Money and time-- Factors in golf decline
Industry experts say golf has been in the bunker for yearsPhoto: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Golf courses in Tucson, across Arizona and even across the country are in trouble.
It's hard when you put yourself and your life into something and you see the decline of golf. It's been hard," said
In a National Golf Foundation survey, over 47 percent of golfers say they don't have the time to play golf while another 26 percent say they don't have the money.
According to the NGF, the game has been in the bunker since 2001. Since then, the number of rounds per every 18-hole course has dropped more than 11 percent.
On the flipside, tourism numbers across Arizona are up.
The problem? Locals are not playing.
"Its an ever changing market," explained La Paloma Country Club Manager, Kent Insefjord.
Basic supply and demand is also a factor in the sport's fall. There are more golf courses and fewer golfers.
"It isn't just Tucson City Golf, it's golf in general and its been a struggle for all of us," said Tucson City Golf Deputy Director, Mike Hayes.
Meantime, private courses have lowered their prices, making it difficult for public courses to say competitive.
Course expenses are also way up. Water, electricity and gas to fuel golf carts and course vehicles; are all at record highs.
"Yet, we're charging less today for a round of gold than we did in 2004," said Hayes.
Industry experts say youth interest is another concern. Golf instructors tell 9OYS the so-called "Instant Gratification" generation is bored by the slow-paced, patience-heavy game.
In order to combat the trend, both private and public courses have a renewed focus in youth lessons.