Golf state of the game report

Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT) January 12, 2015
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Rory McIlroy (left) hosts a junior golf clinic in New York in 2012. The world No. 1 is an ambassador for junior golf -- a role that could be vital in keeping the younger generation interested in the sport. Jason Kempin/Getty Images/file
Tiger Woods' career has had a massive impact on interest and participation in golf and many hope McIlroy can have the same effect. "We had a good spell with Tiger Woods during the 1990s and 2000s and Rory is positioned to be another person who can do that," TaylorMade CEO Ben Sharpe told CNN. Scott Halleran/Getty Image
Golf at grassroots level is in a state of decline, with 400,000 people leaving the sport in the past year in the U.S., according to the National Golf Foundation. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
"As an industry we can't put our head into the sand, we have to evolve and continually modernize," Sharpe says. "What we want to do is get golf clubs in people's hands and get them hitting golf balls." Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Eighteen-time major winner Jack Nicklaus is in favor of seeing a quicker and cheaper game of golf introduced. "I'd quite like to play a game that I can get some reasonable gratification out of very quickly and something that is not going to cost me an arm and a leg," Nicklaus told CNN. Getty Images
Former pro turned golf pundit Brandel Chamblee says the pace of modern life has impact on participation in golf. "It's Twitter, cell phones, video games -- these are the activities that kids are involved in," Chamblee said. "Mum and dad are working, and kids are playing video games. That doesn't leave a whole load of time or people to populate these golf courses." Getty Images
FootGolf, which involves players kicking a football around a golf course complete with bigger holes, is one of a number of alternatives to help breathe new life into golf. Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf