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Soloman1
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Is this NGF info?

 

I wish the USGA would put out numbers based on handicap numbers they have through GHIN. How many have a WHS Index in the US? How many post more than 20 rounds? (That’s your core group of active players.) How many at various other - 40, 60, 80, 100 - rounds posted levels? How many 5 or less? I’m just scratching the surface here. They could do a much better job. Also many others have a non-USGA “league” handicap. I believe the NGF provides an estimate for that group. Again, these are the people that are serious about the game at the club/course level. And to really “grow the game,” those numbers - people joining  clubs (whether public or private) and having handicaps - need to go up. Playing 1-3 times per year isn’t serious.  IMO hitting balls at Top Golf only really counts if those people eventually start playing actual golf at courses. Unless you believe growing the game means watching it on TV?

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During the great decline when golf was losing 1 million players per year for a decade or more, they used to say 12 rounds/yr was a "golfer." They dropped that to 8 rounds/yr a few years ago. Supposedly these are on-course players.

 

TopGolf et al. are counted separately and they say it's another 12 million/year. I think the NGF reaches a little too much, too.

 

To me, it's interesting that the same number of golfers are playing as 40 years ago, but the population has increased by 100 million. That means golf is still on the decline.

 

 

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Actually, makes some sense. Golf is played outdoors. Tennis also (mostly - there are indoor clubs, but not that many people are members). So somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the country is frozen out of their sport for multiple months a year - not going to be many rounds played at Whistling Straits in February. Same with summer in the south. Playing golf or tennis in Miami in August, when it is 95* with 95% humidity can get pretty gruesome. Both sports are largely seasonal.

 

Basketball and bowling are played indoors, in controlled conditions, so both are good 12 months a year. But basketball drops off in age sharply. The vast majority of bowlers fall into the 45 - 65 year old range (same with golf - I think the average age is around 50). But you'll probably find very few guys actively playing basketball at 50 years old - too hard on the creaky old dad bods. 

 

So golf and tennis are somewhat limited by climate, and basketball limited by age. Bowling is weirdly universal - can be played at any time of the year regardless of the place or the season, and by people of almost any age. 

 

Plus, bowling is way easier than golf (or for that matter, tennis or basketball). 

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BTW - thanks for starting this thread. We’ll see what others have to say. At my course in MN, rounds were way up last year. The same for our state as well (up 29.7% in 2020). As we know, golf was a good game to play during the pandemic. This year may be good as well as April weather was much better this year. 2020 info:
 


 

 

E781910C-49EB-4D96-8136-223B7EDB528F.jpeg

Edited by mark m
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Mizuno JPX 900 Forged 4-PW, KBS C-Taper X
Mizuno JPX 919 Forged GW, KBS C-Taper X
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2 hours ago, Soloman1 said:

So, 25 million people played golf last year. It's been about the same for decades. Those people played a lot more rounds last year though.

 

I assume the 25 million people is based as above in your additional post....that a person is only defined as a golfer if they played at least 8 rds/year?

I assume the 25 million is not the number of actual golf rounds played per year.

 

That's crazy that there are 3 times the number of bowlers vs. golfers....I guess in the grand scheme of things...few people play golf.

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1 hour ago, KBong said:

I assume the 25 million people is based as above in your additional post....that a person is only defined as a golfer if they played at least 8 rds/year?

I assume the 25 million is not the number of actual golf rounds played per year.

 

That's crazy that there are 3 times the number of bowlers vs. golfers....I guess in the grand scheme of things...few people play golf.

 

I read recently that bowling is the largest recreational sport in the USA, so I'm not that surprised, though 67 million is pretty impressive. Over a fifth of the US population, right?

 

That said, it's a lot easier to go bowling than it is to go to golf. What would be interesting to is to see a comparison of numbers between those who go bowling regularly and those who go to golf regularly. "Regularly" being something like 8 times a year, or 12 times a year.

 

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1 hour ago, KBong said:

I assume the 25 million people is based as above in your additional post....that a person is only defined as a golfer if they played at least 8 rds/year?

I assume the 25 million is not the number of actual golf rounds played per year.

 

That's crazy that there are 3 times the number of bowlers vs. golfers....I guess in the grand scheme of things...few people play golf.

