Thoughts on why people are walking away from the game...

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  • Mikey5eMikey5e Members Posts: 728 ✭✭


    I think 'people walking away from the game' is a speculation, not necessarily the truth. Around my area you have to set your tee times well in advance to play. This thread is not accurate.
  • ctmason_98ctmason_98 TOTALLY outta the bag... Members Posts: 1,827 ✭✭
    Mikey5e wrote:




    I think 'people walking away from the game' is a speculation, not necessarily the truth. Around my area you have to set your tee times well in advance to play. This thread is not accurate.




    You aren’t serious are you?



    “What I see in my area can be extrapolated to all of society.” That is what you’re saying.



    Have you looked at any of the studies on participation? The reasons posted in the thread may not all be accurate, but you bet your A the title is.



    Now whether avid golfers care or not is a different discussion.
  • ode1ode1 Members Posts: 2,835 ✭✭
    edited Jan 3, 2019 10:28pm #844
    Soloman1 wrote:


    $700 in 1970 is about $4,500 today using the inflation rate since then.



    “The game is deserting all of us.” That is complete nonsense. Courses close because of less demand, making the course financially unviable. The dirt underneath ends up worth more than the maintained grass and other facilities. A changing local demographic has a hand in that.



    More people played golf in the 1970’s in the US than today. Over 4,000 course were built in the bubble from mid 80’s to the end of the bubble, so more courses will close.



    Here’s something else to add: household income has tripled from mid 1970’s but housing and everything else has increased almost sixfold. Now two people have to work to have the same standard of living as their parents with one breadwinner.



    ?? A set of irons $600-$700 in the 70’s? Haha. A new set of Hogan Apex irons was about $225 in 1980. A full bag was under $300 in the 70’s.




    To piggy back on things costing more now (vs. the rate of inflation from 70's), I think folks buy/have more things now (cell phone, game system, technology in general, etc.) vs. 70's.
  • ctmason_98ctmason_98 TOTALLY outta the bag... Members Posts: 1,827 ✭✭
    ode1 wrote:

    Soloman1 wrote:


    $700 in 1970 is about $4,500 today using the inflation rate since then.



    “The game is deserting all of us.” That is complete nonsense. Courses close because of less demand, making the course financially unviable. The dirt underneath ends up worth more than the maintained grass and other facilities. A changing local demographic has a hand in that.



    More people played golf in the 1970’s in the US than today. Over 4,000 course were built in the bubble from mid 80’s to the end of the bubble, so more courses will close.



    Here’s something else to add: household income has tripled from mid 1970’s but housing and everything else has increased almost sixfold. Now two people have to work to have the same standard of living as their parents with one breadwinner.



    ?? A set of irons $600-$700 in the 70’s? Haha. A new set of Hogan Apex irons was about $225 in 1980. A full bag was under $300 in the 70’s.




    To piggy back on things costing more now (vs. the rate of inflation from 70's), I think folks buy/have more things now (cell phone, game system, technology in general, etc.) vs. 70's.




    First I’d love to see the source for soloman1’s assertion that housing and related costs have risen sixfold since the 70s. I’ve only seen Estimates of housing costs overall a little more than doubling since 1970 overall. But I’m not saying he’s wrong.



    Secondly to your point ode1, you might be right in terms of real items, but I’m not sure we can say with certainty people really have more tangible goods than before. One television equals 2-3 today, we each have a cellphone but there were 3-4 landline phones in the house I grew up in, etc.



    And despite what some Rose-Colored Glass-Wearers like to think sometimes (myself included) overall technology like automobiles refrigerators and tv’s weren’t as efficient as now and didn’t have functional lifespans as long as technology does now.



    Yes, yes, yes I know the Curtis Matthes you bought in 1979 is still in your living room today, but just once let’s think in macro-terms.
  • sandtrapsandtrap Members Posts: 820 ✭✭
    Reading this thread and coming to their senses
  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members Posts: 1,482 ✭✭
    edited Jan 8, 2019 3:08pm #847


    28 pages long and I am late to this party so forgive me if it's been mentioned.



    Too much time, money, too difficult, too many other things like computers and internet, less leisure time --- those are all true and I'm sure have been discussed at length here.



