It isn’t a planned attack on the game, but rather, one story leading to the other, not one of them saying anything particularly new.
T’is the season with the British Open and RBC Canadian Open just completed and the peak of the PGA Tour schedule coming up, so it makes for timely copy. The loss of hundreds of golf-related retail jobs at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the U.S. fuelled the flames.
Those stories have kept Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons hopping the past few days with other media requests as you can see here.
Participation in golf is declining. Now there’s a revelation. It isn’t what it used to be in the ‘90s, a decade that was both a blessing for the peaks the game reached and a curse because it’s what the game is compared to nowadays. Again, nothing new.
At times, about the only positive story that’s written outside the sports pages seems to be fluff like Paulina Gretzky’s super cute outfit as described by the Huffington Post here, but to be fair, there have been positive stories such as this and this recently.
Some might see such stories as good balance to the articles that paint such a gloomy picture of the game, but they may be seen as “soft” to the writers who like to present themselves as hard-ass journalists.
It may also be that they didn’t have the time or resources to find such sidebars to their own stories in a media industry that is struggling just as much, if not more, than golf.
If you want to talk about young people turning away from an industry, when is the last time you saw a teenager or someone in their early 20s reading a newspaper or magazine? If they are looking for information, it’s quick-hit on their smart phones.
It may not be fair to label all media outlets as struggling businesses, but we do know the industry as a whole is hurting, so why bring up the successes, right? If you go by some of these stories about golf, that’s the way to approach it when the media goes into the fishbowl.
Like all media, golf is attempting to adjust to a rapidly-changing world. Such stories aren’t breaking any news to the golf industry or to golfers who don’t work in the industry and probably will impact very few potential players.
What’s ahead for golf sets up challenges that need to be dealt with, but somebody telling the industry about what it’s already aware of shouldn’t be a distraction.
These stories too shall pass and the situation in a couple of weeks, when it’s all forgotten, won’t be any worse than before they were written.