Work or Play? : Golf, we apologize…it’s not you, it’s us.
Why are fewer rounds of golf being played each year? You’ll get a ton of different answers if you throw this question out at a local bar. Mostly, people will say something about how it costs too much or it’s too slow for the video game generation. Maybe there’s something to those ideas, but I don’t think that’s actually scratching the real itch.
Those reasons suggest golf itself is the problem; but the problem isn’t golf … it’s us. With the way most of us now structure our days, weeks and months, we’ve forgotten a very important piece of the puzzle: ourselves.
The USGA will host its 2nd annual Play 9 Day this summer. It’s an initiative aimed at golfers who don’t feel they have time for 18 holes. Is your hand raised like mine is right now? Thought so. Nine is more than fine. Nine is the only thing that keeps your family from throwing your clothes out on the front lawn. Speaking of lawns, I don’t even have the time to tend to it. Luckily I caught a break last week just in time when the lawn aerator I got from Best of Machinery came. But then again, who the heck has all day to play golf?
Well, actually, that’s a good question. A lot of us should. Not every day. Not all the time. But sometimes, we should. And we don’t. Americans are THE most overworked, overstressed people IN. THE. WORLD. We work longer hours, vacation less, put kids in daycare more … than anyone, anywhere. That, my good friends, is called a problem. Not just a golf problem, a life problem.
Somehow working like crazy became a badge of honor in America. We almost brag about how much we travel and one up each other on how many hours we work in a week. The family dinner has been lost. Heck, the family anything is getting lost. And so is golf. And we act like there’s nothing that we can do about it. We can’t work less than the next guy … we’ll get fired. Except, just about every other nation in the world has given us the blueprint to learn how to chill out.
I’m a dad with three young kids. That means I also know, and talk to, a lot of other dads of young kids. I can tell you, no one is skipping the golf course because they don’t like it, don’t feel like paying a few bucks to be there or think it would be too boring to play. None of us are playing because we are moving too damn fast, doing too damn much.
It’s summer 2015, and I have played a grand total of … one round this year. And I write a golf column and host a digital golf show. What’s up with that?? I’m not blaming golf for these problems. I’m blaming me.