SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The William Land Golf Course in Land Park may close.

The course is the oldest in the city, but the number of golfers using the course has dropped and led to a revenue loss. This year alone the company that operates the course, First Tee of Greater Sacramento, said it will lose $150,000. It has asked to terminate its lease with the City of Sacramento by June.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg said closing the nine-hole golf course is not an option. Sacramento City Council is currently holding budget hearings and will vote on the new city budget in June.

Land Park Golf Course opened in 1924. First Tee took over operations in the late 90s.

A round of golf varies due to dynamic pricing. The rates will be adjusted, both higher and lower, in real-time depending on demand.

The sport of golf has seen a drop in interest in recent years. The National Golf Foundation’s 2017 report shows:

  • Golf participation fell 1.2% in 2016 to 23.8 million
  • The number of beginner golfers jumped 14% year-to-year to 2.5 million
  • The number of “committed golfers” increased to 20.1 million
  • Off-course participation (driving range/entertainment facilities ie: TopGolf) increased 11% to 20 million
  • Interest in golf from non-golfers increased to 12.8 million from 11.9 million year-to-year

As for who golfs, according the NRF 2017 report:

  • Average age is 43
  • Ages 30-39 represent 20% of all golfers
  • More than 75% are male
  • 26% have household income over $125,000
  • 40% have household income under $75,000

The industry research firm IBISWorld reports golf course and country club revenue grew by little more than 1% annually. Although, golfers utilizing 9-hole courses has increased.  In 2014, the U.S. Golf Association introduced its Play9 campaign to encourage people to play shorter and more cost-effective games. The organization recorded a 13% year-over-year increase in nine-hole games played from 2014 to 2015 and an 11% year-over-year increase from 2015 to 2016, according to Dave Aznavorian, senior director of marketing at the USGA.

A survey done by R&A in 2015 found, of the 56,000 players in 122 countries surveyed:

  • 60% said they would enjoy playing more if it took less time
  • 19%would prefer to play nine-hole courses
  • Work (34%) and family (29%) keep people from playing more

Tiger Woods also plays a role in golf-awareness. Nielsen analyzed the so-called “Tiger Effect” before the 2018 Masters.

  • TV viewership up 93% (2 million) when Tiger is playing
  • 3.5 million social media engagements (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • 10.4 million social followers



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