May 21, 2013

Pellucid Reports That The Decline In The Golfer Base Decelerated In 2012

-Press Release, Buffalo Grove, Ill.

Pellucid reports that the decline in the golfer base decelerated in 2012 compared to previous years slowing to -2% compared to the 7% drop in 2011. Total golfers in the US managed to hold just above the 24M mark but continued the long slide from the apex of golf participation which threatened 30M in 2002. The 2012 values for golfers, consumer-reported rounds, participation, frequency and play rate in total, by gender, by age and by income are available either as an individual report ($195) or as part of Pellucid’s Publications Member program ($495 annual) which includes the Outside the Ropes newsletter, the State of the Industry report, the Monthly Weather Impact tracking and the Top 25 US Golf Markets scorecard.

Highlights of the most recent scorecard on the health of the golf consumer franchise at the national level are:
• By gender, the golfer loss was all attributable to males, female golfers increased
• By involvement, the golfer loss was concentrated in Involveds (10-39 rds/yr)
• By lifestage, the largest drop was in mid-Career (35-54), the largest percentage decline was in Juniors (despite our continued concentrated industry efforts here)
• By income, the golfer decline was concentrated in the $75-$99.9K group
• By frequency, the largest declines were seen in the 18-34 age group and $0-$34.9K income group

Jim Koppenhaver comments, “This provides a somewhat contrarian backdrop to the recent Golf 20/20 “reset” program and proclamation to grow the golfer base to 30M in the next 5 years. I’ll be treating this subject in more detail in an upcoming Outside the Ropes article but the sobering message to the World Golf Foundation folks is that they’re not starting from 25.7M golfers in their pursuit (their 2011 baseline number), they’re almost 2M shy of that entering 2013. I’ll take an uncharacteristic glass-half-full stance however and be encouraged by the fact that we only shed 400K golfers in 2012 after dropping nearly 2M in 2011 so the loss trendline decelerated. The other piece of good news coming out 2012 is that we saw rounds increase significantly enhanced by near-record favorable weather so those remaining in the franchise are engaged and will react to favorable stimuli such as weather. The stubborn downward trend however will not be broken until golf finds scalable solutions to the challenges of time, difficulty and cost and, particularly acute, an ability to connect with and engage Gen X and the Millennials.”Industry stakeholders interested in the complete 2012 Golf Consumer Franchise Scorecard can do any of the following:

To order the Pellucid Publications Membership, click here for details and to order online:

To order the individual scorecard or to request a sample for review, email

Any industry stakeholder with a vested interest in the size, dimensions and trajectory of the golf consumer base should have this scorecard as part of their “foundational” knowledge from an unbiased, independent source. As we’ve maintained from the start, you cannot be both the industry cheerleader and its conscience; we’ve staked our claim clearly and consistently in the corner of acting as the industry conscience and simply following the facts. We recommend you choose your information and insight providers accordingly.

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.