SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Golf icon Jack Nicklaus on Monday suggested major changes to the current state of the sport, saying it's alienating the average golfer and certain demographics.
"I believe that the game of golf needs help," Nicklaus said. "The game takes too long to play, it's relatively expensive and it's too difficult. There's a lot of things that could happen."
Speaking to members at the Desert Mountain Club, where he designed all six golf courses, to promote next year's Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Nicklaus cited significant declines in female and junior golfers in the past five years to display the waning interest in the game.
Since 2006, Nicklaus noted, the female golf demographic has declined about 23 percent -- roughly 2 million golfers -- while the junior demographic has seen a drop of about 34 percent, about 1.3 million.
Nicklaus, 71, said the biggest problem today is that the average golfer can no longer do the things professional golfers do.
"I think it's re...