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REPORT: Golf has the most aging fans, how can this be fixed?

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Rickie Fowler, torch-bearer.(USATSI)
Rickie Fowler, torch-bearer. (USATSI)

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Let's talk about this tweet:

That's not a good stat if you're young and love golf [raises hand].

There have been developments over the last few years to correct this -- most recent of which is a groupthink project launched by Mark King who is the CEO of TaylorMade. It's called HackGolf.org.

The idea is to get everyone together -- young and old -- and say "ok, what's really wrong with the game? Why are people really leaving it?"

National Golf Foundation chief executive Joe Beditz talked about it at the PGA Merchandise Show last week, according to GolfWeek.

"We're leaking golfers," Beditz said. "We've lost 5 million golfers over the last 10 years. Five million, and that's out of 30 million."

He went on to say that his foundation surveyed over 1,000 Americans 18 and older who don't play and found that 57 percent view the sport negatively.

"And you know what the No. 1 word was that they used to describe it? Boring."

King took it from there.

"I don't really think equipment is the problem with the game. I think it's the whole experience. I don't think we're inviting. I don't think it's fun. I don't think we care about the people on the fringe. We only care about the people who love the game for its traditions. That's ridiculous for me.

"And they make up such a small part of our game, why would we organize an entire industry around a couple million duffers? Doesn't make any sense to me."

He's kind of right. It'll be fascinating to see where this goes over the next decade but I think Hack Golf is a step in the right direction.

It'll also be interesting to see how well guys like Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and Harris English can motivate future generations of golfers like Tiger Woods did with my generation and like LeBron James and Peyton Manning do in their respective sports.

Will their influence be enough to propel the game forward?

We shall see.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

 
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