The State of the Game

Ryan Ballengee takes a comprehensive (and I mean comprehensive) look at the state of the game, the impact of technology and other elements.

This was an interesting positive, among many other not so uplifting conclusions:

 In its 2006 report at the annual Golf 20/20 Conference, PGA of America President Roger Warren showed that the Play Golf America program may be achieving its goals. Website hits were way up, the number of participating facilities increased, and there was a 21% in the number of people utilizing free lessons during PGA Free Lesson Month. The American Express Women's Golf Week saw a 159% increase in the number of female players participating. Among those participants in those events, 23% and 52% of each described themselves as new golfers. Among all participants for both programs, 41% and 22% respectively then went on to signup for a tee time at a golf facility afterward. Play Golf America also claims a 79% one-year retention rate for its new golfer participants. In all, this is very striking data in the face of NGF data that may indicate a contrarian trend before (and maybe during) Play Golf America.