A report by the National Golf Foundation shows that while the sport is attracting more new players than at any time since the early 2000s, few new golfers are sticking with the game. The NGF found that comfort and competence primarily drive retention, and puts the onus on golf properties to offer the facilities and programs that keep golfers interested in the long haul.
The PGA Tour says it has seen a 43% increase in website traffic from millennials year over year, and that 6.5 million millennials played 100 million rounds of golf in 2015, making up 28% of all golfers. The PGA Tour partially attributes these increases to digital efforts, including Snapchat live stories at several PGA Tour events, and SkratchTV, an Internet-only golf network.
Discussions of expanding the game are sort of like discussions of weather: Everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it. Birchwood Farms and its staff are to be commended on a truly great idea.
The project in Hobbs, N.M., named Ocotillo Park Community Links, seeks to attract beginners to golf by redesigning the existing 18-hole golf course and incorporating family tees, expanding the practice facility, and adding a 9-hole executive course with a SNAG facility. This will be the first implementation of the concept, launched by Andy Staples, owner of Staples Golf Resource Group.