It has been an interesting week in golf to start the beginning of July. Here are three hot topics that began this week in the golf business:
The Good: The RCGA announced a stellar field committed to the RBC Canadian Open coming up this July at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Among the players confirmed include Sean O’Hair, Hunter Mahan and J.B. Holmes along with Ricky Barnes who is coming off a great performance at the US Open. They will join veterans such as Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen and 2010 Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin. Former RBC Canadian Open Champions scheduled to play include Scott Verplank, John Rollins and Bob Tway. It is a good field for the date challenged RBC Canadian Open and spectators should look forward to a great week of golf.
The Bad: The Canadian PGA announced today that they were unable to find a corporate sponsor for the playing of the 2009 CPGA Seniors Championship. The Association remains committed to the playing of the Championship in 2009 and will self-fund a guaranteed purse of $25,000. The event will be contested at The Marshes in Ottawa, ON. Tough to see one of the oldest Professional Golf Organizations facing this type of challenge, but it is good that the event will remain on the schedule this year.
The Ugly: Golf Course Industry Magazine reports that there have already been 71 golf course closures (18 hole equivalents) in the United States through the first half of the year. So far in 2009, there have been only 16.5 new courses opened (18 hole equivalents). In all of 2008 there were “only” 106 golf course closures. Overall, the net supply of golf courses has declined from a high of 16,057 in 2004 to a low of 15,931, a net reduction of 126 golf courses. While participation is showing small increases, golf course owners and operators continue to find it difficult to turn a profit in trying times.