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Why are we losing long term avid players ?

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Been running into a rash of former golf partners that were extremely avid long term golfers.Im perplexed why they are leaving this great game?And it’s quite a bit more than I anticipated.All skill levels from scratch - to - high cappers.What is going on?

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5 minutes ago, Twofer said:

Been running into a rash of former golf partners that were extremely avid long term golfers.Im perplexed why they are leaving this great game?And it’s quite a bit more than I anticipated.All skill levels from scratch - to - high cappers.What is going on?

Have you asked them?

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Yeah... that's odd. People generally do things for specific reasons. Financial, health, work, family, etc. But few people just give up on things they are passionate or avid about.

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Actuarial tables combined with biomechanical deterioration 😉.  I know several folks here in my area that said they use to play but have given up the game due to shoulder, back, hip, elbow, you name it, issues. 

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I have a few friends whom I consider avid golfers who have given it up in the last few years.

In those cases health was the issue. Frankly my enjoyment for playing the game has waned. It’s very difficult to go from shooting in the low 70’s to struggling to break 80. It’s just as much fun.

I love to practice and enjoy playing for fun with friends but I don’t play anywhere near as much golf as I did five years ago.




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I'll give it to the OP, he's really concerned about growing the game and making sure no one quits. Besides this thread, there's also:

and

 

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It’s just such a difficult game . And many might give up if they can’t be at the competitive level they were used to. 

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So many possible reasons...

Can you find a way to have fun when you're not playing well?

@Big money nailed it in his answer above.  If you're wrapped up in your score, if you let it be the sole factor in your enjoyment, you're eventually going to quit.

 

Are you short on time because of changes in your life (spouse, kids, job)?

Is there any way around that?  I basically quit playing when my oldest was born.  But when she was old enough, I had a club in her hands.  For a few years, my playing was mainly limited to the three pitch-n-putt holes at the TFT location where she was in classes and I volunteer.  Eventually she got old enough to graduate to "real" courses and I was playing "real" golf again.  

Courses like Canal Shores that have rates for five and six hole loops that can be played in an hour or so at lunch or after work are on the right track.  Most significant others will give you an hour to get some exercise.  No reason that can't be on a golf course.  Keeping clubs in the hands of busy people is the best way to keep avid golfers in the game.  If you can play a few holes every week, you're still a golfer, and you'll go play 18 on those few occasions when you get the chance.

 

Are financial realities getting in the way?

This is a tough one, but are you willing to take a step down and play a majority of your golf at a lower quality course to stay in the game?  Some people would rather quit.  I basically stopped playing when I was out of college and had no money, but I also didn't work very hard to find affordable golf where I lived.

 

Are you losing distance?

If so, can you put your ego aside and play courses from tees that let you hit the clubs the designer envisioned (shoutout @chisag)?  Know what's fun?  Putting for birdies.  Know what's not fun?  Hitting fairway woods into greens designed to receive 7 iron shots.  

 

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6 hours ago, Big money said:

It’s just such a difficult game . And many might give up if they can’t be at the competitive level they were used to. 

I have a friend, with a lower handicap than mine, text me yesterday saying he played so badly at the weekend he's seriously considering stopping, giving up an expensive membership and just playing a few fun rounds each summer on public courses.

We've all been there

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For most it’s likely one if 3 main reasons - time, money, physical.
As others have said, enjoyment of the game and the ‘why do you play?’ factor matter as well.
When one of the big three prevents players from enjoying the game or overcomes their motivation to play most are going to stop playing.


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I was checking in at the Pro Shop and a guy walked up behind me obviously irritated. While he didn’t state his reason for doing so he did ask the Pro to cancel his membership. The Pro’s response was typical of what I tend to see across the industry...........an attitude of arrogance and indifference.

 

People may remember what you say, they could remember what you do, they will always remember how you make them feel. I’ve met some really great folks on the Golf Course and I’ve met twice that number of Arrogant a$&holes. There is so much competition for people’s time and money, in order to remain competitive you must be completely committed to customers experience. Whenever I take a break it’s usually related to the negative attitudes around me and not the sport itself. I’m perfectly ok with playing bad because I have realistic expectations. I play a lot of 9 hole golf so time is also not a factor.

 

I think the number one reason Golfers leave the sport is because of a decline in the enjoyment factor. The Golf Community as a whole needs to spend more time developing a culture committed to the players overall experience.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SteddyGolf said:

I was checking in at the Pro Shop and a guy walked up behind me obviously irritated. While he didn’t state his reason for doing so he did ask the Pro to cancel his membership. The Pro’s response was typical of what I tend to see across the industry...........an attitude of arrogance and indifference.

 

People may remember what you say, they could remember what you do, they will always remember how you make them feel. I’ve met some really great folks on the Golf Course and I’ve met twice that number of Arrogant a$&holes. There is so much competition for people’s time and money, in order to remain competitive you must be completely committed to customers experience. Whenever I take a break it’s usually related to the negative attitudes around me and not the sport itself. I’m perfectly ok with playing bad because I have realistic expectations. I play a lot of 9 hole golf so time is also not a factor.

