It has been 9 long years since the global financial crash that pushed tens of thousands of people to quickly losing interest in playing golf. As a result, hundreds of golf courses have closed, large numbers of private golf clubs have been sold off to non-golf groups of investors and the golf retail industry crumbled. This change in the golf culture brought on the uncertainty of golf’s future and a whole lotta golfers to become frustrated with golf not being like it use to be.
Now that the economy is improving one of the segments of golfers who found golf useful as a business tool are starting to regroup. The question today is…
Will 2017 be the year Business Golf returns?
Culture of Golf Changed
During this economic downturn from 2008 to 2017, the culture of Golf kept going as it always has. However, a certain faction of the golf culture took a huge hit in 2008 and was amongst the first casualties of the rapid stampede of golfers running away from being associated with what the general public, and a number of governmental identities, declared as being a “frivolous luxury”. Anyone who still played golf after the financial crash became a target of reticule and scorn from those searching for who to blame for the worldwide financial crisis.
Fortunately, a large amount of time has passed and it appears some wounds are starting to heal.
Where I Have Been
For the past three years, I have been sitting on the sidelines recouping from back surgery which kept me from even walking out of my back door onto the golf course. That time away from playing golf gave me a lot of time to quietly observe the golf industry, private golf clubs and how the golf culture changed over the past ten years.
The most obvious of the observations made was in the type of golfers who took the place of the millions who left the game. The younger generation of golfers who were left with the control of golf forced major changes in nearly everything associated with the game of golf and naturally, to survive, the golf industries supported those golfers.
Everything from the dress code policies at private golf clubs to the layout of some of the most historic golf courses in the world had to make changes in order to capture the interest of the younger generation. It was like a memo went out to every part of the golf world mandating that everything and everyone associated with golf had to change for change sake.
Business Golf is Surviving
Incredibly, I am excited to say there was one bastion of the golf world, who did show a significant decline in golfers over the past 9 years, survived and increased in numbers as the economy improves. Those hardcore survivors were the business golfers of the world. The golfers who use golf as a business tool.
Golfers who play business golf are coming back to play more golf and they are starting to reorganize online. Back in 2003, the internet is where business golfers started going to search for everything related to golf and business..or Business Golf. Those new to business golf who know how to use the internet effectively are now starting to run into me…again.
There are some positive signs that golf for business people is coming back.
This time around,
- The powers of today’s golf world need to embrace business golf.
- The private country clubs who have survived over the past 9 years need to open their doors to this growing group of business golfers.
- The entrepreneurs of the world need to grasp hold of playing real business golf on the golf course and not in a golf simulator or tricked up driving range.
It is uncertain if business golf will ever get back to where it was from 2003 to 2008. One can only hope it does. Who knows…maybe it will exceed all our expectations and become a mainstream business tool for recreational golfers.
Whatever happens, Let me know how I can help.