New Jersey’s golf courses fighting to attract more players
Back in the late 1990s, as Tiger Woods began winning tournaments, the game of golf was more popular than ever, however, for a variety of reasons, including time commitment, cost and high degrees of difficulty and frustration, the number of people playing golf today has decreased.
Now, golf course managers across New Jersey are trying to change that trend.
According to Kevin Purcell, executive director of the New Jersey State Golf Association, course managers are getting creative, trying to think outside the box, as they look for ways to attract more players.
"They're trying to push the camaraderie. You're seeing more leagues pop up. They're being very aggressive with outings, just trying to make it as easy as possible. Plus they're investing in the golf courses," Purcell said.
Many courses are also trying to attract players by upgrading their facilities.
"They know play is not going to continue like it did in the 80s and 90s when people were going to come out and play regardless of the conditions. They're trying to make it as pleasant an experience as possible," Purcell said.
He added some courses are also including carts in the greens fees, as well as lunch and cold beverages.
"Courses are also offering discounted rates to senior golfers. It breaks down the barrier of certain people not playing at certain times or not as often as they'd like," Purcell said.
Another trend is the growing number of programs for children, and first-time female players.
"There's a big push in golf in general to get more women involved, and comfortable coming to the golf course," Purcell said. "The idea is to help them understand all aspects of the game so they can relax and there isn't the intimidation factor."