Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Golf Is Not Dead!!!
I apologize for the long post, but I am passionate about some things. I Love my little girl, although she is getting bigger and stronger, she is still my little girl. As a parent, I want the best for my child. For years, I have planted little seeds. It was my hope that some day those seeds would germinate and sprout into an inspiration for her to act. I tried to expose her to as much good that life has to offer. For instance, I wanted her to take away from her childhood the following:
• A sense of community
• A healthy competitive hunger
• Appreciation of nature and beauty
• Strong social skills
• The virtue of honesty
• Long lasting moral character
• Physical fitness
• Athletic coordination
• Focus of the mind
The tendency for me to become "lecturey" to my daughter was pointed out (by her) from time to time. If I recognized a "teaching moment" I was on it, fast and furious. I knew that there was an easy way to instill all the above qualities in one simple act......Golf.
Golf is indeed the greatest game ever played. There has been much talk about golf dying in the past decade, we allowed people to talk about the time commitment, frustration, and expense. Golf simply allowed itself to be beat up by naysayers. Well, I have had enough. Golf is not dying. Golf will not go away. We don't need to change the rules or make it more fun. We need the golfer that loves this game, that understands the true essence of the game, to get back to the roots of the game, and introduce someone to "true golf."
It makes me sad, but Golf was abused. Property developers looking to cash in, built courses to produce home values without considering the demand for golf. Without the demand, these courses had no chance. These developments were reckless and irresponsible. They hurt a game I love. The resulting perception was that golf must be dying, and we allowed people to shout it from the rooftops. The incoming generation heard these alarms, is it surprising that they didn't want to take up the sport? NO! Who wants to participate in something that is perceived as dying?
I got bad news for all the Golf Is Dead proclaimers.........Golf is Alive and Kicking, and it is a little miffed. Yet, we continue to keep silent. Take this years Phoenix Open. A record crowd of 201,003 was announced for the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is 30,000 more than the Kentucky Derby posted in May. An estimated 1,000 people were lined up outside when the gates opened at 7 a.m., most of whom made a mad dash for a coveted spot at the 16th hole.
We also allowed some of the biggest advocates to of golf to do the greatest damage. The PGA Tour commentators love to tell you how far these players hit it. They tried to make it a game of power, tee to green, down the middle, two putts, = BORING.
The PGA Tour has 209 players, 34 have driving average over 300 yards. We must also consider that the conditions these players play these courses under, is not the same as the average amateur. We play a different game. I don't want to take anything away form these players, but the emphasis should not be on distance. True golf, understands that golf is about art and creativity. Players can make the ball do all kinds of things off the club face. Shots can be hit high, low, spinning left, drifting right, low and climbing, low runners, and the list goes on and on. The perfect shot is the one that you see in your head at the given time. True golf knows this.
Parents are looking for alternatives. Cell phones are impacting social skills. Children are encouraged to get outside and be active. We want something safe and long lasting........Golf duh!
Concussion conversations are happening, here are some stats (note these are suspected to be underrated):
• 50% of "second impact syndrome" incidents - brain injury caused from a premature return to activity after suffering initial injury (concussion) - result in death.
• Female high school soccer athletes suffer almost 40% more concussions than males (29,000 annually)
• Female high school basketball players suffer 240% more concussions than males (13,000).
• 400,000 brain injuries (concussions) occurred in high school athletics during the 2008-09 school year.
• Emergency department visits for concussions sustained during organized team sports doubled among 8-13 year olds between 1997 and 2007 and nearly tripled among older youth.
• Concussion rates more than doubled among students age 8-19 participating in sports like basketball, soccer and football between 1997-2007, even as participation in those sports declined.
• More than 248,000 children visited hospital emergency departments in 2009 for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries related to sports and recreation.
Golf is healthy, Golf is good, Golf is exactly what we are all looking for as an escape from this chaotic world. We all know someone who is saying right now, "I've been thinking about playing this year" or "I do really want to learn." Now is the time, golf is not intimidating, we are a welcoming group. Golf is so much more than it appears, it is a lesson for a lifetime. I hope you share this, if you share my passion. Lets get the word out.....Golf is alive, healthy, and fun.
Tee it high (thanks Kwak),