Online Golf Traffic Surges by 83 Percent in 2011, Even as Overall Industry Suffers its Steepest Decline in Decades, According to Golfersadvice.com

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Even as the golf industry suffers from flagging attendance on U.S. courses, golf-related websites have surged an estimated 83 percent in unique visitors in 2011, while tacking on a healthy 27 percent growth in advertising dollars, according to golfersadvice.com, a popular online golf instruction and news destination.

As for golfersadvice.com, Brown says we’re seeing more serious golfing enthusiasts regularly visit the site for free golf tips and videos than ever before.

Even as the golf industry suffers from flagging attendance on U.S. courses, golf-related websites have surged an estimated 83 percent in unique visitors in 2011, while tacking on a healthy 27 percent growth in advertising dollars, according to golfersadvice.com, a popular online golf instruction and news destination.

“For thousands of golfers sidelined by the anemic economy, visiting free golfing-related online destinations is something anybody can do to keep up with the sport they love without spending a dime,” says Joe Brown, senior writer at golfersadvice.com. “Not only is money a huge factor in forcing people away from golf courses in droves, they also have more time on their hands, thanks to high unemployment, to visit a wide range of golf-related sites.”

For Jim Stevens, a 42-year old systems engineer who has been looking for work for three years, golf websites offer a diversion from his full-time job of hunting for a new gig. “Between sending off resumes, continually working my Linked In account and scouring job banks for openings, I visit a number of golf websites so I can continue to feel like I’m still apart of the sport.”

Brown believes that Stevens is typical of thousands of golfers who can’t afford steep green fees any longer, but are still interested in the game. “I used to play golf every weekend, and it was a tremendous stress-reliever from my high pressure, six-figure job,” he said. “Just to get out and enjoy the outdoors with some close friends used to be a big part of my life. Now, without a job and a family to support, all I can do is follow the sport on TV, review golf tips on various websites, and practice my putting in the living room. Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident that I’ll find a job and be back out there on course, but until I do, websites are a great way to stay connected to the game.”

While Brown says that the decline in golf-related products such as clubs, golf balls and apparel has actually been a boon to websites, a more companies jump into the advertising fray just to maintain their diminishing slice of the pie.

“And it’s been a steadily shrinking pie,” he says. “According to the National Golf Foundation, 4.6 million golfers who teed it up in 2009 failed to play even a single round in 2010. Even more alarming, thousands of occasional golfers also stopped playing altogether, dropping 3.7 percent in 2009. Obviously, the economy is playing a huge factor, since alternative sports can be enjoyed for virtually no outlay.”

As for golfersadvice.com, Brown says we’re seeing more serious golfing enthusiasts regularly visit the site for free golf tips and videos than ever before. And while they’re not spending much money on green fees, they’re still buying putters in growing numbers. Presumably, because they can practice putting any where, or go to a public golf course and practice on beautiful putting greens for free.

“Unfortunately, these are often people who’d rather be golfing, and instead are stuck visiting our website,” he laughed. “That’s why it’s more important than ever that websites and magazines provide the best coverage they can to keep people interested in the sport. If we do a good job, when the economy does recover, these folks will return to the golf course.”

In addition, he notes that other sports such as mountain biking, hiking and stand up paddleboarding are also taking their toll on the sport as well. “With alternative sports, such as mountain biking, there a significant one-time investment, but you get to ride your bike for free after that,” he said. “In golf, there are golf clubs, golf bags, golf balls that continually have to be replenished, club memberships, and steep green fees from between $100 and $300 to shell out. Those costs are difficult to justify when many families are hunkered down and just trying to ride out this long recession.”

For the full story on this topic, along with free golf instructional videos and free golf tips, go to http://golfersadvice.com/391/golf-tip-of-the-week-video-2.html.

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