Everywhere you turn in the business world something has changed..or is about to change..or will be changed by the time you finish reading this broken sentence. For those of you who are experiencing the rapid change of a failed economy for the first time you will more than likely have this panicky feeling take over your thinking of how to react to the change that stops you in your tracks. For the few people around who have seen once before this level of failure of the economy the panic still immobilizes you but eventually you move to make the change to the Change. However for those very few of us who have experienced a few times this type of economic strafe of the business arena we deal quickly with the emotional drain and physical impact a failed economy will cause and make the change just as fast.
Like a head fake in basketball or a stutter step a running back in football makes to elude an oncoming defender, a change in direction needs to be dealt with quickly. Unfortunately, Golf does not have a head fake or stutter step to put on the economy that is bowling it down.
All across the spectrum of the golf industry business is down. Has it hit the bottom? Since no light has been shed on how far golf can fall it is not certain how far the bottom is..but if you are like me I hear this hissing sound like an arrow makes before hitting its target that leads me to believe that something lethal is coming at golf FAST.
There is no need in me breaking down the golf economy indexes to explain where golf is at or going. If you play golf recreationally you see the parking lots at the muni is not as packed as much as last year. You can get a parking place anytime right up next to the front door at the any golf retail store.
If you are a country club member you are seeing either fewer members at the club or new members at the club, but most do not play golf.
The golf teaching professionals are not seeing the lesson tees being filled with one-on-one lessons as much and the golf schools they teach are not filling.
And even the lowly golf blogger feel the down turn in golf..well, the hit counts maybe the same or higher but most are not golfers stopping by or if they are they are looking for solutions to their business woes more than information on golf.
If you look to the top of the food chain of golf you can see even the professional golf tours are leaning heavily towards falling.
So enough of all these observations..you probably have the same RSS Feeds I have that pump out the gloom and doom in business and golf. There is no need in me drawing you any further into wallowing in the depressing side of golf economics.
What is it going to take to get us out of all this and still have golf survive? That is the question I am being asked almost everyday and if you are a true golfer and have not asked it of someone then you should be ..or at least looking towards being part of the solution.
Solutions? Yes, there are solutions to every problem or situation. Sometimes those solutions may not be the one you want to take, but has to be made to solve the problem. And in golf…many parts of the industry are going to have to make changes they will not like in order to let golf survive. Yes, Make huge Changes is the only solution to golf’s woe’s.
What are some of the Changes? Very simply put..the price to play and learn to play golf has GOT (no maybe to it) to come way down. Everything from the price of golf tees (which use to be free) to the Rent Car price you are charged for that golf vacation..all have to be reduced. How Much? Well I am a realist so I will rule out the reduction going as low as FREE, but on the most part I can see a drastic cut across the board would be a good start. That means as little as 1% on some things and as much as 80% on others.
You remember the Change I mentioned? Well here is the biggest change golf has got to make to survive. The high costs of everything golf touches is what is causing it to stagger. It is why sponsors are leaving the big shows..they are not seeing the return on paying millions of dollars for putting on a professional golf tour event that does not produce sales.
High costs of golf is why millions of kids are pulling away from learning to play golf. Mainly because their parents are seeing they cannot hold up to paying for all the equipment and lessons it takes to get them on their way to playing golf.
These two huge components of the golf economy..the LPGA/ PGA Tour events representing the exposure to the world of the beauty of golf and the junior golfers representing the future golfers who fuel the economy of golf…play a very important part in golf’s survival.
Naturally everything in between produces the fabric of the golf and plays just as important part to fueling the golf industry. However, if these two pillars of Golf crack further and fall..so goes golf.
Change is the glue to patching the cranks in these pillars and change is the thread that hems the tears in the fabric of Golf’s future. If Change is not made in the cost of golf..so goes golf.
So, in the arena of golf survival there are only 3 seconds on the clock and it is forth down with 10 yards to the goal…the bullet pass to the mid-court has been made to the forward… the fake handoff to right was clean and the reverse to the weak left side was made,…. the economy has made the head fake and that stutter step… now what?
How the golf industry reacts to this change will tell how much longer golf will survive.
Let me know how I can help.