Is Golf Recession Proof?

GolfWeek has an interesting article on whether—as long thought—golf is recession proof.

More than ever, perhaps, industry executives are clinging to a long-held notion that golf is immune to an economic downturn. But is it really?

For years, a belief has been perpetuated through clubhouses that golfers are so enamored with their game they’ll defy logic, or at least Adam Smith-like economic models of decision-making, and somehow find a way to tee it up with their regular foursomes – even if they have to use food stamps at the halfway house for lunch.

There’s certainly some evidence to support golf’s resiliency. Even as companies started paring back on corporate entertainment a few years ago, and 9/11 knocked the starch out of golf travel, level of play didn’t plummet. Rounds, which peaked in 2000 at 518.4 million in the U.S., fell 4.5 percent to 495 million in 2003, but remained virtually unchanged over the next three years (2004-06), according to the National Golf Foundation. Meanwhile, equipment sales basically have held steady at just less than $3 billion annually between 2004-07.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s recession proof—but perhaps recession resistant.

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2 thoughts on “Is Golf Recession Proof?”

  1. No way! Golf is expensive! For those that manage to hang onto their jobs, they’ll probably be too busy and stressed out to continue playing as they have.  For those that lose their jobs, while they have more time on their hands, they have less money to play.
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    Mary N.
    2/16/2009

    Reply
  2. I work in internet services and I think the reccession is hitting businesses sure. We have seen more and more transfer their busines online with varying success. My opinion is that the business is slipping from the pro shops and high street but golfers are still intent on improving their game and are buying online. The best prices are found there and after reading a few reviews people are buying still. They may even try out gear at the pro shop then buy online.

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