Golf has been described as a “good walk spoiled.”
The rise of Tiger Woods brought an increased interest in the sport along with a new generation of fans in the early part of the century. However, recent stories from CNN and Bloomberg news report a declining interest in the game.
Business contributor Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, looks at the business of golf.
According to the National Golf Foundation, more than 400,000 players, mostly men, left the sport last year. This may be attributed to the wicked winter weather on the east coast delaying the start of the game.
Golf club and gear sales also declined due to the new technology being phased into the sport, which older players may be slower to pick up. But Harris believes that another form of technology has had a negative effect on the sport as well.
“I think golf has been traditionally used as a way for people to connect and do a lot of business on the course. I think people are doing that more through shorter events, through social networking, through social media. I think things are replacing it."
Overall Pennsylvania is traditionally a popular place for golf. Harris said Pennsylvania is home to over 700 golf courses in total, 500 of which are open to the public.
Harris recommends taking lessons to improve your golf game, and there are plenty of historic golf courses in the greater Pittsburgh area to enjoy over the summer.
The Mystic Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands resort can offer a challenge to even skilled golfers, with a par of 72 on a 7,533 yard course.
Golf magazine has named Old Stonewall Golf Club in Elwood City as one of the top ten new public courses in 1999.
Cranberry Highlands Golf Club in Cranberry Township has a very rugged landscape according to Harris, with a 186 acre course for golfers of all skill levels.