Green Reading

According to NGF, golf well-positioned to increase junior players

Alan Blondin
Alan Blondin

The National Golf Foundation reports that it believes golf is well-positioned to attract more junior players, possibly leading to the game's growth in the coming years.

Parents' concerns about their children's athletic and non-athletic activities puts golf in good stead.

According to an NGF newsletter:

"As more and more parents become increasingly concerned by the risk of sports-related injuries and the lack of computer-free social engagement for their kids, they are looking for alternative activities that promote children’s physical and mental well-being. That could be good news for golf, which can satisfy the safety concerns and desire for increased recreational activity while at the same time improving kids’ social skills.

According to a 2014 Physical Activities Council (PAC) study, more than a third of parents are concerned with the amount of time their children spend playing video games, and 30 percent are equally worried about their kids increased usage of social media. As one might expect, the prevalence of those two factors has 29 percent of parents frustrated with their kids' lack of social interaction and time spent exercising outdoors.

Moreover, nearly a quarter of all parents are troubled by the injury potential of the sports their kids are playing, likely due to the increase in sports-related concussions that can have serious long-term negative effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 175,000 children are treated for sports-related concussions in U.S. emergency rooms every year.

Overall, 58 percent of parents have concerns with at least one of the above factors and 34 percent are worried about two or more.

Considering the combined net effect of these concerns, and the answers golf provides to them, NGF asked parents how open they would be to their kids getting involved in the game. What we discovered is very encouraging for the sport.

According to that same PAC study, 84 percent of parents with at least one of the above concerns are supportive of getting their kids involved in golf and nearly a third of those are very supportive of the idea."