Golf Finds Itself in the Rough

Economy, family dynamics, even bad weather blamed for downswing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2008 10:47 AM CST
Golfers prepare to tee off at the first hole at day break during the third day of practice rounds for the 89th PGA Golf Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.(AP Photo/Charlie...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The number of American golfers is dropping—and those who do play aren't playing as much as they used to. Busy people aren't as willing to spend four hours on 18 holes, and the rise of electronic games has hurt outdoor activities. Golf professionals are trying to think up innovative ways to tame the hazards, the New York Times reports.

A recent campaign to boost golf's popularity had little effect, and the National Golf Foundation says economic woes are keeping people away. Some course owners are going bust, but others are adapting to survive. “When the ship is sinking, it’s time to get creative," said the owner of a club that added a tent to host weddings, christenings, and the like.