User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

18° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Giving Up On Golf

August 13, 2014, 10:05 PM by Don Jorgensen

Giving Up On Golf

There was a time when it looked like the game of golf had hit a hole-in-one.

The game was surging as people were buying up equipment and booking tee times left and right.  But across the country courses are closing because fewer, younger golfers are picking up the clubs.

It begs the question, is the game of golf in at state of gloom.    

While golf still appeals to many, the National Golf Foundation reports more than four million people left the game last year. 

It's a downward trend that's caught the eye of those who provide the outdoor entertainment.

Elmwood, one of three public courses in Sioux Falls, has seen about a 10 percent drop off in its golfers over a five year period. 

While the president of Dakota Golf Management is concerned, he believes Sioux Falls' golf market is still very strong. 

"Golf has always been a game where people come into the game and fall out of the game and come back in and like any other activity or sport, there's kind of highs and lows that come along with it, it gets popular and then falls off a little bit for a number of reasons," President of Dakota Golf Management Tom Jansa said.

"There are three big things that have happened with golf why people are not playing; they think it's too expensive, it's too hard, and it takes too long," director of GreatLife golf Jason Sudenga said.

Anyone who has ever played, knows golf can be frustrating and it can be expensive. 

Last December, an organization came onto the scene to try and save the game in this area.  GreatLife is providing reduced fees for unlimited golf and fitness to recapture some of those people who have hung up their clubs. 

"Golf definitely has been on the decline with everything that's going on.  Tiger Woods was a main draw of golf back in the early 2000's when he was playing really well," Sudenga said.

But Tiger Woods has struggled lately and because he has, Sudenga says so has the game.

The largest percentages of golfers who have quit are those between the ages of 20 and 35.

"That disposable income for that age bracket, they don't quite have the disposable income," Sudega said.

But GreatLife feels its unlimited golf and fitness is very affordable and is attractive to that age bracket.

Another sign that golf isn't what it used to be is the number of golf courses across the country that have closed in recent years, over 150.

Experts call it a market correction.

"It was a huge golf boom and many courses were being built and of course they were in process of being built at a time when the economy went down a little bit, so there came a lot of golf courses online at a time when participation was lagging, so we've been in a pattern when golf courses are being turned into other uses then actually building new ones, Jansa said.

No golf courses have closed in the Sioux Falls area yet. Jansa doesn't believe any will, because they recognize they have to offer incentives and other programs if they want to keep the number of golfers up to par.

Elmwood offers the First Tee program that gives kids five years old and up lessons and a chance to play at a reduced price. GreatLife now has over 3,600 members who get unlimited golf at 11 area golf courses.

Previous Story

Next Story



View featured stories

You may also like

South Dakota Stadium Connection

2/7/2016 10:15 PM

U.S. Bank Stadium is almost ready for the 2016 season. It's taking a lot to get the facility up and running and some of the help is coming fr...

Full Story | Watch
Smart Toys Smart Hackers

2/4/2016 10:15 PM

Security experts at Dakota State University say many of these toys use wireless internet connections, but don't have the correct data security in ...

Full Story | Watch
Building The Future Of Sioux Falls

2/2/2016 10:15 PM

Will Sioux Falls see another record breaking year in construction?

Full Story | Watch
Making History In KELOLAND

2/3/2016 10:00 PM

This month, several African-American pioneers including Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman are being recognized for their accomplis...

Full Story | Watch
Super Bowl I Memories

2/5/2016 9:55 PM

How's this for beginner's luck?  The very first pro football game a Sioux Falls man ever attended would eventually become the biggest spe...

Full Story | Watch