The USGA and the State of Golf in the United States

The USGA and the State of Golf in the United States

By
George Foster, David Hoyt
2014|Case No.SPM52| Length 34 pgs.

Through the first part of the twenty-first century, the number of people playing golf in the United States had been in decline. Fewer people played the game, they played less frequently, and more golf courses were closing than opening. Players complained that it took too long to play golf, new courses were too difficult, and the game was expensive and hard to learn. However, the professional game was thriving, with increasing prize money and television viewership.

The case looks at the governance of golf, with particular emphasis on the United States Golf Association. It asked students to consider what groups should be responsible for the health of the game, and what might be done to increase participation.

Learning Objective

This case is intended for use in a course on sports management. It highlights challenges facing leaders of a sport that, at least at the amateur participant level, shows multiple indicators of decline. Instructors may note that at the PGA Tour level, there is much less evidence of decline—in fact, the PGA Tour appears to be strong. The teaching objective is to study the governance and stakeholders in the sport, and how they can work to improve the health of the sport.

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