NGF: Baby boomer boom wont be so big

A warning from the National Golf Foundation: The swelling population of retiring baby boomers isn’t going to give golf operations a significant bump.

“Golf courses and golf businesses should curb their expectations,because this generation of retirees may not be golfing as much as their predecessors,” the NGF advises.

To be sure, the NGF isn’t telling us to turn out the lights because the party is over. But not so long ago, the group believed that advancing armies of baby boomers would lift golf to dreamy heights. Today, the impact of the baby boomers “is expected to be less than we hoped for.”

So how can golf courses generate more play? According to the NGF, there’s only one route out of our current predicament.

“In order for the industry to sustain success and enjoy future growth it is vital for golf businesses to focus on increasing frequency of play by current golfers and getting new golfers to play the game.”

Yes, it’s a message we’ve heard many times previously. 

If our business truly seeks growth, it might start by focusing on female golfers. Women are more than half of the U.S. population, but they make up only 19.3 percent of our golfers and they play only 16.6 percent of our rounds. See Report. 


For golf to grow, it must become very, very affordable. People will come in droves to play, IF green fees are low. It is simply an economic problem. Golf courses must lower their fees dramatically to capture new golfers, and keep existing golfers. Golf must be super affordable to grow.

Economize the distance of the golf ball...which economizes the size of the course...which economizes the time to play...which economizes the cost to play...which economizes the difficulty & frustration...which attracts more people...which grows the game! Those who refuse to economize, must learn to agonize Confucius 540AD

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