Why I'm Happy That Golf Is Losing Its Popularity
With the golf season in full swing in some parts of the country, it's the perfect time to dive into the state's $84 billion golf industry. Certainly, even the most casual golf fan has felt the excitement emanating from the US Open, where Tiger Woods won his first major tournament since 2009, a victory that transcended sport and became mainstream. May 1 also happens to be the day when hundreds of golf industry leaders will visit Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and celebrate the 50th anniversary of America's first professional golf tournament. The National Golf Foundation recently released its annual research report, which summarizes important data to assess the health and vitality of golf. In the 11 years since Tiger Woods won his 15th major at the Masters at the age of 21, an estimated 24.2 million people have played golf in the US, according to the latest available data. The National Golf Foundation has also released the results of its Golf Participation Survey 2014, which shows that golf participation has increased gradually for the first time in 14 years, with an increase of 1.5 million golfers between 2010 and 2014. While participation remains below the all-time high of 30 million golfers reported by the NGF in 2003, this is welcome news for a sport that many critics say is dying and that remains one of the most popular sports in the United States. According to the NGF, the upward trend comes against a backdrop of a 4.8% decline in 2018 compared to 2017 - a decline attributable to the third and wettest year ever recorded in America. A record - the record number of 1.2 million golfers played in the US in 2017 equals the all-time high of 2016, which was the fourth consecutive year the number has risen. Of the new golfers, 47. 4 million say they are "reasonably or very interested" in trying golf, an increase of 6%, and 31% are women and 26% are non-Caucasian. While people can come to golf at any time, the NGF points to double-digit growth in the number of people of color, more women, and more minorities participating in traditional golf. According to the National Golf Foundation, more new golfers could be on the way, but only 1.5% of the entire golf population. Golf welcomed 2.6 million beginners in 2018, the same number as the previous year, and that number remains at an all-time high. If you add those who watched, played, read or read golf in the past year, and the number of golfers in their 20s and 30s, that number rises to 3.5 million, a figure that, according to the National Golf Foundation, is still at an all-time high. Five leading golfers participated in an industry roundtable to share their thoughts on the evolution of golf and the wealth of benefits for participants of all ages. Traditional participation has stabilized, but there are now almost as many playing the hybrid game, such as driving range golf, as playing the traditional game. How does the synergy between hybrid sports and traditional games affect the general popularity of golf? According to many reports, FootGolf seems to be the entry-level sport that has introduced many young people to golf. The majority of people play football, which makes it a much easier sport to learn than golf, and it has the advantage of making golf the equivalent of skiing. The decline ranges from a decline in the number of golf courses to a rise in the popularity of other sports such as baseball, basketball, football and football. The National Golf Foundation reports that about 499.5 golf courses have closed since 2006. Similarly, England Golf confirms that 4 million Britons played golf in 2015, compared to 2.78 million in 2016. Nearly 30 million golfers were killed in the United States in 2016, compared with 25 million in Europe in 2016, according to the World Golf Federation. The number of golfers aged between 18 and 34 has fallen by 30 per cent in the past 20 years. Millennials are less likely to complete 18 holes than their parents and grandparents. According to the National Golf Foundation, the total population of golfers in the United States (18-34 years old) declined to 24.7 million in 2014. Moreover, they are typically more open - more open-minded than their elders, and thus prone to turning away from the racism, sexism, and snobbery long associated with the country club scene. Golf is affected far beyond its television broadcasts and its core audience is literally extinct, but it is still one of the most popular sports in the world. The number of US players has fallen from an all-time high of 30 million in 2005 to 24.1 million in 2015, the NGF said. While more than 80 percent of the world's golfers (about 1.5 million) still play in the United States, the country has lost nearly 800 places in the last decade, according to the National Golf Foundation. US-built courses, such as the PGA Tour's Augusta National, have receded to a fraction of their original size.