4/11/2007

Tee Time?

To some executives in the business world, golf plays a major factor when cutting deals and making contracts. It gives business men and women the opportunity to wine and dine their current or future clients. However, I recently read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about how golf may be losing popularity. The article stated that for the first time, more courses closed in the United States last year than were opened. It also stated that approximately 600,000 people in the United States make a living from businesses related to golf in one way or the other. Because of the recent decline, many of "the game's movers and shakers have been doing a lot of soul searching to find ways to get golf growing again." These efforts include free lessons, new products, marketing professionals such as Tiger Woods, and other ways to attract new golfers. Because I am a poor college student, the only way I would play more golf is if the green fees were reduced. However, there are many people who are willing to pay much more than myself. So, what is causing the decline in golf and what will it take to become more popular? As far as I am concerned, it is the cost. I think that even if new golfers are attracted, they may not have a motive to keep with it if the cost continues to rise.

5 comments:

Kim said...

The price issue is definitely a problem for many poorer individuals. However, the larger problem is there are more activities that compete for a person's time. My husband would spend more time at the golf course if he didn't just spend $60 on on a new XBOX game. 10 to 20 years ago, adults didn't get together for Halo tournaments and households didn't own hundrends of DVDs. People are simply choosing other activities instead of golf.

Dr. Tufte said...

Sounds like courses are starting to hit the zero (economic) profits mark.

I think part of it may be that the trendiness of golf is wearing off. In the 70s, everyone played tennis, now it is much rarer. The same may be happening with golf.

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I agree with you and believe that there is a shift from golf to other activities. For example, it now seems that more people are more into the X Games and like the nontraditional sports. I think that there will always be some demand for golf, especially among older men, but the demand may be declining a little due to other attractive activities.

Reagan said...

Dr. Tufte said that the trendiness of golf is wearing off but it might also have something to do with the number of golf courses opened over the last ten years. The last statistic I saw was from the middle of the year in 2006 and it stated that from 1999-2005 there were 300-400 new golf course opening a year. Maybe supply has outpaced demand so the market is correcting itself and courses are closing because they have hit the zero profits mark like Dr. Tufte stated.

Dr. Tufte said...

If Reagan is right, we should see the number of courses stabilize.