US golfers are dealing with the economic downturn by trading down to cheaper options, according to Joe Beditz of the country’s National Golf Foundation.
Speaking to the KPMG Golf Business Forum at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales, Beditz explained that NGF research shows that golfers have responded to economic pressures, not by playing less golf, but by opting for less expensive courses and trimming back on club memberships. “The story will be told in the next two quarters,” he said.
Though clubs are struggling, their response has typically been to cut costs and prices, he said. “We did a major study of private clubs last year, and we found that, since the year 2000, over 400 clubs had changed their status to public courses. In the same period, only 40 had closed,” Beditz told the conference.