The focus on junior golf is an admirable one as the industry looks to build the future of the game, but kids are a microcosm of a demographic that, if also concentrated on, is likely to produce similar results and get even more people playing.
Add whatever letter you like to the generation that might apply to them, but the 25 to 45 age group has enormous potential for golf, not the least of which is that the upper end of that demographic are parents and potential motivators of kids to play golf.
With that in mind, is the game doing everything it can to appeal to this group or is it a lost generation for golf?
It can be lost whether they played junior golf or not, for no other reason than there are so many distractions in their lives that can lure them away from the golf course or prevent them from discovering the game if they’ve never played it.
In the lower ages, they’re coming out of university, establishing careers, buying homes and starting families (potential juniors) with all the challenges of juggling work and raising children.
These days, it’s particularly challenging with all the headlines about the difficulty in finding work once they leave university. Add to that the cost of buying a home in many Canadian markets, daycare costs and other expenses and it puts a strain on the disposable income that golf relies upon.
That’s not to say it can’t be done, just that creativity will be required if we are to lure this age group to the fairways.
If the industry is successful in luring entire families, it means not only potential revenue from adults, but also the kids who they influence as parents, perhaps encouraging them to get out from behind their computers and get involved in an outdoor activity such as golf.
That 35 to 45-year-old now will be a 45 to 55-year-old in 10 years, perhaps a core golfer playing a few times a week, maybe with his/her spouse or with their sons and daughters, even if they’re only home occasionally from university or work.
It won’t be easy with the challenges mentioned above, but there is potential for growing both junior and adult participation, which brings us to the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
Would junior golf be better served by the industry putting more emphasis than it does now on family golf?
- YES (90%)
- NO (10%)
As always, feel free to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.