 

No, 25 million is the total number, avid golfers are defined as 8 rounds per year within that 25 million.

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1 hour ago, GHIN n Juice said:

If 8 rounds a year constitutes a golfer, what is the definition of a bowler?

 

The shoes.

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9 hours ago, KBong said:

In my books....I consider an avid golfer as one who can play weekly....I think 8 rds a year as a very casual golfer...again....just my opinion.

 

Yes, on on hand, but OTOH, as expensive as a round of golf is, I would think that 8 rds/yr indicates a decent commitment to the game.

 

Interesting thread. I am surprised by bowling, as well. But I would think the average person who goes bowling (other than the diehards) goes bowling once/yr or even two years.

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11 hours ago, No_Catchy_Nickname said:

 

You have no frame of reference here, DonnyGHIN n Juice. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a moviethread.

131192438_bowlers.jpg.9e2037f4ed963dc9cd8dbca2f56bb990.jpg

 

"Catchy, this is not 'Nam, this is bowling.  There are rules."  

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10 minutes ago, Murphy76 said:

 

This leads me to question why there is no bowling channel on TV?  

 

 

 

 

Simple answer?  Money. 

 

My brother is an avid bowler, multiple leagues, year round.  One pair of shoes a year for under $100.  Not all that much in ball tech year over year, he probably gets a new one every two years or so, but even that's only a couple hundred bucks.  On average, we can call it somewhere in the ballpark of $300 on equipment per year.  Compare that to golf where an average driver goes for over $500, sets of irons could be $1500, wedges are $150 a piece, woods and hybrids over $200.  Then add in balls, gloves, bags, shoes, clothes (you can bowl in sweatpants and a tee shirt), etc. and the answer to why there isn't an entire channel dedicated to bowling is pretty obvious.

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3 hours ago, iknowbagu said:

 

 

Simple answer?  Money. 

 

My brother is an avid bowler, multiple leagues, year round.  One pair of shoes a year for under $100.  Not all that much in ball tech year over year, he probably gets a new one every two years or so, but even that's only a couple hundred bucks.  On average, we can call it somewhere in the ballpark of $300 on equipment per year.  Compare that to golf where an average driver goes for over $500, sets of irons could be $1500, wedges are $150 a piece, woods and hybrids over $200.  Then add in balls, gloves, bags, shoes, clothes (you can bowl in sweatpants and a tee shirt), etc. and the answer to why there isn't an entire channel dedicated to bowling is pretty obvious.

 

I think you missed the joke.

 

But anyway, there would be plenty of beer/truck/chewing-tobacco advertisers to pay the bills.  

 

The only problem, is that bowling is boring to watch.

 

Kinda like darts.

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1 minute ago, Murphy76 said:

 

I think you missed the joke.

 

But anyway, there would be plenty of beer/truck/chewing-tobacco advertisers to pay the bills.  

 

The only problem, is that bowling is boring to watch.

 

Kinda like darts.

 

My bad.  My mind went there because I was actually having a very similar conversation with said bowling brother fairly recently.  He was complaining that he has to go to YouTube to get his bowling content fix and only the really big events are televised these days, and usually on some random cable network. 

 

Honestly, thought maybe there was a chance you WERE my brother.

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TaylorMade R11 TP (8°) - Fujikura Blur TP 65X

Cobra SpeedZone Big Tour (13.5°) - Fujikura ATMOS Black 7X

Cobra SpeedZone Tour (17.5°) - Fujikura ATMOS Black 7X

TaylorMade Rescue 11 TP (16°) - Aldila RIP 85X

Titleist U500 (2) - Fujikura ATMOS Black 95X

Titleist 620CB (3-6) - True Temper DynaGold X100

Titleist 620MB (7-9) - True Temper DynaGold X100

Titleist Vokey SM8 (48.10F, 54.12D, 60.12D) - True Temper DynaGold X100

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Not really surprised on the bowling to golf comparison.

 

For most people, golf is something you can only do on your day off, and if you commit to golf on your day off, it takes up most of the day.  Someone can reasonably make time for bowling any day of the week, regardless if you worked a normal full time shift that day since most bowling alleys are open till late at night.

