I love golf. It’s a great sport and a great passion. It’s also dying.
For over a decade golf participation, the percentage of the population who play, has been dropping. While 2012 had a slight increase over 2011 in rounds played, this number has dropped in most recent years. For several of the past few years, more courses have closed than opened in this country. None of these are signs of health and none bode well for the future.
Professional golf is doing just fine thank you very much, in large part because million dollar plus purses have become routine for average tournaments, while winning Majors and bigger events pay even more, and the FedEx Cup Champion gets a $10 million (yes $10 million) bonus each year even though fans don’t know what it is. For the frequent winners, there is also a fortune to be made in endorsements – just ask Tiger Woods, who just notched his stunning 75th Tour win, and his new Nike partner Rory McIlroy. As a result of all this cash up for grabs, plus the opportunity for a mid-level Tour player to make a seven figure annual income without ever actually wining, there will always be a crop of new young guns following in the footsteps of McIlroy and Bubba Watson.
Click here to read the rest of the article, where contributor Larry Olmstead posits that TGA’s for-profit model can save golf, on Forbes