By Paul Kurtz

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – The recent closing of Meadowbrook Golf Club in Chester County is just the latest blow to a sport that has been shrinking at an alarming rate.

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Though Meadowbrook was the apparent victim of a land-grab by the Phoenixville School District, its demise comes at a time when more than a hundred golf courses in the U.S. are closing each year.

“The model right now is broken,” says Joris Drayer — Associate Professor of Sport Business at Temple University.

He says golf peaked in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when more than 3,000 courses opened.

In these times, he says, the game is just too expensive:

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“The reality is that that can’t change because the cost of owning enough land to have a golf course is expensive. The cost of maintaining that land to be of high quality enough to attract the die-hard golfer is expensive.”

In addition, golf has become too time consuming,  especially for young adults tethered to social media and gaming. In response, Drayer says the industry is offering the game in smaller portions:

“More courses are considering six-hole formats, eight-hole formats, nine-hole formats…those kinds of things.”

The popularity of golf spiked when Tiger Woods was riding high, but a lack of an identifiable pro today has also hurt the sport.

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