Golf world has gone mad with consumerism
Unfortunately we live in a world gone mad with consumerism. And it’s unbridled consumerism that’s killing golf. To those making the big bucks in golf, everything looks rosy. That’s probably what Nero thought before he saw the flames devouring Rome.
Equipment companies are having a feast, though they probably feel more like junkies - “wish we could stop this technology madness but I don’t think we can live without it.” Golf ball manufacturers are in the midst of the “Great Golf Ball Wars of the 21st Century.” Pretty soon, even us slugs will be able to manage a 410 yard drive. Our old par-71 course will be reduced to a par 50 or maybe just 7 holes averaging about 600 yards.
And only a few have been brave enough to standup and say anything. Some who should be listened to, like Jack Nicklaus, are politely ignored. TV commentators, some so painfully honest that they’ve never seen a really great golf shot, can’t be bothered. Or, maybe they fear for their jobs.
I like technology. I like my perimeter-weighted clubs and I like golf balls that are really round. I enjoyed my first big bomber driver when I gained an extra 15 yards to offset my age. But we don’t know how or when to stop anymore.
Where are the governing bodies? Has someone gotten to them - told them to bury their heads if they know what’s good for them. There have to be some limits somewhere. Limits are good for you. I’m most disappointed by the R&A. I’ve always assumed that they have a much better appreciation of “tradition” than the USGA. America has been clearly about money since the end of WWII. But doesn’t “old Europe” have a bit more common sense?
At any rate, let’s have a dialogue - you know, a friendly discussion of the situation. Let everyone express themselves, hear all sides - amateurs, tour pros, club pros, retailers, equipment makers, and organizations.
Amateurs, let’s not forget that we are the driving engine. It’s our money that pays for everything else including the tour pros. Without us the whole thing sinks like a ‘55 Caddy in a peat bog. Go to the forum sites and make yourself heard and to the blogs. It’s not just about saving ourselves some money, or saving courses, it’s about saving the game we love. If the governing bodies won’t do it, then we’ve got to do it ourselves fighting hand-to-hand combat.
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I work in the industry and he is absolutely correct. There are some serious rocks under the water in the industry and no one is talking about it...and equipment is part of the story...the cost for new players to become equipped and learn the game has become prohibitive...Most would agree with Jack Nicklaus that to "learn" the game and become reasonably proficient takes five years...and alot of play and practice...do the math at todays prices, if the courses get their full fees. Secondly, I agree with the commenter that the consumers are passing on "brand" new in April on release of new product...they know that they can buy at a discount in the fall...or Ebay sooner than that. And the truth is...that yes, there are some really amazing tech improvements to be found out there like the Balance-Certified counterweight and some of the new science in putters...but real tests have shown that this years model of drivers in some cases is not as "hot" as previous editions from the same manufacturers because more scrutiny is being placed on COR. The truth is the game is NOT growing...and when the boomers pass...there is little evidence that the generation behinds us will pick up the slack...there ain't enough of them for one, and secondly...they don't have the patience for the game, it doesn't fit their "go fast" lifestyle. The result I predict will be a serious constriction in the game both in companies serving it, and more courses becoming houses. Sad, but that is what the numbers tell me. When I get to Heaven, I will give Ely a piece of my mind...he started this trend.
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