The U.S. golf market constitutes about half of the golf courses in the world, so, the U.S. golf economy will continue to be the driving force in the growth of the game internationally. However, the downturn in the U.S. economy, coupled with the decline in the number of golfers and rounds played forebodes poorly for future international golf development. Golf is a mature market in the U.K., Australia and Japan, in addition to the U.S. Therefore, the global growth of the game and the development of new international markets will likely lag behind the languishing U.S. golf market.
In Response to John Barba’s Blog, “Hogan’s Rough Week: Rebirth or Death Knell?” January 7, 2017 at www.mygolfspy.com.
I had the privilege of being the president and CEO of the Ben Hogan Company when it was at its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Back then, Hogan was a second tier company, but everyone thought that we were bigger than we really were because of the promotional investment made in the Ben Hogan Tour and the fact that we had a very high profile professionals playing on the PGA TOUR. We also had a record selling iron, the Hogan Edge, which I inherited shortly after it had been introduced when the Japanese bought the company.
Notably, the Hogan company was a profitable until the cash drain related to the acquisition of Pebble Beach and another real estate investment, the Four Seasons Hualalai. This is described in my book, In the Rough: The Business Game of Golf, which has been published recently by Texas Christian University (available online from major book retailers and on my book website at www.intherough.golf).
The new “Ben Hogan Company” founder, Terry Koehler, licensed the Hogan brand from Perry Ellis,