While data for 2007 has yet to be compiled, golf course closures nationwide are expected to outpace openings for the third straight year.
After nearly 20 years of strong growth, the nation’s total number of golf courses topped off in 2004 with 16,057. That represents an increase of 3,211 courses – about 25 percent – in 15 years.
Those 3,211 new courses represent this country’s second “Golf Boom” – the first coming during the 1920s when clubs and balls became affordable for everyone thanks to machinery that allowed for mass production. Previously, clubs were affordable only to “the privileged” because they were made one at a time by skilled craftsmen; while wound balls were being mass-produced, the market was small.
After the number peaked at 16,057, in 2005 the nation’s total golf course supply dwindled by five; last year, that number jumped to 62. Insiders are saying that number may be closer to 80 or more in 2007.
The ideal hole should provide an infinite variety of shots according to the varying positions of the tee, the situation of the flag, the direction and strength of the wind, etc... It should also at times give full advantage for the voluntary pull or slice, one of the most finished shots in golf, and one that few champions are able to carry out with any great degree of accuracy. ALISTER MACKENZIE