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In recent months the battle cry has been made more than once and it continues to gain strength in terms of volume. Golf isn’t fun. It takes too long to play. It’s too expensive. It’s too hard. Repeated enough times the message is delivered to those that still subject themselves to the ridicules exercise of playing the game. For everyone reading this, golf has some how infected you much like a virus. You’ve caught the “bug” to play and in many instances it’s become a way of life. Perhaps some of you have echoed the pessimistic glass half empty theory that continues to breath life on the matter. Yet, can anyone state emphatically when the game was ever considered too easy or inexpensive to play? It didn’t stop any of us from picking up the game or for that matter becoming smitten with it!

Once upon a time, and yes it now does sound like a fairytale, golf was considered a status symbol, a sign of success. No one was ever in a rush back to work, as the very definition of it, is that it will always be there! That was before unemployment levels rose and people began looking over their collective shoulders wondering if the proverbial axe was going to fall on them. That isn’t to suggest that five-hour rounds are acceptable or should be tolerated. It’s just that recreational activities, such as golf represent a break from the real world, which is always waiting after the round is completed. Today, people stay connected to loved ones and the office no matter where they are anywhere in the world, including of all places a golf course. Once upon a time, it was taboo and against course policy to be seen with a mobile phone in your hand between shots. Now, it’s often a reflex reaction to check mail when backed up on a tee box. When the round is finished, has anyone asked themselves did I really miss something?

The reasons often cited today that prohibit golf from “growing” were once the reasons people played. Anyone that plays the game for a prolonged period of time isn’t afraid of challenges. The more difficult the exercise is, the greater the opportunity to enjoy overcoming it. Pete Dye made a handsome living back in the day building some notoriously difficult golf courses. It wasn’t that he had complete free reign to do as he saw fit each time he set out to create another golf course. Instead, he was given marching orders by owners to build the hardest course humanly possible. He succeeded in many instances, even if his reward was pain to those willing to sign up to play it! The long and short of it is that he was fulfilling demand for new and demanding courses.

Golf has never been shy about the costs it charges. In fact several well to do private clubs have been known to charge outrageous sums just for the privilege to join. For a time, golf fanatics were only too happy to hand over their money to do so. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for some to join more than one private sanctuary both as a testament to their ego, financial resources and greed. It represented, in some if not many instances, evidence of success. Look at what I have accomplished!

Juxtapose the challenges touted today many perceive inhibiting the growth of the game back to the time when it was heralded golf needed a new course every day to keep up with future demand. It doesn’t seem there is much that has changed other than social behavior and in turn public opinion!