The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 8

PLAYER
DEVELOPMENT

We can do better at welcoming new golfers
By Stuart Lindsay

W

hen we first published the participation timeline chart
below in 2016, we actually quantified the drops in the
numbers of golfers - particularly as it pertains to GenX
and Millenials. One of our major points in this year's State of the
Industry was that the same chart also illustrates that the 25 - 44
age group is also the sweet spot for golfer attraction. The good
news is that that opportunity has not changed - we still see a
significant jump in participation after age 24.
It also is painfully clear that our biggest problem has become
retaining the golfers we attract - while about 80% of the "baby
boomers" have continued to play, almost 40% of the GenX golfers
have left.
Year

Age Groups*
18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65-74

1995

2,419

5,644

4,861

3,628

1,802

1,613

2005

2,942

4,438

5,385

4,188

2,982

1,521

2015

1,206

2,642

3,127

3,254

3,283

3,013

Cross
Reference
By Age
Group

29.3% -42.3% -33.4% -17.0%

-50%

-53%

-36%

-10%

80%

87%

Source: Pellucid/Edgehill Copyright 2016, 2017, 2018

While there are plenty of PSAs for the First Tee and other
junior programs, at what point is the industry going to acknowledge and act on making golf attractive to the age group that is
most receptive to taking up golf - the 25 to 44 year olds? By the
time you read this, we will know whether the PGA of America
will use its PGA Championship platform to promote the thousands of beginner clinics for adults its members are conducting
every year. I'm not holding my breath, even though they are using
their Get Golf Ready links to promote the Championship before

8 The Pellucid PersPecTive

they give any interested beginner any of the information they are
looking for in the first place.
A couple of weekends ago, I found myself at a cookout in
the courtyard of a downtown Denver apartment building. To
say it was an interesting mix of people in a city that is exploding and has always attracted a few free spirits is a drastic understatement. Aside from a retired "colonel" and a really smart
sociology professor that made me feel "age comfortable,"the
rest were millennial career people ranging from advertising
manager, IT professional, mortgage banker, Harvard educated
lawyer and a State Department Security Officer. What stood
out was that this diverse group from all over the country have
become fast friends.
Maybe because this building is right around the corner from a
bar frequented by Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and other
beat generation luminaries, the conversations wove in and out
of various road trips and music. Since I recently did a California
road trip and got to play The Preserve at Saint Lucia and Cypress
Point with a young friend I met through music, golf got into the
mix as well.
The mortgage banker goes to a range and wants to get better. The IT guy played a couple times, but is convinced it's too
hard. Both acknowledged that the rare "good shot" was a lot of
fun. Another couple would be interested, and my daughter even
would like to start playing again. At some point, almost in unison,
they asked if there was one "tip" that could make them better
faster. Of course, there is no one answer; but I did ask if they had
ever considered lessons.
This is where it gets interesting. The first place someone interested in golf is going to look is online. Search "beginner golf " and
try wading through the maze of gimmicks and junior programs
to find something relevant to a 30 something beginner - good
luck. If they do stumble on "Get Golf Ready," most of the information on the PGA of America website is aimed at setting up
the clinics and how many continuing education credits are availAugust 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018

TOC
Real estate golf supply contraction: Someone’s gotta’ pay
Municipal golf: What’s in a number?
We can do better at welcoming new golfers
Golf - easy to be hard?
July golf weather impact: Solidly sideways
MN operators doing well against tough odds
Back surgery recovery is Tiger’s greatest achievement
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Real estate golf supply contraction: Someone’s gotta’ pay
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Municipal golf: What’s in a number?
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - We can do better at welcoming new golfers
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Golf - easy to be hard?
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - July golf weather impact: Solidly sideways
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - MN operators doing well against tough odds
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 16
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Back surgery recovery is Tiger’s greatest achievement
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