Investigating the Celebrity (“Tiger Effect”) and Other Impacts for Golf Participation in USA

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Investigating the Celebrity (“Tiger Effect”) and Other Impacts for Golf Participation in USA

November 23, 2020 Economics and Management 0

This paper explored whether the influence of the success of Tiger contributed to the increase in golf involvement during his first decade (1996-2005) or whether there was some other, stronger, explanatory factor there. The rise in real household income (inflation-adjusted income) and the return on the S&P 500 over the same duration are alternative reasons discussed. There are many issues facing the golf industry. The decline in golf participation and the reduction in the number of courses followed, but were definitely aggravated by, the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The golfing establishment saw Tiger Woods as a business-as-usual interruption, and assumed that his turning professional in 1996 would have a beneficial ripple impact on golf participation and the industry as a whole the so-called “Tiger Effect.” Stakeholders of the golf course bought into the hysteria of the early Tiger Woods era and believed that the increased TV viewing and Tiger-related discussion would be. Profitableness. The continued involvement never materialised and the availability of golf courses easily exceeded the need. The authors investigated the effect on participation of Tiger’s off-course earnings (a form of celebrity control, we call the “Tiger Effect”) using data from multiple sources. Specifically, our study used the components of total U.S. golfers (defined as the number of core and occasional players) as the dependent variables. For the three participation classes, the results of Tiger’s off-course earnings, real U.S. household income and the return on the S&P 500 were used as explanatory variables using regression. The findings show that there seemed to be a Tiger Impact on the surface in the late 1990s, but the rising economy was actually a key factor in the rise in participation. Golf also faces much of the same problems as decreasing participation (2015 saw a further fall year-on-year and the closure of golf courses (A net loss of 172 courses was shown in 2015). There are many challenges, and relying on Tiger is no longer necessary.   An choice, and it probably has never been.

Author (s) Details

Thomas Willey
Grand Valley State University, SCB 3153, 50 Front Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA.

Douglas Robideaux
Grand Valley State University, USA.

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