Where I am, the snow hasn’t even left the ground and the Masters is still a month away, but here is a Washington Post story that kicks off golf season by kicking the state of the golf industry.
Whether kick is the right word is a matter of opinion for the facts that Drew Harwell uses in the story are correct, but the great defenders of the game were up in arms saying they should have used more to put a more positive spin on his story.
Last year, of course, we saw a plethora of such stories, so if Harwell is to be criticized, it should be for lack of originality. My advice to everybody is that if this trend continues this year, suck it up buttercup – you’ve got better things to do than whine.
If there’s one thing I’m seeing more and more of from writers/columnists/bloggers these days, it’s that they love being known for being controversial and if you’re not paying attention, they’ll tell you so.
The funny thing about being controversial is that if you really are, people will just notice and there will be no need to tell them, so the reaction I’ve seen to the Washington Post story reinforces that controversy.
In other words, Harwell doesn’t have to tell anybody because people are telling him.
To get caught up in that is only a waste of time. Having covered other sports over the years, I remember seeing negative stories come up about a team and it was more of a laugh than anything. Then, the story would be clipped and put on the bulletin board as motivation.
That’s what golf needs to do with such stories and there will be more this year. Moaning about it only amplifies the message and keeps it out there longer than if you just said nothing.
Instead of arguing about it, let these stories be a source of motivation. Do what the football and hockey teams do and remember what was said, but instead of getting defensive, go on the offensive.
Spend your time doing something positive. As Harwell says in his opening paragraph, golf was huge a decade ago (I would say more like 15 years), but the point is that it has had extreme peaks of popularity.
And yes, the media wrote all kinds of positive stories about the growth of the game back in the ‘90s, so let’s not accuse it of one-sided coverage that only emphasizes the negative.
As a matter of fact, let’s concentrate on the positive. We all know that golf does have serious challenges of it and it always seems as if we’re climbing out of a great hole. Every small victory that we enjoy is that much sweeter nowadays.
The industry has a long way to go before we can say golf is in a serious growth pattern. Will we see a serious growth spurt in our lifetimes? It might happen for younger readers, but wouldn’t it be better than just treading water and keeping our heads above water?
When we talk growth spurt, we’re not just talking positive signs, but serious year-over-year growth. It may not be what we witnessed in the 1990s, but steady growth over five to 10 years is what we’re discussing.
Will you see it in your lifetime?
That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll. You can vote below or on the home page and if you wish to add extra thoughts, please do so in the Comments section below.
Do you see a period of sustained, healthy growth in participation taking place in your lifetime?
- NO (54%)
- YES (46%)