Who Says Golf is Dead?
By: Fred Altvater
The PGA of America just held its annual Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida with over 40,000 golf professionals attending the Demo Day and three days of indoor activities. It had over 1,000 vendors exhibiting their best gadgets and gear, every golfer will need in 2017.
I just visited several high-end golf courses in Florida and their tee sheets were full. Even non-golf fans are curious to see if Tiger Woods can make a comeback at the age of 41 and three back surgeries.
But the most definitive sign that shows golf is not dead is the scene on the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) at TPC Scottsdale every year.
There are officially 16,000 seats surrounding the 16th hole, but over 20,000 golf fanatics and hard-core partiers cram into the short par-3 with the stadium-effect bleachers, that bring fans as close to the action as possible.
The rowdy atmosphere adds to the enjoyment for players and fans alike. A poor shot will elicit boos, but a ball safely on the green will merit the loudest roars heard on a golf course.
The WMPO leads the tour in attendance every year and set yet a new all-time single-day record with over 204,000 during the third round on Saturday. In 2016 they recorded over 618,000 in total attendance for the week, but odds are that 2017 will eclipse that number.
For a sport that is hearing its Death Knell, Golf seems to being doing just fine, thank-you very much.