The golf world is focused on Charlotte right now. The PGA Championship continues Friday at Quail Hollow Club and will finish up on Sunday. Across the nation though, participation in golf has dropped from about 30 million people in the mid 2000s to about 25 million today. Steve Mona is the CEO of the World Golf Foundation, a group that promotes the sport.
"The biggest issue for us is how do we convert interest into trial because say you're interested in playing basketball," Mona says. "Well, you can go down to the corner school and start firing up some shots at a basket. Golf doesn't really lend itself to that. So as a consequence creating access directly influences people's ability to try the game."
Youth participation in golf is actually going up. One way the World Golf Foundation is getting kids interested in the game is with The First Tee, a nation-wide program that uses golf as a way to build character and get kids from different backgrounds playing together. We went to The First Tee Greater Charlotte at Revolution Park just southwest of uptown and spoke with program coordinator, Brittnay Cross.