Golf participation - additional information
Golf is an outdoor sport in which the player uses a set of clubs to hit a ball into a series of holes on a course with the smallest number of strokes they can achieve. In the United States, the number of golf participants aged six years and older decreased from around 30 million in 2006 to just over 22 million in 2012, since that year participation has remained around 24 million annually. Consumer spending on golf equipment has also experience stagnation in recent years, with minimal growth forecasted for 2015.
For some, golf is not just a hobby. Many professional golfers work as coaches, but a small minority are able to tour the world playing major competitions and earning large sums of money from their skills and often their celebrity status. In 2015, Jordan Spieth was the professional golfer who earned the highest income, followed by Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods . There are four major golf competitions, open only to men, in which such people may rise to fame: The Open Championship, held in the United Kingdom; the Master Tournament (U.S.); the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship (U.S.).
The Masters Tournament was established in 1934 and is held at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia each year. As participation in the competition is by invitation only, the course used is much smaller than those used in the three other major championships. American golfer Jack Nicklaus, now retired, had won the Masters the most times as of 2016, followed by Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.