IS GOLF OK? by Mike Galeski

By admin May 18, 2015 02:04

IS GOLF OK?  by Mike Galeski



by Mike Galeski

The other day I was relaxing and enjoying watching golf on TV and wondering about the future of the game. Do all the industry metrics that tell us participation is down, course closures are up and that millennials are too busy with smart phones and video games to ever take any divots let alone a lesson, really portend that golf is doomed?

Is the sport we know, love and respect sick and headed the way of the feathery, the fax machine and the 8 track?

To quote the great ESPN College football personality, Lou Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

Some brief history. 25 years ago the word was: “We have to build a course per day to keep up with (future) demand.” What a great forecast, especially for those in the course design, home construction and resort development industries.  It was a wild guess, though well intended no doubt, that spurred a rush and explosive effort to deliver on that forecast until the economic guardrails fell away. Those producing all the courses couldn’t have predicted the drastic changes in our lifestyles and economics in the past 25 years, the technology explosion and the way our lives are so changed today compared to that era.

We live differently today but we still love golf. Don’t we? I may play fewer rounds per year than back then but did I stop loving the game? Did it fall from my favor only to be replaced by Words With Friends or Netflix? I guess I’m too busy Texting, Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking and taking selfies to know for sure.

Wait. Yes. Yes, I do know.  I still love golf!  And my guess is that there are a lot of other people that do too.  We never stopped, we just got distracted a bit.

I was recently with one of golf’s greatest personalities and heard him speak his mind about the industry, his career and today’s players. But most importantly he spoke about his love of the game and it sounds like he loves it more today than ever.

He spoke about a recent two-week trip to the Coachella Valley. He played golf every day, actually twice every day of that trip. He hits balls every day he can. Ok, I hear ya; he’s retired with nothing better to do. Lee Trevino is 75 and still has a flip phone. But he loves the game and he’s plenty busy.

I think we all still love the challenges and intricacies of the game of golf; I think we love the beauty of the courses and their surroundings, none better than our beautiful than our Southern California desert; and I think we love the camaraderie, token bets, and great shots just as much as we ever have.

We live in a busy, time-compressed world now —  our distractions have distractions. Golf can be the time we set all that aside and enjoy the course, our friends and that cold frosty reward in the 19th hole.

We have adjusted golf into our busy lives or at least we are trying to.  Most golfers wish they could play more. That they had more time for it, more money for equipment and buddy trips, and even some hope they can cure their slice.

Continuing the tradition to create a welcoming experience for juniors and newcomers to learn and enjoy this great game are efforts that don’t cost billions and are being implemented every day across the land by organizations and operators more in tune today for stimulating participation than ever before. Keep it up, there’s a lot to love about this game.

Golf will be OK.

Mike Galeski, former Tournament Director of the LPGA major Nabisco Dinah Shore (now the ANA Inspiration), is the current Tournament Director of the Champions Tour tournament Encompass Championship.

Photo caption: The beauty of the game is encompassed in the golf courses we play and the challenges they provide.

By admin May 18, 2015 02:04