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"If Jack Nicklaus can't get his grandkids to play golf, what hope do the rest of us have?"

That's Geoff Russell's Golf World Monday assessment after last week's PGA Show/state of the game summit in Florida. And it is a pretty stunning statement when only one of his 22 grandkids is really into the game, playing "more than a little bit."

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Reader Comments (21)

wow, that is very surprising!
01.30.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Maybe they just don't want to follow in the golf footsteps of Gary, Steve, and Jackie? Golf ain't like politics in that regard. Thanks be to a most kind providence.
"only one of his 22 grandkids is really into the game"

Everybody stop...what's that sound? It's Joe Louis Barrow whistling through the graveyard.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
Even the Nicklaus family don't enjoy grandad's pace of play!
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Norrie
Doesn't that invite the question: what do they do with their free time?


1) Play team sports.

2) Work to overcome social injustices.

3) Play video games.

4) Do course design and re-design.

5) Other.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered Commenterstyled
It ain't that easy to force an interest on a kid.
I don't know how old the grandkids are, but don't you think some of the parents might have thought, 'Hey, golf scholarship. Here's an economical way to get Junior through college.'
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Smith
Pretty hard to play the game when you get this every time you say your name
Any, relation?
Yeah (great) grandfather!
(Thinks) How come your game is so lousy?
Not enough 9 hole par 3 courses, can't really blame the kids for this, blame grandpa
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
His grandkids all play a low draw, which isn't suitable at all the courses they had access to...
The courses are all too short & not enough of a challenge...
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Drew

I'm thinkin' finances aren't an issue.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Golfer
Hypothetical question: Was it easier for The King's grandson since he was the child of a daughter rather than a son?
I think expense and time is the major reason golf isn't growing in the US. You can take the kids to a movie and spend 60 bucks. Take them to play golf and it'll cost you a fortune. Also, most people aren't exposed to playing golf until high school. Lets get the PGA to start encouraging elementary schools to teach the sport, encourage more inexpensive 9 hole courses. And I'd suggest that they be built without water hazards. And charging 20 or 30 bucks for rental clubs is insane. That would be a start, IMHO.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOtterknowbetter
While still a fan of pro golf, I gave up playing a few years ago. I played the game 20+ years, but the reasons I stopped were 1. financial and 2. time. To be any good (this is true for 99% of us at least) you have to play frequently. And playing frequently, if you're middle class or lower, is a big bite out of your budget. I finally decided there were cheaper ways to drive myself crazy. Love the game, but the cost is becoming prohibitive for some families.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRDC5
It's not that difficult to figure out. If there is a super successful person in a family, it ldoes not ogically follow that any of his grandchildren will be interested in the same endeavour. Also, some of his grandchildren may be female and not that many young females have an interest in playing a sport. Finally, there are many more interesting activities today for youngsters than when Jack was a kid.
01.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuffett
Maybe they just can't hit the high fades that 'ole Jacks courses demand?
01.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Colonel
WOW...that's a pretty low % turnout for Jack's clan. Not surprising since jr golf participation is going down the tubes.

It's for all of the usual reasons...too expensive, takes too long, too many forced carries, too many carts, too "boring", too many old people, etc...

IMO a huge reason for golf's decline can be traced back to the popularity of the golf cart(revenues) and the death of GC caddy/work programs. There's less incentive for the youngsters to get out there in the first place and less in terms keeping them fascinated about the game. Fascination leads to discipline...which is what you need in order to enjoy this game your whole life.
01.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
"IMO a huge reason for golf's decline can be traced back to the popularity of the golf cart(revenues) and the death of GC caddy/work programs."

Amen, brother.
01.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
To the guy standing in line at 6:00 AM on Saturday at the local muni, golf has plenty of participants. The only people you hear whining about "growing the game" are the ones who make money off it. Sorry Jack, love ya, but do we really need more 7500 yd courses with outrageous maintenance budgets? Lastly, the game itself doesn't appeal to young kids. Too many rules, hard to learn, dress codes, etc. I have a hard time getting my kids to even have lunch at my club. Golf will take care of itself just as it has done the last 500+ years.
01.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterP-Dog
To go play at the local 9 hole muni near me, it's $26 for residents on the weekend to walk. Of course if you don't play regularly you probably don't have clubs, it's $20 to rent clubs, so the real cost is $46 for a casual round + balls.

That means if you are a casual golfer and want to play a weekend round of 9 holes on your local muni with your family of four, it will cost you at least $200. People don't start something, or play it casually at that high a price point.
01.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Funny how for all the years that Jack Nicklaus had goods with his name on them, he never went to the PGA merch Show. Now that he has nothing there, he shows up to tell the world whats wrong with the game. I bet all of those company owners feel had.
01.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Buffalo

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