Sara Germano of the WSJ first wrote about the millennial crisis striking golf, or at least, those who think there is only one generation of people who matter, even if they are saddled with student loan debt and working for Baby Boomers with money and an affinity for golf. Because why go for the folks with money when you can get the ones looking at their phone all day?
Matt Powell of Forbes, who writes about the "culture and business of sneakers,” took the WSJ story and said golf lost the millenials and therefore, is pretty much doomed. By the way, just to recap, the sport is also doomed because two companies got a little greedy, made some bad projections, made even worse decisions, and didn't meet their numbers. This is what accounts for deciding the fate of a $76 billion industry and its future these days, even if the management of a course has nothing to do with the aforementioned behaviors.
Anyway, the structure of the Powell follow up to the WSJ item and complete lack of acknowledgement of golf demographics over the last century--skewing ancient--makes this almost comical reading except that Forbes readers are just as likely to believe this as the fictional athlete earnings nonsense the publication puts out.
With all the bad news in golf, this kind of stuff just doesn't improve the discourse:
The Golf Industry failed to attract Millennials to the game. The National Golf Foundation said there were 400,000 fewer golfers in 2013, with 200,000 of the decline coming from Millennials. Since Millennials represent 25% of the nation’s population, this decline is devastating to the sport.
So, why don’t millennials play golf?
Golf is too time consuming
Millennials value ease, speed and efficiency in their endeavors. Raised on the internet, “instant gratification” is the expectation. 4+ hours essentially doing the same thing over and over is against the idea of Speed and efficiency.
Golf is exclusive
Millennials are the most inclusive generation. They want to share their experiences with as many friends as possible. Golf says, “All of you can play, as long as it no more than four.” Boomers value exclusiveness. The idea of paying to have the privilege of exclusive membership to play golf is counter to millennial values.
Actually, it's counter to the values of anyone who is not in the upper class with abundant spare time. Sorry, that's not a millenial issue, but an economic one. The rich are richer, the poor poorer.
And when is someone going to write about golf's positive prospects because millions of Baby Boomers are about to retire and need a recreational pursuit to enhance their free time?