    But I'll throw one more in the hat --- caddies (and the decline of them).



    How many baby boomers got hooked on golf as a kid because they got a summer job caddying? They got introduced to the game and got to go out and play one day a week on the caddie day or hit free balls on the range. It was the perfect way to introduce young people to the game.



    But the days of young kids hauling bags around are pretty much done (if not done entirely). Places with caddie programs today (think Pinehurst, Pebble, Kiawah, Streamsong, etc.) all have caddies who are 18+ in age. It's no longer a "kids" thing. It's become more of a thing that you can actually make a decent living at.



    Are there any courses that still employ 10 year old kids as caddies? I am not aware of any (though it's possible they do exist). I'm aware of the Evans Scholarship, but not sure how young those kids get started in it.



    This is just one of the many reasons that are contributing to it. And obviously the golf cart and modern course design are largely rooted in the demise of caddie programs.




    My club has caddies...but you have to pay for them. And it aint cheap. So, pass on that.



    Caddies go against why I play golf anyway, so I dont ever use them.
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  • statgradstatgrad Members Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Something the OP mentioned. When was the last time you bought ______? Well how often do you use _____ compared to your golf clubs? We go through multiple soccer balls a year because we play multiple times a week. I use my clubs about three to four times a week in season, once a week out of season. Do you use your baseball glove, football, basketball, etc that frequently? Probably not. As many have said here, cost can be managed, whether it's buying used clubs or playing with a smaller bag.



    Some make the game harder than it needs to be and get discouraged. The one thing I always say to new golfers, including my own son: You are better off being fit and having only 7 clubs in your bag than you are buying 14 clubs off the rack. If your 160 yards out and don't have a 7-iron, so what? If you flush either your 6-iron or 8-iron it's on the green - you are putting and happy. Another benefit: if it doesn't work out for you, you haven't lost that much. Just another way to manage the entry cost.



    The biggest issue, as many have already said, is time, but even that can be managed certain ways. Play nine holes. During the summer, I can play 9 before work and still be at the office by 8:30 and home by 6:00 to have the evening with my family. Or make it a family function for 9 holes. Our local muni allows kids to play free with a paying adult. Bring the whole family. Two hours together on the golf course is good family time.



    Overlooked in this discussion: there's a lot more competition for our leisure time now - kids' leisure time, too. And no matter you do, we still only have 24 hours in a day.
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  • DLiverDLiver Members Posts: 2,605 ✭✭
    Hmmm...without reading the entire thread, I can answer this from my POV. The thing that attracts me to golf is that it is so challenging. I've tried to quit the games several times, but keep coming back because the game is hard and interesting. The one thing I hate is how long the freakin' game takes. It is no fun (to me) to stand around waiting for the players in front of me to play. I am very fortunate to be able to play private courses all the time, and it still takes me 4:15 to 4:30 to play a round. Add in a 40 minute warm up and the obligatory 45 minutes afterward to wait for my buddies' groups to finish, and you've blown most of the day. If I had to play public (or semi private golf) I would have quit years ago.
  • ChronicSlicerChronicSlicer Members Posts: 943 ✭✭
    statgrad wrote:


    During the summer, I can play 9 before work and still be at the office by 8:30 and home by 6:00 to have the evening with my family.




    Not everybody works in the office, some folks start working at 6 or 7 a.m. til 5 or 6 p.m. Consider yourself lucky.
  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,844 ✭✭
    A more pertinent question is : why aren't more people walking into the game?
  • FergusonFerguson Members Posts: 4,663 ✭✭
    farmer wrote:


    A more pertinent question is : why aren't more people walking into the game?






    The avant-garde approach. I like it.









    I think the game isn't "shocking" enough.





    Example: what would get more hits?



    A turtle being run over by a tractor tire, or a well struck 7 iron.
  • Dr. BlockDr. Block Members Posts: 610 ✭✭
    edited Jan 9, 2019 12:11pm #853
    Ferguson wrote:

    farmer wrote:


    A more pertinent question is : why aren't more people walking into the game?






    The avant-garde approach. I like it.









    I think the game isn't "shocking" enough.





