It’s no secret that the golf industry in general has taken a plunge in the last few years due to a rough economy. In fact, in some areas it has plunged so far into the toilet that the Tiddy Bowl man has become a regular in some groups on Saturdays. I wish that my golf scores would get as low as some of the rounds being played at most courses or merchandise sales that once moved out the door with the regularity of Philips Magnesia has come to a grinding halt.
Golf courses are advertising special rates for players from sun up to sun down. Some courses are even throwing in breakfast for early-bird specials. How about a hot dog and drink for those afternoon players. Some courses are even offering a free sleeve of balls when you pick up your tee time…..forget the Pro V’s….it’s Pinnacles for you. They’re being generous, not stupid! Golf pundits and icons, like Jack Nicklaus, are saying that the game needs to be fixed. “Playing a round of golf takes too long,” he says. “We’re losing women and juniors in the game. It needs to be made easier.”
Private country clubs are going all out to entice new members. Lower initiation fees, lower monthly dues, no F&B minimums, reducing cart fees. No wonder they are having a hell of a time keeping the doors open. Dress codes are both public and private facilities are being relaxed to accommodate the “younger, more hip” generation player….all the Rickie Fowler want-a-bees. People are giving up the game in big numbers because of several reasons; cost, time and frustration. More golf courses are closing then being built. The stocks of club manufacturers are declining because they aren’t selling as many sticks. Teaching professionals and golf academies are struggling to stay afloat.
All in all, it’s a depressing picture – at least for right now. I need to cheer up! I’m going to take my dogs for a walk down one of the fairways on the golf course I live on. At least they can help reduce their water bill.