SBD/July 15, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Americans Playing Less And Less Golf, But N.Y. Area Immune To Sport's Recession

As "budget-conscious middle-class Americans massively quit" the game of golf, the rich are "propping up the struggling golf industry -- and golf-crazed titans of corporate America and Wall Street are among the biggest hitters," according to John Aidan Byrne of the N.Y. POST. A study by the National Golf Foundation showed that 400,000 people "left the sport in the U.S. last year." The study also noted that some 160 golf courses nationwide closed in '13 -- the "eighth straight year of net closings." All told, U.S. golfers "played 462 million rounds of golf" in '13 -- the "fewest since" '95. However, there is "no golf recession" in the N.Y. metro area, as "the financial topdogs gobble up tee times and memberships." Golf courses in the region saw a "good 12 months despite the toughest winter in years." Data from Florida-based Golf Datatech showed that rounds of golf played in the N.Y. metro "were up in May compared with a year ago" by 3% in N.Y., 5.6% in New Jersey and 4.1% in Connecticut. With a "huge concentration of affluent golfers," N.Y. has "weathered the golf storm better than other places" (N.Y. POST, 7/13).
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