Is Golf In Trouble?
By mustang6560 on 1/31/12
Last week at the PGA Merchandise Show, Jack Nicklaus helped the PGA of American promote its new Golf 2.0 initiative. The goal of Golf 2.0 is to grow the game and the PGA of America is hoping to get everyone in the industry involved.

But, during his speech at the symposium, Jack admitted that only one out of his 22 grandchildren plays golf "more than a little bit". And that comment led Geoff Russell of Golf World to ask:
If Jack Nicklaus can't get his grandkids to play golf, what hope do the rest of us have?"
It's a very interesting question indeed. Jack is regarded by most as the best player to ever grace the fairways and he left his mark on the game in numerous ways, including his record 18 major titles. And if the interest level in golf is *that* low in his family, what's the interest level in golf like for a *normal* family?

I don't think you can equate the healthy of an entire industry to one person or one person's family, even if it's the Golden Bear family. But, it sure does provide some perspective to the golf industry about the kind of fight its up against.

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photo by Ed (supergolfdude)

[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
Young kids playing only a little bit is not a sign of the end of times for golf. I was a similar kid, engaged in all sorts of sports and activities. As long as a kid has clubs and plays a few times a year, that is enough to plant the seed. Once one is out of college, many of those kids that played a little growing up will come back to the game.

The real danger comes from kids spending all their time at malls, texting, tweeting and playing "Call of Duty". If we ever end up with a "couch potato" generation we will all be in trouble.
joe jones says:
Where to begin.........

Golf is too expensive with the economy in the dumps. People don,t have discretionary funds available.

Slow play. Six hour rounds are becoming the norm. Weekend golfers emulate the pro's by wasting time . Learn how to play ready golf

Junior golf. Owners of golf courses should make unused tee times available to juniors on free or at least bargain fees. They are the future of golf. Start leagues where senior players can pair with juniors to share the knowledge they have.

Womans golf. Get more beginners involved by making the courses less intimidating. Play from shorter tees so they can enjoy themselves an help them learn the skills needed to move to longer tees.More experienced women should try to involve the young people in the family to participate.

Develope a program where good used equipment is available to beginners at either a no fee or low cost rate. If they find they really don't want to continue they won't have a big investment.
mjaber says:
If my grandfather was Jack Nicklaus, I probably wouldn't play golf either. I might try it for a while, but the endless "I'm playing with Jack Nicklaus grandson/granddaughter", "Are you as good as you're grampa", "Can you arrange for me to meet him?" would turn me off. I'd imagine it's similar for alot of kids of famous athlete parents/grandparents.
legitimatebeef says:
Not for nothing, I think tennis is way worse shape. I am only basing this on the state of the pro game-- the US is a joke in the world of pro tennis. I think 2003 was the last time an American player besides the Williams got a sniff of a Grand Slam title. I hate to be negative but I think it's over for US tennis.

Nicklaus was awesome at winning titles but he has some strange ideas about how people should play golf. He thinks the game should modify to a 12 hole format because people lack the time and patience for 18, and that the cup should be made bigger so people can make more putts and therefore like golf better. So who cares what he says, he's out of touch now.
legitimatebeef says:
Based as I am in New York City, capital of the world, based on what I've seen around here, I can tell you all what's coming. Remember you heard it here first. The Chinese have gotten wind of this golf thing, and they are coming. You think the Koreans have established a stronghold in the golf world over the last decade? Well guess what, S. Korea is a small nation of about 50 mil.

Over the last couple of years I've personally observed growing numbers of Chinese on the golf course (Koreans too, but a whole nother story). We all know how appealing this golf is. Well guess what, a nation of a billion plus is now being introduced to this great game, it is spreading like bacteria. I predict in fifty years or so, the golf population will have doubled at least. It won't be lily white any more, but it will be huge, trust me.
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