Frank and Valerie,
Thank you for being “frank”.
There seems to be an ever-increasing amount of money spent in golf and related industries, not to mention the money at stake on the PGA Tour on a weekly basis.
I keep reading that more golf courses are closing than opening but many golf related industries seem to be churning out a good living for those involved, and I am not sure that this is good for the essence of the game.
What you think, Frank?
It was reported in 2008 that, “Golf is America’s $76 Billion Economic Engine” and this must have increased since.
This is the annual revenue from all golf related stuff, which includes travel, accommodation, real estate development, course design, mowers, golf bags, balls and clubs, shirts and shoes etc.etc. and even green fees and beer sold.
As you have mentioned, the PGA Tour is also a big money maker, providing entertainment to golf fans who aspire to be as good as the pros. The Tour players – the entertainers — are very well off: the top 25 earners make $ 2 ¼ million or more annually and these earnings do not include any endorsement money which is estimated to be about five or more times earnings for the top stars. The PGA Tour’s mission is to “substantially increase player financial benefits while maintaining its commitment to the integrity of the game” and it does generate a significant amount for charities.
It should also be remembered that those on their way to the PGA Tour go through many hard times, unless they have a generous sponsor, and there are no guarantees of success for a golfer who chooses this path.
My personal feeling is that, in general, commercialism is over riding efforts that are attempted to further the best interests of the game and in turn, this affects the essence of what the game is all about and the very reason why it is so addictive.
This does not imply that making money from the game is bad: it’s just that when the object of entry into the game is solely to make money then we lose something along the way.
This brings to mind a quote from Just Hit It;
“The game of golf is a big and beautiful thing. It instills self-reliance, rewards excellence that is sought through honest effort, can be enjoyed by young and old, men and women, rich and poor, and is at heart as simple as whacking a little round object with a stick. It is as possessing, obsessing, bewitching and beguiling a pastime as man has ever devised. It’s ours to enjoy, and ours to pass along in as good a shape as we found it, and maybe better. We proclaim the game our own every time we put a tee in the ground, every time we draw a club back in hope and anticipation.
We can all make a difference. The ball is waiting.
Just hit it!”
Harris, I hope that greed does not overcome us, detrimentally affecting this therapeutic activity called golf and denying the opportunity we have had to our grandchildren and in turn theirs.
To our viewers I would like to know your thoughts: do you believe that golf is being overly commercialized? Please share your thoughts below.