Golf decline part of continental trend

The decline in golf on P.E.I. is part of a trend across North America, says the head of Canada's Golf Course Owners Association.

The decline in golf on P.E.I. is part of a trend across North America, says the head of Canada's Golf Course Owners Association.

It is getting more difficult to attract tourists to golf, says Jeff Calderwood of Canada's Canada's Golf Course Owners Association. (CBC)

Despite a jump in tourism and ideal weather in July, the number of non-member rounds played here was down more than 10 per cent compared to July last year. Overall golf on the Island has dropped off over the last four years.

Jeff Calderwood told CBC News Thursday P.E.I. is not alone. Calderwood said since the recession of 2008 golf has been slumping across the continent.

Places like P.E.I. that depend on tourists to play have been hit particularly hard.

"It has been fairly challenging to attract the travelling golfer the last few years as consumer confidence has been weak, disposable income has been a little less," said Calderwood.

People are uneasy. They're careful with what they spend. Tourist golf is not a necessity and that's one of the things you can cut in half if you want to save a few dollars."

Surveys have shown people are busier and don't have as much time to golf.

Some courses have started marketing nine- or even six-hole rounds instead of the full 18, an option whih takes less time and is more affordable.

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