In this recent HBO Real Sports episode, pretty wild stats on how far golf has fallen in terms of popularity since it peaked with Tiger Woods mania a few years ago — and equally wild ideas to resurrect popularity, including making putting a cinch by expanding the cup to a massive size:
As someone who has managed to play once or twice a year for 20 years and remain terrible but hopelessly optimistic that one day the game will get easier, I can understand the frustration.
The biggest gap that jumps out to me with golf is that there is no natural place to practice. The idea of going to the driving range seems tough to pull off. When you play soccer, baseball, basketball, etc with your kids or friends — it’s either in the backyard or down the street at the park.
I think for golf to take off, the industry needs to figure out a way get the game into the backyard and parks so when people actually get to the courses, the game will be easier. Maybe technology will play a role with lower costs simulators, backyard nets, 3D swing analyzers, and other gadgets. Will be an interesting space to watch.