 

I think the number one reason Golfers leave the sport is because of a decline in the enjoyment factor. The Golf Community as a whole needs to spend more time developing a culture committed to the players overall experience.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

I have a beautiful muni course 1.5 miles from my front door. I refuse to play it because of the arrogant, stuffy attitude that generally pervades the whole place. It was built with tax payer money and billed as a golf course for the citizens of Massillon. Yea.... what a joke. We got fleeced.... the only citizens that matter are the elite and affluent... the rest of us aren't wanted, and it shows in the attitude toward us "regular" citizens.

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I agree with the last few posts.The sport is really trending more elitist.And going back to its 1960ish “ I’m better than you roots”.Its real obvious every where I go.Kinda holding back and not saying a lot but just enjoying the game.It is getting to the point where the members are starting to look down more on others more than I can remember.If it keeps trending this way I might be looking into new hobbies as well.The nerve of these people and the aura they give off is just so toxic for growing the game.Im at the point now in my life where instead of fighting a bad situation.Im going to just walk away with my head held high.So yes!! I can see why many avid golfers walk away.Only so much one can take of elitist a*holes.And the sad thing they see nothing wrong with the way they act or how their cronies act.And I was actually very pleased my son never had any interest as of late for golf.Im not going to promote this game to anyone knowing what I know.Was always a huge backer of this game.No more,at times I’m embarrassed telling my friends I play golf.Honestly,,...If your an a**hole, or rich elitist than you most likely play golf.

Edited by Big money

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1 hour ago, Edveed said:

I agree with the last few posts.The sport is really trending more elitist.And going back to its 1960ish “ I’m better than you roots”.Its real obvious every where I go.Kinda holding back and not saying a lot but just enjoying the game.It is getting to the point where the members are starting to look down more on others more than I can remember.If it keeps trending this way I might be looking into new hobbies as well.The nerve of these people and the aura they give off is just so toxic for growing the game.Im at the point now in my life where instead of fighting a bad situation.Im going to just walk away with my head held high.So yes!! I can see why many avid golfers walk away.Only so much one can take of elitist a*holes.And the sad thing they see nothing wrong with the way they act or how their cronies act

While I value your opinion, I couldn't disagree more. Yes I do play at a (relatively inexpensive) private club, but we also play a lot at Munis and other public courses. I've found other golfers very welcoming and interested in promoting the sport/hobby to others. I play frequently with single digit handicappers and they could care less that I'm a high handicapper. We go out to have fun and of course play the best we can. Maybe the friendliness is just a Midwest thing....hmmm probably not . 

Are there elitist clubs and snobby people - well of course,  but those clubs and people would be the same whether they were golf, tennis, yacht, etc. clubs.  

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19 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

While I value your opinion, I couldn't disagree more. Yes I do play at a (relatively inexpensive) private club, but we also play a lot at Munis and other public courses. I've found other golfers very welcoming and interested in promoting the sport/hobby to others. I play frequently with single digit handicappers and they could care less that I'm a high handicapper. We go out to have fun and of course play the best we can. Maybe the friendliness is just a Midwest thing....hmmm probably not . 

Are their elitist clubs and snobby people - well of course,  but those clubs and people would be the same whether they were golf, tennis, yacht, etc. clubs.  

I agree with you Tony. I play with a wide variety of players and don't often experience this kind of snobbery. When I do, it's often guys that are that way off the course and that don't really enjoy the game to the same extent I do. Simply put, they aren't there because they are actually passionate about the game. If they were, they'd probably be a little bit happier to be playing it.

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I’m noticing many a golf forum is dying a slow death due to Instagram and other media outlets. But My golf spy forum is still alive and well. The banter on here is like no other. I love the honesty and opinions by so many. 

Again, people leave golf who were avid because of how damn hard the game is. Golf manufactures are pushing the boundaries trying to make this game more user friendly. But no matter how hard They try . It’s still such a darn hard game. People just get sick of hacking it all over day in and day out. The median score is still 95 I believe for 18. And that is a hacking round no matter how you look at it 

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39 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

I agree with you Tony. I play with a wide variety of players and don't often experience this kind of snobbery. When I do, it's often guys that are that way off the course and that don't really enjoy the game to the same extent I do. Simply put, they aren't there because they are actually passionate about the game. If they were, they'd probably be a little bit happier to be playing it.

Yup - those people are probably miserable at everything they do. 

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Could it be that for many people golf is no longer a game but has become an overwhelming focus that eventually they burn out on?

When it was just a game, people bought a set of clubs, went and practiced or played a round and that was it. They enjoyed the round of golf or their “golfing time” and that was it until they got to the course to do it again.

Now, in addition to practicing and playing, “golfing time” has taken more and more of their time. There are golf forums to discuss golf 24 hours a day. Online shopping to search for a new club that will help them improve because the practice isn’t working. Custom fittings, launch monitors, shot tracking, 24 hour golf tv channels, YouTube golf videos, etc. Maybe the people leaving have just said enough is enough. What started as a fun game became an overwhelming presence in their lives and was no longer fun.

How many here or on other forums enjoy buying a new piece of equipment more than actually playing? After awhile the fun of purchasing new gear is less and less fulfilling until finally they realize they just spent $1000’s and are no better or happier in the game.





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