The Future Of Golf In America.
I am extremely fortunate, because I talk to hundreds of golfers every week. This dialogue gives me a unique perspective on the game and what you (the golfer) wants. First, let me say thanks to all of golfers that I speak with each week.
I watched this video a few times and none of the stats presented scared me for the future of golf in America. Yes, 180 golf courses close a year. That is a large number and I feel for the employees and owners of those courses. But it is clear that too many courses were built in hopes of golfers showing up. It is strikingly similar to the recent housing bubble. Contractors kept building houses with no one looking to buy, and what happened? Foreclosures and house prices dropped, well plummeted. This is what happened with golf courses, it will level out at some point. Hopefully the leveling out will be sooner than later, but then it will grow again.
There is future of golf in America and the game will never go extinct, but it won't look like it once was. Fifteen inch golf holes and soccer golf or whatever they call it is not the answer. Growing the game is a difficult task, but Top Golf is having tremendous success with a business model that is nothing new, just new to golf. Good food, drinks, great service and you get to hit golf balls on top of that, sign me up!
What this company has been able to achieve is a fun and relaxed atmosphere for golf that engages non-golfers to take some swings. Is it cheaper than real golf? I doubt it, once you start ordering a couple drinks, some appetizers and dinner you are most likely spending more than an round of golf. And they are still packed. I do believe some golf courses are too expensive, but they aren't targeting golfers that can afford it. With today's online coupon sites, I can always find a course near by that is $30 or less to play 18. If you can't afford that, there are bigger issues than golf.
Outside of the actual game of golf, the brick an mortar retail industry is heading towards extinction. Golf equipment is not going extinct but brick and mortar is heading that way. Again, let me note that this is not specific to golf. Online stores are making it nearly impossible for brick and mortar operations to keep up. Lower overhead, convenience, good return policies and better prices are allowing the online stores to outcompete the physical stores.
The nail in the coffin for many of these golf stores was the aggressive product launch cycles by some of the larger OEMs. Launching a new golf driver nearly every other month made it impossible for store owners to keep up. Constantly being told to by the newest product, even before the previous models have not be sold. Listen, the consumers (you) are smart. Very few are buying product has soon as it hits the shelf, because you know that the price will be dropped in 1 month. This oversaturation of product was a desperate move by the big OEMs and it has hurt the retail facilities most.
I can make you a promise, I will not release a new product unless it outperforms the previous model. With that said, the Grenade golf driver product line has been performing so well, it may be a long time!
Bottom line, I hope that the future of golf in America will stop the decline and grow. I am working on a project for next springto make the game a little more fun. Updates on that will be in early spring. It is not new equipment and it is not a 30 inch golf hole!
What do you think?
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