A Wall Street Journal special report published last month suggests as much.
"The game has tried hard to draw new players. But it may have missed a bigger opportunity: getting more rounds out of its most avid golfers."
The report states that the major components in golf have gone all out to woo new golfers to the game, capitalizing on the worldwide popularity of Tiger Woods. And it has worked: three million new golfers take up the game each year. The downside? About the same number give up the game. I'm no math whiz, but I believe that's a net gain of zip.
Another distressing fact: For the first time in 60 years, more golf courses closed than opened last year.
According to the report, now many are calling for a new strategy, one that focuses on the loyal, passionate base of existing golfers.
(This is common sense to any student of Marketing 101. It's far easier and less costly to sell to an existing customer than attract a new one.)
Ways being discussed to improve the golf experience for existing golfers include speeding up play, cutting green fees (and other expenses), and giving amateurs even more technologically advanced clubs to improve their performance.
No argument here, although I'm a bit cynical about the technology aspect. Perhaps if they did more to support the avid golfer (and increase his or her rounds), fewer golf courses would have to close.
The Armchair Golfer