Sociology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 2019

doi 10.1080/19407963.2019.1662427


Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Ltd/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


This paper addresses the dearth of research regarding why the golf industry, specifically in the United States, is stagnating and, in some cases, losing participants. We focus on why Millennials are not playing golf to the same extent as previous generations. This is a conceptual paper, drawing upon literature in sports, leisure, gender, and marketing to track the current trends in sports participation, leisure, and household production to determine the constraints that might limit golf participation. In this paper, we highlight gender as an important social structure and conceptual lens for understanding social changes, particularly among Millennials, which could also contribute to the reductions in golf participation. We offer practical solutions for the golf industry to grow, especially among the Millennial audience. We suggest, among other actions, that golf should improve its appeal to the entire family.