New York, United States: More sobering statistics for golf in America have been revealed with almost 400,000 players reported to have given up the game last year.
Although about 260,000 women took up the game, close to 650,000 men quit the sport, according to the National Golf Foundation.
In a report carried by Bloomberg, analysts said that golf is enduring a rough period.
Allen Adamson, Managing Director at brand consulting firm Landor Associates in New York, said: “Golf is in a bit of a drought. It’s a pretty high-price sport and leisure time is getting crunched.”
Backing up those comments was news that slow sales of clubs and other golfing accessories resulted in retail chain Dick’s Sporting Goods enduring its worst fall in its stock since the company went public in 2002.
Ed Stack, Dick’s Chief Executive Officer, told Bloomberg the company missed its first-quarter target by about US$34 million. He said: “We don’t feel we’ve found the bottom yet in the golf sales number.”
Last year marked the eighth year in succession that more courses closed than opened in the United States. The NGF said 14 new courses were opened in the country in 2013 while more than 150 were shut down.
Another major concern for the game is that 200,000 players under the age of 35 abandoned the game last year.
Gerald Celente, publisher of The Trends Journal in New York, said: “Everybody’s hooked up to their hand-helds, so it’s social networking instead of sports.
“The motivation for wannabe executives to spend hours chasing small balls no longer exists.
“It’s something that’s associated with boom times. Most of society is not moving up, and golf is associated with moving up.”
Hanoi, Vietnam: Le Hoang Phuong, a respected figure in golf in Vietnam, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.