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3 reasons golf is in the rough

Golf's popularity is waning and the industry is getting whacked.

Adidas (ADDYY), which owns the popular TaylorMade brand, is the latest company to warn about the decline of the sport. Sales at its golf division dropped by nearly 20% in the second quarter, leading the sportswear company to slash earnings forecasts for the year.

3 reasons golf is now a troubled business - Aug. 7, 2014

Here are three key reasons why golf is ailing:

1. The "Tiger" void:

Golf's super-celebrity Tiger Woods has fallen out of favor with fans and the public, and -- with apologies to Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy -- no new golfing legend has yet filled the void.

2. Golf is outdated:

Before the recession, golf was a critical part of business networking. But times have changed for the LinkedIn generation.

"For the post-recession world, the game comes with uncomfortable connotations of old boy networks," said Jonathan Gabay, a U.K.-based brand psychologist.

Efforts have been made to bring in fresh blood, but golf is struggling to shake off a reputation for catering to an older, whiter, predominantly male audience.

3. Changing retail trends:

The retail landscape is changing but golf brands haven't reacted quickly enough, said Tim Crow, CEO of London sports sponsorship agency Synergy.

Consumers are increasingly moving online and doing more price comparisons, which is hurting traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Now there's too much expensive gear in stores and too few buyers.

"There's a lot of overcapacity in the system," said Crow, who predicts the industry needs to shrink by about 15% to 20% to come in line with demand.

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I would add:  It's too slow, and attention spans have changed, as well as the speed of life ;)

I'm with you -- expensive and slow is not a recipe for success these days. 

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