"It all depends on who is elected next Tuesday"
By mustang6560 on 11/1/12
The golf course design industry, like numerous industries, is in a trough. And according to Jack Nicklaus, the fate of the industry rests on the results of next week's presidential election.
"It all depends on who is elected next Tuesday," Nicklaus said Tuesday during the opening of Summit Rock, his new course in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, just west of Austin. "It will take longer if the wrong guy is elected."
Jack, who endorses Mitt Romney for POTUS and will be campaigning for the GOP nominee in Ohio this weekend, is a very successful golf course designer, however, the issues plaguing the design industry are bigger than Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

According to a National Golf Foundation report released in March, 157.5 golf courses (measured in 18-hole equivalents) closed in 2011 and only 19 opened. Part of the problem is certainly tied to the economy, but the bigger issue facing the design industry is golf course growth outpaced golfer growth by 6.5% during the 1990s. The reality is the market needed to correct itself for years and the Great Recession of 2008 was merely a catalyst. So regardless of who wins the presidential election next week, I don't foresee a turnaround in the golf course design industry until demand meets supply.

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Image via Flickr, Ed


[ comments ]
joe jones says:
My opinion of Jack Nicklaus has been diminished by his partisan political stance. I don't think celebrities from any field, be it sports or entertainment should use their celebrity to preach about politics. Regardless of political persuasion.Every one has the right to have their own opinion. It's called the vote. To politicize sport is beneath him. If he preached about one religion over another he would be treated as a religious bigot.The same rules should apply to any other subject.
11/1/12
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
With due respect, Joe, Mr. Nicklaus is not politicizing sports - he is stating a basic fact about our current economic calamity.

Demand for golf has plummeted because government spending and Obamacare's 50-employee "tipping point" have created extreme economic uncertainty. Businesses and non-profit organizations have had to severely shrink to avoid Obamacare's expensive fines and crushing penalties, causing high unemployment.

This is why golf courses everywhere are suffering. Since April of 2008, I have played exactly 21 holes of golf because my personal income has plunged $6,600/year and I cannot even afford a car right now.

Like him or dislike him, Romney's clearly-stated objectives include reducing government spending and creating some economic certainty for the private and non-profit sectors. When Obamacare is repealed and the 50-employee tipping-point goes away, businesses and golf courses can expand and start growing again.
11/2/12
 
DougE says:
I ain't touching this one. Politics and religion? Oh no, no way.
11/2/12
 
srogers13 says:
In a sense, I agree with Torlief on this subject. I don't think Nicklaus is talking politics from a perspective of sport as much as he is talking about politics from a perspective of business. In this particular case, his business is golf. And as much as we enjoy golf as a game, a lot of people make a living from golf as a business.

Jack Nicklaus today makes a living from the business of golf, not the sport of golf. In this sense, he actually has a perspective and the experience that forms a legitimate basis for his opinion, whether you agree with it or not. And as an American, he does have that right to express his opinion, just like any other athlete or celebrity.
11/2/12
 
Matt F says:
Be careful what you wish for...you may just get it.
11/2/12
 
joe jones says:
If you go back 12 years you will see the decline in golf revenues were a trend then. I realize that Nicklaus makes his money from his excellent golf design business but give me a break. How much money does one need to live extremely well. I live on a fixed income and the downturn probably effects me as much as any but Jack was a sponsor of Romney and made a big deal of endorsing him. Now he is trying to lay all of the blame at The Presidents feet. Where was he when the previous administration created much (not all) of the national debt we have. I don,t like anyone in the public eye using their celebrity to push a political agenda. Regardless of party affiliation.
11/2/12
 
Wes11point5 says:
One would think that, with all the excess golf courses, my rounds of golf would not require 5 f-in hours to complete!
11/2/12
 
Matt McGee says:
There are a large number of people in this country who, apparently, cannot discern fact from fiction, and a large number of people who pretend to know something about economics.
11/2/12
 
Kurt the Knife says:
Sadly the average american is incapable of understanding the enormous complexities of prior, current and proposed future economic/social/foreign policies while constantly being bombarded with misinformation, half-truths and lies constantly broadcast by competing self interests. I look forward to when the rapacious political fog machine gets turned down.
At least here on oob I have enjoyed respite from the clouds of political puffering.
11/2/12
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
1000 points for Wes11point5 - Back in 1997, I shared the course with a relative who played slower than a walrus on morphine. :)
11/2/12
 
Banker85 says:
i'm with you doug. Joe i see your point and have to say i agree.
11/2/12
 
Wes11point5 says:
85% of statistics are total BS anyway. Sadly it does not matter who wins next week. The American people will lose.
11/2/12
 
larrynjr says:
@Kurt the Knife, it's not so much that they are incapable of understanding the complexities, it's more that they don't want to know. They want a scape goat and don't want to be bogged down with truth and facts.
11/2/12
 
mmontisano says:
I'm with Joe.
11/2/12
 
Matt F says:
Joe, Kurt and Larry are 100% spot on. Doug, though, makes the most sense.
11/3/12
 
falcon50driver says:
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero - 55 BC
11/3/12
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
1000 points for falcon50driver - I'm saving THAT quote!
11/3/12
 
jwsilvers says:
hey lets get four more out of obama and maybe by the end of it all the government will be paying for our rounds of golf. I dont think its to far fetched at the rate the govt is handing it out right now. "four more yrs four more yrs".
11/3/12
 
Kurt the Knife says:
@larry
I'll buy that.
Fair distinction.
11/5/12
 
joe jones says:
What now Jack?
11/8/12
 
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