 

Bowling is also a more welcoming social event among those that "don't bowl" or don't own any bowling equipment.  It's much easier to get 10 friends, family members, or coworkers to go out bowling while reserving 2 lanes than it is to get the same 10 people to show up for a couple of tee times.  You can't just show up to the course without golf equipment (I suppose you can rent golf equipment from the course, but it's not nearly as common or affordable as renting bowling shoes and using a house ball) and people can still have fun bowling like crap throwing a bunch of gutter balls.  I don't know anyone that likes golfing when they literally can't hit the ball.

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17 hours ago, Murphy76 said:

 

The only problem, is that bowling is boring to watch.

 

Kinda like golf.

 

Ftfy.

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Honma XP-1 3 and 5 wood 

Taylormade GAPR Lo 19* Hybrid 

Haywood MB irons 4-PW

Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80g iron shafts

Haywood 52/10 and 56/12 wedges

Nike Blue Chip 002 putter

Golf Pride Concept Helix grips

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22 minutes ago, Soloman1 said:

Bowling could learn some things from golf.

 

- Stop having free balls for people to use.

- Rope off some lanes and have a Bowling Academy charging $150/hr for lessons using a bowling roll monitor to measure everything.

- Convince bowlers they need separate balls for their first roll and their second roll, including special "split" balls.

- Charge $500 for bowling balls.

- Get bowling teachers to make 200 YouTube videos per day.

- Have "experts" test different $500 balls.

- Advertise that gloves, balls, towels, shoes, socks, bowling bags, etc. will add 20 pins to your score.

- Get Costco to sell a package of 3 bowling balls for $600.

Serious bowlers already carry at least 1 strike ball and 1 spares ball.  Most have multiple strike balls.  Not sure if $500 balls exist yet, but balls aren't cheap.  Bowling isn't far behind golf on most of what you posted.

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14 minutes ago, ThinkingPlus said:

Serious bowlers already carry at least 1 strike ball and 1 spares ball.  Most have multiple strike balls.  Not sure if $500 balls exist yet, but balls aren't cheap.  Bowling isn't far behind golf on most of what you posted.

 

Wow. And here I thought I was being facetious. Thanks for the info!

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Concerned about growing the game? If so, more will be coming from bowling backgrounds than lacrosse and yachting combined. Demographics, SES, and all that. Although country club as a yung-un, one generation off the farm, was my experience, my choice of career certainly did not afford country club, mostly goat trails and it augmented with bowling and other lower cost and less time-consuming leisure pursuits. If I had to identify my people, the bowling cohort would claim me more than the golf cohort, thus the bowlers. Demographics, SES, and all that.

 

Bowling has had its revolution, too, and has become more expensive for those wishing more than the 'Top Bowl' experience. Ball speeds, PIN to PAP, RG, DIFF, type of ball materials, type of ball roll characteristics, oil patterns (Course management?), one's "bowling ball arsenal", first pin average, strike conversions (GIR?), etc., but my favorite: a bowling shirt. Nutin like a 50-60s-style bowlin' shirt to make one feel like a bowler ... despite a low average. Vokey SM8? Hit that mark (Hit fairways?), score well. But what does it take to hit that mark consistently? About 60 games a week. Get a lesson? Purposeful practice and especially addressing one's miss? The YouTube of the reviewed ball and its breaking pattern is fun to watch, but most bowlers don't have the technique to make the ball perform in such a manner. ProV1X? A fitting?

 

Me? Just one ball; one that works for spares, too, but one that gives me some pocket power - but for more pocket power I would need a second ball for spares thus less pocket power of the type that would then get my wife's attention ... and I would rather not. Man gotta accept his limitations, says Dirty Harry.

 

Good bowlers are not unlike good golfers in terms of knowledge concerning the nuances of the sport, their attention to things the non-initiated are unaware, and the drive to develop and refine skill. Perhaps if more of these good bowlers gravitated toward golf a good many might surprise those that would never consider bowling or that it has much in which to consider or has even manifested? It might seem to some that bowlers are more welcoming of golfers than vice versa but the folks that I know in both camps are as welcoming, and I think probably there are more bowlers on this forum than expected. Demographics, SES, and all that.

 

Old Cuss

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