Hartland Golf: Trends in Golf Outings Indicate Growth in National Economy
US News writer Rick Newman discusses the annual trend in the golf industry as an indicator tracking the economy, including GDP growth, unemployment rate, and the stock market. According to Newman, there was a 5.7 increase in the number of rounds Americans played from 2011 to 2012, based on the data from the National Golf Foundation. The current leap benefits large and small golf courses and clubs throughout the country, as well as reflects the current situation of the country’s economy.
Last year, golf courses and clubs increased their playable days by 6.5 percent, mostly in several northern states, including Maine, the Dakotas, and Michigan, according to the Pro Golfers Association (PGA). Known for their wide meadows, Hartland and Brighton in Michigan are some of the places where newer golf courses are beginning to take shape, aside from those that have already been open for decades. Some Hartland golf clubs and people, for instance, have already received recognition from PGA. These developments may somehow give a glimpse of the current state of the economy, both locally and nationally.
The golf industry was severely damaged by the real estate bubble that started in 2006, causing some 500 golf courses to close. The story changed in 2012 when golf outings started to rebound, according to Newman. While there was a trend in golf courses shutting down—mostly the public ones—the sudden upswing clearly indicates a turning point in the economy, as more people are having the wealth to add to the outings.
Golf is popular for being an expensive sport or a game for the moneyed. Simple registration at a golf club may cost a lot, although the experience and opportunities are worth it. However, members may enjoy playing in the courses or practicing in the driving range in Brighton, MI at very reasonable costs. The increasing number of members in golf clubs and golf enthusiasts lines up with other signs that Americans are becoming more upbeat, according to Newman.
Many golf clubs like Faulkwood Shores Golf Club even offer free golf for golfing enthusiasts in return for their voluntary service for maintaining the golf courses, which normally involves simple and doable tasks. Programs like this even stir people’s interest in securing opportunities to play a round in any of the golf courses across the state. Hopefully, the golf industry will have its ritzy image, as Newman describes it, restored in the next few years.
An industry as big as golf, which totals around $20 billion in greens fees and $5 billion dollars in clothes and equipment, is difficult to restore after a strong economic downturn. Its sudden surge since a couple of years back may not only reveal development in its own field but also in the national economy as a whole. Not that the golf industry is huge enough to fuel the economy, but the fact that the wealthy are starting to regain their financial capacity to increase the annual rounds shows the economy is slowly healing.