Over the past week, we’ve been discussing the declining number of golfers, both in Canada and the United States, a topic sparked by this story by Gene Yasuda of Golfweek.
Of course, the U.S. numbers used by Yasuda were provided by the National Golf Foundation, but here in Canada, we have no recent official numbers to go by, so it could be argued that there’s no cause for alarm about the number of Canadian golfers.
Some might even be tempted to lean on the crutch that Canada is among the world leaders in golfers per capita. Even if that is still the case, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the number of golfer isn’t dwindling.
All golf operators need to do is look out on their fairways and compare the number of golfers out there today to what it was five or 10 years ago to come to a realistic conclusion on how the number of golfers is affecting their businesses and whether it’s up, down or stagnant.
Of course, that number may be affected by the number of golf courses in a saturated market, but the feeling I get from different regions of the country leads me to believe that the number of overall golfers in this country is stagnating at best. If only there were numbers to back that up.
The consensus in the Golfweek story is that the U.S. numbers are affected mainly by the struggling American economy more than a lack of interest in the game.
Here in Canada, however, we’ve come out of the economic downturn a lot quicker that the U.S., but economic factors such as the price of gas and other inflation and the possibility of rising interest rates may be playing a part.
On the other hand, Canadian golf may be feeling the competition from other entertainment and recreation sources, which could indicate a waning interest in the game. While economic pressures on golfers might be a temporary factor, waning interest is more long term.
Which of those two factors do you feel is affecting the number of golfers in Canada? That’s the subject of this week’s GNN Poll.
Which factor is causing the stagnating or decreasing number of Canadian golfers?
- Lack of interest (56%)
- Economic (44%)
- The number of golfers is increasing (0%)
Have a comment – add your thoughts in the section below.