Too Many Course Too Few Players

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 7, 2003, 4:00 pm
PALM CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Golf is a big business, but one that
David Osiecki says might just be too big in Martin County.
The manager of Cobblestone Golf Club in western Palm City says
there aren't enough players to go around.
A boom during the 1990s to build newer and lusher links has left
about 45 golf courses in Martin County competing for the same group
of players.
'Without a question, Martin County has more golf courses on a
12-month basis than they need,' said Osiecki, whose semi-private
course has seen a steady decline in the number of rounds of golf
being played there each year.
'It's ludicrous in terms of how few players there are and how
many courses there are. You are going to see some golf courses that
are going to close.'
And Cobblestone isn't alone. The Martin County Golf and Country
Club is also feeling the heat.
Between 1996 and 2003, the number of rounds played each year at
the county-owned course has dropped from about 114,265 to 96,274.
Membership at the course is also down.
Both courses are asking the county for help. Cobblestone's
Osiecki wants to see a five-year building moratorium on courses in
the county. Robert Sokel, president of the Martin County course, is
asking the county commission to waive about $100,000 in player fees
it collects from the links each year. That waiver would last five
years. Alan Hodges, a professor the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, says the downturn is
part of a statewide trend that many industry officials blame on a
sluggish economy.
'There is an oversupply of golf courses,' he said. 'Golf
courses have been hit pretty hard.'
A study on the economic impact of the sport by Hodges and
Professor John Haydu shows that about 25 percent of all courses in
the state have been built during the last 10 years.
Based on figures from the year 2000, the study says that about
1,334 courses in the state earn about $4.4 billion in revenue.
Palm Beach County is by far the state's biggest player. It not
only has the most courses, it had the highest golf revenue about
$633 million each year, the study said.
St. Lucie County ranks among the top five golf destinations in
the country. The county's 19 courses reaped about $34 million in
revenue in 2000, according to the study.
But while players in Martin are scant, courses in Palm Beach and
St. Lucie counties say they've noticed little decline in the number
of people playing their greens.
Industry officials admit that low rates at Martin courses and
St. Lucie's PGA Golf Club, which is run by PGA of America, attract
players from Palm Beach County.
'It's great golf up there,' Paul Makris, general manager of
Emerald Dunes Golf Course in suburban West Palm Beach. 'You can't
find better golf for less money. The players will travel up
Osiecki says that's because Martin courses are constantly
offering specials and slashing rates to appeal to more players. He
points to the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie as a facility that
makes it difficult for other courses to be successful.
'The PGA is a 900-pound gorilla,' Osiecki said. 'They can
dictate prices. They charge so little.'
To compete, Cobblestone tries to create a socially friendly
atmosphere, and encourages repeat players by offering special
Meanwhile, Osiecki continues to try to persuade the county to
temporarily halt golf course construction, a move that hasn't been
warmly received by some county commissioners.
While Commissioner Sarah Heard says she'd like to prevent
courses from being built on land zoned for agricultural purposes,
she's not as eager to stop their construction altogether.
Neither is Commissioner Lee Weberman.
'That's where the free market works,' he said. 'How many
McDonald's are too many in a small town?' But given the
player-to-course ratio in Martin County, Weberman said he doesn't
think it's a good idea for the county to buy another course. Last
year the commission considered buying the Champions Club Golf
Course at Summerfield as a public course.
Instead, he says the county should work on fixing up its
existing greens.
He favors waiving the $1.20 per round fee the course pays the
county. The county had considered using that money about $1.5
million to buy a second course.
Sokel wants to use the money to buy new equipment and repair
'We are just using chewing gum to keep it together,' he joked.
But kidding aside, he said if the waiver isn't approved, the course
would have to consider increasing greens fees and cart fees.
That could make it hard for them to compete with other courses
in the area.
'We are probably better off than most,' Sokel said. 'We're
not destitute, but we have to do something.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods is under par in the final round of the 147th Open Championship and stalking the lead. We're tracking him on Sunday at Carnoustie.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”