Local golf pro sees hope for struggling golf industry

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With that nice weather out on Sunday, April 24, 2016 many were out at the driving ranges and golf courses. 

But lately the golf industry as a whole has been struggling. 

Research shows the number of people golfing in America is declining. 

“I think it comes back to the time, you know it comes back to being you’re going to spend anywhere from five hours to say seven hours on a golf course,” said Golf Pro Scott Jamieson in between lessons at the driving range in Coonskin Park, 

In addition to the time it takes to play a round on the green he thinks the expenses of the sport also turn people away.

Other golfers think the number of sports to choose from is also contributing to the decline.

“There’s a lot of competition out there, a lot of kids are playing soccer now, you know its free and its easy to learn how to play it and there just are a lot of different options so that would make sense that its spread out, getting spread thinner,” said Jay Margolis who’s also a golfer. 

But Jamieson says there’s reason for hope among the junior population here in Charleston.   

“Right now the numbers are definitely getting bigger going from say ages five to 14. They’ve grown I would say easily by 65 to 70 percent in the last five years I’ve been here,” said Jamieson. 

Something they say makes the sport unique is that players don’t have to be at the same skill level to have a good time. 

“One player can be much better than the other and you can still have fun,” said Margolis. 

“It means more to me if they go out and shoot 65 for 18 holes than if I went out and shot 65 for 18 holes. So seeing their enjoyment and seeing them love the game more is a big thrill for me,” said Jamieson. 

Some clubs have been creating golf memberships only to use the course, as opposed to full club memberships.They hope this will help get more people out on the courses. 

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