Tiger Woods' slump is nothing compared to the trouble his beloved sport is facing.
The Wall Street Journal reports golf may be losing up to one million participants a year in America.
Back when Tiger was making PGA Tour wins look easy, the golf industry boomed. But as Ernie Harwell, the late, great voice of the Detroit Tigers might have said, those days are long gone.
Two million jobs in the United States are golf-related. The Journal reports that during last month's big trade show in Orlando, Fla., a number of solutions were tossed around to fix the lousy numbers.
PGA of America believes it needs to add more underserved golfers such as women and minorities.
Glen Nager, U.S. Golf Association's new president, asked for golf to become more accessible to the masses. The incoming president wants to make golf more affordable, more enjoyable to play, and more welcoming without fundamentally changing the game.
The USGA and PGA have co-sponsored the Tee It Forward initiative, which is basically an attempt to make golf a simpler game for beginning players. No breathtaking changes have been made yet, but they could be coming soon.
A few more radical ideas have been thrown around to help bring in new golfers, including:
• Doubling the size of the hole.
• Different rules for players who want a quicker game and aren't as talented.
• Adding two types of balls -- one that flies farther for longer courses and a ball designed for shorter courses.
• Legalizing clubs and balls to make golf easier.
Despite the setback, the PGA Tour has some eye-popping goals for its future. It plans to expanded golf's base from 26 million players today all the way up to 40 million golfers by 2020.
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