kid the state" or the star quarterback.

Also, FWIW, I love this topic. if anyone has any questions, fire away. I have played in most every sort of golf competition at the high school level, so I know a thing or two.


Posted By Me:

Posted Today, 09:47 AM
Here is my take:

The PGA needs to promote more, golf being a social game, a bonding experience between Father and Son, or Grandson, or Mom. The First Tee is great program, but we need something more. We need courses that are membership based, to have a Father/Mother and Son/Daughter day maybe once every week or every other week. Let's get those kids playing, and what better way to get them playing, than by us, the people who current play and love golf.

How about something along the lines of the NFL's "Play 60", a great way the NFL is trying to get kids more active. Golf needs this, a good marketing idea that actually has some heart behind it.

Golf Stores need to have Junior days, demos for Juniors, free 10 minute lessons, something to get kids into the game. High School Golf Teachers, you need to encourage your team to start a golf club in your school, where the team members help introduce the lessor players or the interested friends, into getting involved.

I will give it some more thought, there has to be 100s of ideas to get this number up, since, the children really are the future.


Posted by: Andrew Bush

I have golfed since I was 5 years old, 25 now, and in my neck of the woods we had a tri state circuit tournament where we would play in ohio west virginia and kentucky and then a a tri county where we played in 3 different counties. So I would play about 15 tournies in the summer and when High school golf came along about 30.

What I am trying to say here is, it is now the kids nor parents faults at not getting the numbers up but the chance of getting to play a round of golf in tournament conditions.

The 2 gentlemen that ran these 2 programs were all invested in it to promote the game with different flights and reasonable pricing to be able to play. We need more of these PROMOTERS of sorts to be around to get the game back to the youth and away from the tether of game consoles. They would post our tee times in local news papers etc andmake a big deal about. Also we were able to play some courses that were private or pricey for the same as the cow pasture down the road which was inticing to a 12 year old, name in papers and the allure of the ritzy country club.

That gets to my next point I will tell people who will make rude comments about a youth playing around making noise on the golf course etc by saying if the generations behind us do not play now and learn how will the golf courses be open in 20 years when we are old?
Start them now or they wont play later.

On to Jamo point about the social aspect, nice equipment money to play etc is a problem that everyone cant get around golf is pricey and is a social thign to, when u pull up into a golf course people looking see what ur driving there what shirt ur wearing and what clubs ur gaming it is a big high school where old men talk like 15 year old girls about each other

But as with any sport there is good and bad but the main thing is the chance of playing there needs to be more done with youth golf, aside from the first tee, we as a golf culture have to promote it to the youngsters.

This is what i use to do was give out my old nikes and say this is what tiger plays and watch the little kids face get red after they would see what i was giving them, a golf ball with a swoosh on it now i save the callaways and say phil since the tiger thing.



Posted by: Sprinklerhead

I agree that this is going to be a problem with the game in the near future..The best idea is if you're a father, get your kids out to the range and let them hit balls and have fun. Just show them the basics, teach etiquette and leave them be.
I'm thankful that my father (who worked long hours during the week) took the time to take my brothers and myself to the range as little kids. We loved the family time and developed games between us that made us better. By the time we got to the course we were familiar with how to hit and how to act, the last 40 years I've spent learning how to play :rolleyes:
I only have one child and he's more of an X-games kid and none of his friends played, so he didn't take to it. Maybe later on he will, but I got him out to the range a number of times, so at least he knows what to do if he ever gets curious again..But that's the other part of the equation..Golf is expensive and has gotten much more expensive. We started on a short 18 (just under 6000 yards) that we played for a little over $120 for a season membership. That sort of thing no longer exists (accounting for inflation, it might be $300 or $350 now). It was cheap, it was simple and it was a safe place to drop us off for the day once we knew how to act properly and the parents didn't have to worry. I wonder if that still exists. I know it's given my brothers and I some of the best memories of our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment