Tulip Mania, Dot-Com Bubble, Real Estate Bust & Golf

Much ink has been spilled in recent months about how golf is in decline. It is unquestionably true that the game has fewer players, fewer courses, and lower TV ratings than a few years ago. The causes are all well documented--the glut of courses, less discretionary funds, the cost of golf, the time commitment, difficulty of the game, and the rise in the commodity costs are the biggest reasons.

What people fail to mention is that since the invention of golf, it has never been a mainstream sport. It's a niche activity enjoyed by a small but significant percentage of the population. It enjoyed a huge spike in popularity in the last 90's & early 2000's and has since reverted to its long term mean.

Unfortunately, a lot of people will lose jobs, a lot of people will lose money, and a lot of golf related businesses will close. But this is no different than with every other fad or boom/bust cycle in history. The title of this post lists a few of the largest of these cycles, but we can all remember smaller ones as well. As a kid I remember the toy fads that came and went, like yo-yo's, ninja turtles, power rangers, voltron, and others. Activities, entertainment and diversions are no different. Bowling, tennis, soccer and others have all experienced rise-and-fall cycles in their popularity.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Those of us who love the game can clearly see what's great about it. The challenge, the beauty, the camaraderie--golf truly is the game of a lifetime. Golf has always been counter-cultural, and when it becomes mainstream, problems will follow.

What do you think? Send us a tweet @FixYourGamecom.

Brant Kasbohm
Director of Instruction