    Example: what would get more hits?



    A turtle being run over by a tractor tire, or a well struck 7 iron.




    I walked into the game once when I was in short pants. Got hit in the forehead with someone's back swing.
  • FergusonFerguson Members Posts: 4,663 ✭✭
    Dr. Block wrote:

    Ferguson wrote:

    farmer wrote:


    A more pertinent question is : why aren't more people walking into the game?






    The avant-garde approach. I like it.









    I think the game isn't "shocking" enough.





    Example: what would get more hits?



    A turtle being run over by a tractor tire, or a well struck 7 iron.




    I walked into the game once when I was in short pants. Got hit in the forehead with someone's back swing.






    I once ordered a roasted poultry dish on the turn, only to be told it would take 35 minutes to prepare. I waited 20 minutes and then gave up. After proceeding to hole #10, I then got caught behind a very slow group. Suffice to say the back nine was henless.
  • statgradstatgrad Members Posts: 37 ✭✭

    statgrad wrote:


    During the summer, I can play 9 before work and still be at the office by 8:30 and home by 6:00 to have the evening with my family.




    Not everybody works in the office, some folks start working at 6 or 7 a.m. til 5 or 6 p.m. Consider yourself lucky.




    I am lucky. And I make use of the time to play even if it's 9 holes. Same thing on a Saturday morning - family wants to head out by 9:00, I'll play 9 and be home and showered on time to go. Two keys to playing more golf: 1) play 9 when you can. 2) make it a family function.
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  • SixcatSixcat SWVAMembers Posts: 1,441 ✭✭
    statgrad wrote:


    statgrad wrote:


    During the summer, I can play 9 before work and still be at the office by 8:30 and home by 6:00 to have the evening with my family.




    Not everybody works in the office, some folks start working at 6 or 7 a.m. til 5 or 6 p.m. Consider yourself lucky.




    I am lucky. And I make use of the time to play even if it's 9 holes. Same thing on a Saturday morning - family wants to head out by 9:00, I'll play 9 and be home and showered on time to go. Two keys to playing more golf: 1) play 9 when you can. 2) make it a family function.




    "I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have." ~Thomas Jefferson~
  • Mikey5eMikey5e Members Posts: 728 ✭✭
    If some are walking away from the game, good. This leaves more space for real golf enthusiasts to play, and probably at a faster pace. Those that don't have a genuine passion go out to socialize, play music, drink and get rowdy, talk too loud or much, etc. Good riddance, keep the exodus moving!
  • Dr. BlockDr. Block Members Posts: 610 ✭✭
    Ferguson wrote:

    Dr. Block wrote:

    Ferguson wrote:

    farmer wrote:


    A more pertinent question is : why aren't more people walking into the game?






    The avant-garde approach. I like it.









    I think the game isn't "shocking" enough.





    Example: what would get more hits?



    A turtle being run over by a tractor tire, or a well struck 7 iron.




    I walked into the game once when I was in short pants. Got hit in the forehead with someone's back swing.






    I once ordered a roasted poultry dish on the turn, only to be told it would take 35 minutes to prepare. I waited 20 minutes and then gave up. After proceeding to hole #10, I then got caught behind a very slow group. Suffice to say the back nine was henless.




    Your esoteric sense of humor may have finally eluded me Ferguson.
  • AceCatKYAceCatKY Members Posts: 638 ✭✭
    As Mikey5e stated above, if people choose to leave the game that is great for those of us who prioritize it. People prioritize certain things and devote their time/$ to them. If someone wants to prioritize golf, I highly doubt that equipping themselves and paying greens fees will be prohibitive with all the "hot deals" tee times and websites selling quality used equipment for cheap. I do understand that having the requisite free time can be an issue, more so if you only have access public courses with long wait times.



    I am 29, married and have a 2 year old son but still a able to play regularly because of membership at a private club. Can easily play 9 or go to range before going to the office, play 9s in the evenings while they enjoy the pool, and get in quick weekend rounds. Cost wise it is more expensive but the access is worth it to me because I prioritize golf as hobby and allocate $ toward it. I do feel that other folks my age do not prioritize golf like I do and devote their time elsewhere, but I think its just a matter of personal preference.
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  • daveltbdaveltb Members Posts: 320 ✭✭
    Mikey5e wrote:


    If some are walking away from the game, good. This leaves more space for real golf enthusiasts to play, and probably at a faster pace. Those that don't have a genuine passion go out to socialize, play music, drink and get rowdy, talk too loud or much, etc. Good riddance, keep the exodus moving!




