Arnold Palmer: State of the Game
By mustang6560 on 12/17/12
Despite a litany of challenges, the future of golf, as seen through the eyes of one of the game's true greats, looks bright. Arnold Palmer wrote as much in a "State of the Game" letter published on
As we look back on 2012 and into the future, however, I see an increasingly vibrant and healthy game emerging from those examinations. It doesn't take a scratch player to be moved by Bubba Watson's personal story, his daring style and gutsy Masters win. The rest of the major champion class of 2012 – Webb Simpson, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy – underscore the global reach of our game and the lasting appeal to both young and old.

At the amateur/club level the game is stabilizing as well. According to the National Golf Foundation's latest available figures, 25.7 million Americans played at least one round of golf in 2011. Of course, in these tough economic times players are leaving the game. For instance, we lost 1.5 million golfers from 2008 to 2009 and one million between 2009 and 2010, but that reduced exit rate is encouraging. The slowing outflow, followed by an influx, is precisely how the game has responded to previous recessions. One underlying sign of golf's strength: Even with the ebb in golfers, rounds played in 2012 are up 7.4 percent over 2011, the biggest one-year increase since the turn of the century.
What did you think of The King's "State of the Game" letter?

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
I did my bit and played as often as I could in 2012!
dottomm says:
I've done my part so far as by not leaving the game despite the season I had/am having.
legitimatebeef says:
I think the game is doing great, but in Asia. Here not so much. Speaking from my limited view here in New York, the game is sagging. Management at city courses has devolved to a bare-minimum policy and the quality of experience has been on the decline for the last couple of seasons now. Etiquette and ability of typical players that I see also seem to be declining. Taking a broader view of the American golf scene, what are the big stories lately? A big belly putter rule flap. Slow play flaps at all levels, top to bottom. Annoying disruptive fan flaps at pro events. Golf's most popular player of the previous decade is now the game's most divisive and loathed figure. The game will eternally have its strong core following, people like myself who are hooked on the game's core values and generally unmoved by trends and what not. But as a popular thing I don't think golf is doing particularly well. Arnie is just trying his best to promote a positive outlook, what else would he do?
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