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Golf Is Not Fun Or For The Faint Hearted

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Golf is not “fun” in the traditional sense of the word. Golf is hard; it starts hard and stays that way. Fun is ice cream, sunny days and symphonies. Golf, on the other hand says, “Here I am, you sap. Do you have what it takes?”
That’s from Barney Adams, founder of Adams Golf and the inventor of the iconic "Tight Lies" fairway wood.

Calling golf “fun” is disingenuous
Preceding Barney’s above listed thoughts he writes, “I watch (and read) the golf commercials promoting the game, and the consistent message is, “Play golf, it’s fun.” I think to myself, Who authorizes these things? Is this someone’s relative who works in an ad agency who doesn’t play the game?” “So let me propose a “white paper” from which the bright advertising folks can come up with effective campaigns,”

Barney concludes his “Calling golf “fun” is disingenuous” article and writes, “Golf isn’t fun — at least as the word is normally used. Golf is difficult, and no matter how long you play you will still be working at it. Ball in your court Mr. Advertising person.”

Where there is growth
From those of us (me) who live in a remote place like New Zealand and not totally locked-in to the idea that golf needs to grow. We constantly see Asians coming here to play and fortunately sometimes stay like Lydia Ko. Ergo the game is growing in Asia but why?

So how come it’s growing in Asia but not in the Western World; Follow the Money and who is making headway at this time? For sure it’s not the American middle class who haven’t gotten a raise in 15 (some say 16) years.
Whereas in Asia there’s lots more people moving in to middle class status and much more and not surprisingly starting to play golf.

Growing the game: How golf gets it wrong
In respect cyclical money matters and its effect on golf participation Brandel Chamblee reminds us.
“Golf's growth abated in the 1930s for two primary reasons - the stock market collapse of 1929 and Jones’ retirement in 1930. This was a one-two punch to an expensive, star-driven game that was almost exactly duplicated by the circumstances of the economy's downturn in 2008 and Tiger Woods’ scandal in 2009. The only difference? In the 1930s nobody was suggesting a need to grow the game.”

Paraphrasing the thoughts of Ray Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” but alas before we can grow the game we need to grow the economy.  It’s as simple as that as history has previously shown us.

Link to Barney Adams and  Brandel Chamblee

Quote of the Day
“The goal shouldn’t be to grow the game at all costs” – Brandel Chamblee


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