NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Acushnet Holdings (GOLF) went public on Friday and shares of the golf equipment company were slightly up from their $17 initial offering in mid-morning trading.

Depending on your outlook on the future of golf, Acushnet is going public either at the best possible or worst possible time. Nike (NKE) is winding down its golf equipment business and Adidas (ADDYY) is looking to sell off its golf assets, which opens up a space for the company.

However, participation in golf itself is on the decline. Data from the National Golf Foundation shows a steady drop in the total number of people who have played at least one round in the prior year (roughly 24 million in 2016 compared with 25.7 million in 2011 and roughly 30 million in 2005).

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"Our sticky target audience is the dedicated, serious golfer," Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "Go back to the origins of the company, that was our primary target audience. We think that's the high-quality consumer in the space. And for us, as a result, we're really focused on that golfer and that's why we're positive about the future."

Acushnet's brand portfolio includes Titleist, FootJoy, Pinnacle and Scotty Cameron.