19th Hole

Jeremy Hayman
General Manager
Sedona Golf Resort
Sedona, AZ

More Information

Are we REALLY growing the game?

The results of the Golf 2.0 study that the PGA of America commissioned are unmistakable. The data bluntly shows that our game is in trouble and why. It is now up to us, the golf professional, to take the information and run. So, how are we bringing new players to the game?

Are we truly reaching out to new demographics? The stereotypical private club, cigar smoking, ascot wearing male golfer (Judge Smails) is extinct. If golf does not attract new golfers to the sport, we can all start looking for a new career.

Ladies: Biggest reason for not playing, “Not welcoming for beginners/Too Elite”. Female participation is down 20% from 2006. Just saying that we are “women friendly” doesn’t go far enough. Are we making sure that at least 50% of the golf shop is dedicated to ladies? Do we have multiple clean on-course restrooms? Have we installed family tees? Are we promoting fun social events & even providing day-care?

Minorities: Biggest reason for not playing, “Not welcoming for beginners/Too Elite”. The Southwest has a growing and prosperous Latino community and by 2020, 26 states will be Minority Majorities. Are our marketing materials and websites in English & Spanish? Do we have bi-lingual instructors? Do we advertise Quinceanera ceremonies at our wedding facilities?

Youth:  Junior participation is down 25% from 2006. Biggest reason, “I don’t think it will be fun”. Yes, we all have junior programs but are we making golf “cool” enough for kids that mountain bike or ski to make the switch? Have we abolished our dress code policies? Have we made our websites mobile friendly?  Are we playing music on your driving ranges? Do we use iPad’s for instruction purposes and posting our guests pictures to Facebook?

Lapsed men: Biggest Reason for not playing is, “Too much congestion on the Golf Course/Takes too long”. Have we implemented Express Lane Tee Times on our golf courses? Have we made the golf course easier by removing bunkers, installing family tees, widening fairways?

Even Augusta National has become more inclusive, let’s keep the momentum going and become part of the next evolution of golf.