Golf is Bad For Business

I worked at a Country Club growing up. I have seen a lot of golf played and played a few rounds myself (ask me my Tiger Woods story next time we talk) and I think golf is bad for business – but more on that in a minute as golf has bigger issues than me. Golf is dying. The number of US golfers has dropped 24% since its peak in 2002 to 23 million players in 2013. 2013 saw 1.1 million players leave the game. There are less people playing golf today than in 1990 and the US population has grown 27% in that time! Retailers like Dicks Sporting Goods and manufacturers like Callaway Golf are bleeding money because of golf’s decline. Millennial’s (those under 35) just don’t want to play golf.
So why is golf bad for business? Because golf has traditionally been a good ole boys game. Many clubs don’t allow women or minorities and if they do they are some major exceptions (see Condoleeza Rice and Augusta). Golf caters to a certain demographic and is thereby exclusive. How many women executives are on the course making deals? My assumption is not many. It is time for companies to STOP making deals on the greens and start making them in the office where everybody is involved.