Golf Industry on the Decline

November 10, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. market ˈmɑr kɪt / (n.) – the audience of a particular business
Example: Young professionals are the brand’s target market.  

2. wane weɪn / (v.) – to decrease in a certain period of time
Example: The ratings show that the audience’s interest in the show is waning.  

3. at its peak ætˈɪtsˈpik / (idiom) – at one’s strongest or most successful point
Example: The popularity of social networking sites is currently at its peak.

4. millennial mɪlˈlɛn i əl / (n.) – someone who is born from the 1980s until early 2000s.
Example: Because of the advancement in technology, most millennials prefer fast-paced activities. 

5. downturn ˈdaʊnˌtɜrn / (n.) – a decline in a business or activity
Example: The economic downturn caused some employees to lose their jobs.


Read the text below.
The world’s largest specialty golf store is about to close some branches due to a declining market

Golfsmith International Holdings Inc., a Texas-based retailer specializing in golf apparel and equipment, was founded in 1967 by Carl and Barbara Paul. It has over 100 branches in the United States and 55 branches in Canada. The company carries well-known sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma. 

In September, the chain filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Chapter 11 allows a company to restructure its business operations so that it can become profitable again. Recently, Golfsmith announced the closing of its Houston branch, as well as 19 other shops.  

Golf’s waning popularity is cited as a major factor in the company’s decline. The sport was considered to be at its peak during the early to mid-2000s, when renowned professional golfer Tiger Woods ruled the international scene. However, according to an article published in Bloomberg, the number of golf players in the United States dropped from 30.6 million in 2003 to 24.1 million in 2014.

Research firm IBISWorld reported in June that there is currently a high supply in golf merchandise, but low enthusiasm among consumers. Golf is also struggling to break into the millennial market, as the sport’s slow-paced and time-consuming nature does not appeal to most members of this generation. 

As a consequence of golf’s downturn, popular sports brands Nike and Adidas have expressed the intention to stop selling golf equipment. 

On the other hand, people in the golf industry are coming up with ways to regain customers. Some operators are redesigning their golf courses to make the games more beginner-friendly. Others are becoming more lenient with some policies to cater to the younger market.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are other reasons why younger people do not find golf appealing? 
·         In what other ways can the golf industry attract the younger market? Explain. 

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, which sport can cater to a large market? Why?
·         In what ways can an industry sustain its consumers? Discuss. 

November 10, 2016