Week at TravelGolf.com: November 15, 2005
Will Wie one-up Woods with
effect on the business of golf?
I recently came across an article by T.R. Reinman of Golf
Magazine about the "Tiger Effect." Reinman was writing about how the
Tiger Woods phenomenon fueled "explosive reaction from the galleries
that stretch from U.S. Amateur ropes in small markets to the big stages,
Augusta National and the PGA Championship."
He went on and on about Tiger's effect on the pro game before tossing
in a thought or two about the other 99 percent of golf: amateur
participation. "Junior programs have burgeoned across the country," he
wrote, later closing with this cheery capper: "The Tiger Effect is
big...and it's only getting bigger."
Well, the truth is that, for the golf industry, the Tiger Effect
hasn't been all it had hoped for. Tiger
indeed has changed the face of pro golf. But at the same
time, the buzz on the floor at the PGA Merchandise Show in 1999, the
first of many I have attended, was how rounds were slumping and product
sales were stagnant. And ever since then, there hasn't been a ton of
great news for the folks who track rounds and other industry indicators.
Is that the Tiger effect?
Actually, what happened is that, much like tech investors horny to get
rich during the dot-com boom of the late '90s, the golf industry (course
ownership groups, clubmakers, apparel cos.) all overspent, thinking
Woods would have everybody in the U.S. golfing by
2001. Lots of newbies tried the game, sure, and some stuck with it. But
the overall customer base and demographics didn't change that much, did
they? If the Tiger Effect was big and getting bigger, why would the
industry then scramble to create growth-of-the-game campaigns like Play
Golf America and Link Up 2 Golf? These are good, valuable programs that
affect both the industry and individuals in a very positive way. But
they were not created because golf courses were turning people away.
You may not have ever heard of GOLF 20/20. It is an organization of
high-powered golf industry leaders working together to bring more people
to golf. Founded in 1999, it's a safe bet that GOLF 20/20 insiders long
ago gave up hope that Tiger alone would lead them to the Promi$ed Land.
No, a quick glance at one of GOLF 20/20's most recent industry reports
is rather telling. Titled "WHAT WOMEN WANT FROM GOLF," it reports that
"according to research by a number of golf organizations, women make a
significant contribution to the economics of golf, and ... could spend
The Tiger Effect is yesterday's news, folks. Somewhere along the
line, he lost the burden of having to save the golf industry from itself
and now women are in. Count on this: Golf honchos everywhere have begun
banking on the Michelle Wie Effect. She's going to be big big big, I tell you! This 16-year-old Hawaiian kid with no wins is going to bring women to golf in droves! Bank on it!
As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.
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Punta Gorda, Fla. is the type of area that demands action. With sterling
weather, wildlife and Charlotte Harbor all beckoning you to come play,
options are limitless for those who like to get out and get going.
Still, the golfing action is enough to keep a duffer happy in Punta
Gorda, as courses like Riverwood Golf Club and St. Andrews South Golf
Club will get golfers active where they enjoy it the most, on the course.
Full story | Also: Your one-stop shop for planning a Vegas golf vacation
The worlds of news and business continue to pull closer, as evidenced by
Golf Digest's new deal as a "partner" with the PGA Tour. While this
trend tends to be lucrative for both sides, are readers and golf fans
the ones who will be hurt? National Golf Editor Tim McDonald takes a
look at this new partnership, and wonders if it will just lead to more
watered-down coverage from a top golf magazine.
Full story | Come to GolfBoards.com for great debate (or just to bag on Baldwin)
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The Grand Strand is looked at by golfers around the globe with awe and
respect. And while it's true that with so many courses on great land
makes Myrtle Beach a great golf location, there are some courses you
don't want to overlook. We take a look at some of these courses - like
Pawley's Plantation and Oyster Bay - to remind golfers what courses they
shouldn't miss in this can't-miss destination.
Full story | Also: Myrtle Beach has great courses - just not these