Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Golf 20/20 Targets Goals NOTEBOOK

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Golf 20/20 Targets Goals NOTEBOOK

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Golf 20/20 wrapped up its three-day summit of industry leaders yesterday at the World Golf Village with long-term goals established to boost the growth of golf while retaining existing players, and short-term goals to get there.

Tim Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA Tour and chairman of the board for the World Golf Foundation, said the immediate plan would be to keep the Golf 20/20 executive board and steering committees intact and meet on an annual basis.

"We need to continue this forum," Finchem said yesterday at the final general session of Golf 20/20. "We want new participants, stake-holders and investors to see a game with a unity of purpose and a common vision."

One of the long-term goals is to increase the number of new golfers from 3 million a year to 3.5 million over the next 20 years, and reduce the number of golfers who leave the game from 3 million a year to 2.5 million. The net gain would be 20 million new players by the year 2020, instead of the flat growth rate the National Golf Foundation has reported since 1997.

Another goal is to increase rounds played by people who already are involved in the game. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 570 million rounds played during one year in the U.S., and the Golf 20/20 goal is to make it 1 billion by 2020.

Also, over the next 20 years, Finchem wants to raise the fan base of golf from 96 million to 177 million.

To do that, Finchem proposed a number of solutions, including better consumer research and analysis, using new media such as the Internet to track the fan and player base, provide continued support for The First Tee, the World Golf Foundation's initiative to make golf more accessible and affordable for kids and look at providing more "alternative" facilities, such as nine-hole courses, par-3 courses or even courses with 3-6 holes. …

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