It’s no surprise that at his “state of the association” press conference at this week’s PGA Championship, PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka tried to put lipstick on a pig in regards to the growth of the game (a PGA mantra) and player participation. Trying to defend sagging numbers is one of things the PGA does best. And why not? It’s not really accountable to anybody, so when Czar Joe says down is up, nobody dares bat an eye.
“I’m pleased to say that golf is one of the stable industries despite all of this, and since the start of the recession here in the United States, our customer visits that we measure by rounds played are down just 6.3 percent,” Steranka said.
Sounds stable to me.
But there’s more.
“July marked the second consecutive month of rounds played being up year over year. Here in our host State of Georgia, rounds played are up nine percent this year, one of 20 states here in America that have had the year-over-year increases along with 27 states that participation has been down,” Czar Joe said. “But if you look back from 2010 to 2011, a lot has changed. So to say that our overall participation rate, rounds played, are down two percent, which again speaks to a stable industry.”
Well, at least in an industry where down is up.