Just because at the present time there's a declining number of golfers in the western world it doesn't mean that globally the numbers aren't looking good.
Think global, act local
Over at the Telegraph there's an article, "Golf on course to be a truly global business" and has to be a must read for golf clubs seeking more bums on (golf cart) seats.
Before presenting a case in point for the New Zealand scenario here's some global facts.
"For trend-trackers such as Mr Milligan, the emergence of a true middle class, with a culture widely receptive to golf, is what matters. “The estimates we hear for [the number of] golfers in China goes as low as 300,000 and up to two million-plus. “That’s a tiny sliver of the population but it’s enough to produce an indigenous market of exclusive country clubs.”
It could also support a package-tour business bringing wealthy Chinese golfers to destinations such as Scotland, Ireland and Pebble Beach, California. “These affluent Asian travellers follow the established patterns,” Mr Milligan says. “On their Scotland trips they want to experience the courses, the castles and the single-malt whisky − just like anyone who gets the golf bug and has the wherewithal to really pursue it.”
And as for India
“Project 15 years to where India’s population reaches 1.5bn,” says Mr Milligan. “At that point a golf participation rate of just 2.5pc would mean a market equal to today’s US golf market.”
Cape Kidnappers and the (absent) Chinese
My case in point for New Zealand
Late last year I spent two consecutive days playing golf at Cape Kidnappers and was somewhat surprised at the lack of overseas players from countries other than the USA.
I must add that having made my observation to Jon the Head professional, I am aware of the issues and the fact they are attempting to reach out to the growing Asian market.
Today I talked to my good friend Joe who's an ex pat from Hong Kong and mentioned a very recent email from another long standing good friend from my days of living in Vancouver.
Henry mentioned that lots of Asians and particularly people from Hong Kong are returning home because Vancouver is too boring.
Joe responded to my question of why are they're returning home by saying that they are generally speaking not very interested in outdoor activities.
New Zealand is very fortunate that the influx of Asians has helped to compensate for the dwindling number of golfers. And I'm thinking that much as I applaud the efforts being made to entice youngsters to the game. And the idea of trying out the game by playing only 9 holes. I'm left with thought; what's New Zealand Golf doing to entice more Asians to take up the game before they too may consider going home?
Links to Forbes and the Telegraph
Quote of the Day
“The building of golf courses as an economic activity has migrated from the traditional sites of North America, the UK or Europe to places like China, India and the Middle East, which is a fascinating shift.” - The Telegraph