    Yep, keep saying that until all the courses around you start closing and conditions at the one's open go to pot. You'll really enjoy having to drive farther and pay more to keep playing the game that you love. It's happening so you better get used to it. image/angry2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry22:' />
  • marmooskapaulmarmooskapaul Members Posts: 1,342 ✭✭
    daveltb wrote:

    Mikey5e wrote:


    If some are walking away from the game, good. This leaves more space for real golf enthusiasts to play, and probably at a faster pace. Those that don't have a genuine passion go out to socialize, play music, drink and get rowdy, talk too loud or much, etc. Good riddance, keep the exodus moving!




    Yep, keep saying that until all the courses around you start closing and conditions at the one's open go to pot. You'll really enjoy having to drive farther and pay more to keep playing the game that you love. It's happening so you better get used to it. image/angry2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry22:' />




    Oh now..now..it's not that bad in most places. A little overboard my friend. image/scenic.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':scenic:' />
  • bobbyking88bobbyking88 Members Posts: 180 ✭✭
    It's crazy what golf marketing came to. I myself always wanted the newest equipment each year until last year. I got professionally fit each club in the bag and made a promise to myself to use the set I have for 5 years. I see taylormade for instance using Apple's sales pitch for financing golf clubs and upgrading when the newest model comes out. Prices are ridiculous and I don't see the point each year it's the same sales pitch, more yards less spin better launch
  • platgofplatgof platgof ClubWRX Posts: 1,432 ClubWRX
    Here it is building up, as Hankook Tire just moved in and have a lot of golf nuts. In fact we need more golf courses. The weather has been horrible as it rains all the time, and who wants to play in the rain, not me. I hope this year it gives us a break.
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  • geogolfgeogolf Members Posts: 691 ClubWRX
    Lots of responses...and I'm REALLY late to the party... But here's my opinion. Of course it's several factors. Most of which fall on the powers that be- course owners & developers.



    I have been a Golf Professional for close to 30 years.... Well over half my life.



    In 1990... Our course wasn't anything special. But very active. Mostly male, 35 and up. Regulars...regular members.....etc.



    We rarely had an outing. But had 12 leagues....5 days a week in the afternoon ranging from 20 players to 100.



    This was not a country club- this was basically (looking back now) a Goat track... lol



    But.... some key things. This course didn't drain the best, but when it rained, when we had leagues and carts couldn't go out - people WALKED. Most people walked anyway. Most members walked. If a foursome ever came in and got 2 carts, they were either physically unable to walk- or wealthy. But even with the latter, if they COULD play, they would.



    Today....No carts, you may as well lock your doors.

    It's how a generation has grown up. To them Golf=Carts. Which also adds to the expense! So, many have the figure in their head of what it coats to play by the cart fee.



    A course where I was a pro..... offered 50% discount on cart fees if you were an employee but worked less than 40 hrs a week. One of the employees in that category, explained to me how he didn't see how a lot of guys could afford to play because of the cart price. Rescue he was having a tough time just justifying even HIS cart price at 50% off. I simply said to him "You realize, if you walked, you would pay nothing right?".... It was like I told him how to make a million dollars. Next day, he is out with a carry bag, and I never saw him ride again.



    Overbuilding of courses.

    Building courses that were cart only or you don't play.



    And one of the bigger ones.... Upscale Public courses that raised the expectations. Everyone wishes to play a nicely manicured course. But expectations of what I call "Americanized" courses really has changed in 30 years.



    When was the last time you played a course without watered fairways? It was pretty common 30 years ago.



    And... you have at least one generation that is used to mastering a game online, or something simpler pretty quickly.

    They do not have the time or want to devote that time to a sport that takes physical ability and that can't be mastered !

    And if they are parents......forget it. If you are a parent now, you don't get to hear about the game at the dinner table. You MUST be there. They just don't have time.



    Bottom Line...



    1)You have a sport that was seen as expensive in the first place - seen as MORE expensive by a generation who thinks it's not possible to play without a cart.



    2) Unrealistic course expectations for some.



    3) Time factor - for multiple reasons.
  • daveltbdaveltb Members Posts: 320 ✭✭

    daveltb wrote:

    Mikey5e wrote:


    If some are walking away from the game, good. This leaves more space for real golf enthusiasts to play, and probably at a faster pace. Those that don't have a genuine passion go out to socialize, play music, drink and get rowdy, talk too loud or much, etc. Good riddance, keep the exodus moving!




    Yep, keep saying that until all the courses around you start closing and conditions at the one's open go to pot. You'll really enjoy having to drive farther and pay more to keep playing the game that you love. It's happening so you better get used to it. image/angry2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry22:' />




    Oh now..now..it's not that bad in most places. A little overboard my friend. image/scenic.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':scenic:' />




    https://www.wsj.com/articles/golf-home-owners-find-themselves-in-a-hole-11547135191





    More than 200 golf courses closed in 2017 across the country, while only about 15 new ones opened, according to the National Golf Foundation, a golf market-research provider.
  • AceCatKYAceCatKY Members Posts: 638 ✭✭
    It is fine that more courses closed than opened; its a market correction. I've lived in multiple states and never thought "you know what, if only there were X more number of courses it would be better".
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  • Mikey5eMikey5e Members Posts: 728 ✭✭

    daveltb wrote:

    Mikey5e wrote:


    If some are walking away from the game, good. This leaves more space for real golf enthusiasts to play, and probably at a faster pace. Those that don't have a genuine passion go out to socialize, play music, drink and get rowdy, talk too loud or much, etc. Good riddance, keep the exodus moving!




    Yep, keep saying that until all the courses around you start closing and conditions at the one's open go to pot. You'll really enjoy having to drive farther and pay more to keep playing the game that you love. It's happening so you better get used to it. image/angry2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry22:' />




    Oh now..now..it's not that bad in most places. A little overboard my friend. image/scenic.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':scenic:' />
    Really? All the golf courses will be shutting down? I don't think so. I do often wonder about courses getting the tempting offer of say $2 million to sell to builders. That might be tough to pass up. Although, I don't worry about it.
  • RangeballzRangeballz Members Posts: 1,688 ✭✭
    $500 drivers released every 4 months that claim to turn the $500 driver you bought 4 months ago into a worthless POS........



    Newbies, HS and college kids watching tour pros and taking 5 hours+ to play a round, thinking it's normal.....



    Rules that (until recently) issued the death penalty for going 3 MPH over the speed limit......



    OEMs juicing iron lofts to make you think you've picked up some distance.



    Some instruction that requires a thorough understanding of advanced calculus....





    I'm late to the party as well, sorry if I'm repeating.
  • PMACGolfPMACGolf Members Posts: 58 ✭✭
    Too far behind makes people want to quit
  • Showtime9Showtime9 MonsterHeel Members Posts: 160 ✭✭
    Rangeballz wrote:


    $500 drivers released every 4 months that claim to turn the $500 driver you bought 4 months ago into a worthless POS........




    Love this comment!



    It has come to the point where you might as well wait 6 months and pick up that TM M5 that you are eyeing right now, when they come out with the TM M6. The equivalent of buying a used car that has just come off its lease
  • geogolfgeogolf Members Posts: 691 ClubWRX
    It is a market correction.



    You will soon have Higher end clubs and Privates, and lower end blah.



    Just like what you have in the Club market- the Ball Market Etc.



    Who's to blame ? Anyone who cried for years that we need to 'Grow the Game'. Then went about building too many courses, depending on cart revenue and worried more about Course Logos, Mission Statements & Signatures Holes- above....... PLAYING GOLF to enjoy.....rather than have it be a status.



    I've played courses coast to coast....US Open Tracks to farm fields with flagsticks...

    Do yourself a favor. Find a not so perfect course..pay the cheap greens fee...and walk it....

    You might be shocked how much you enjoy it.
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