A recent article in The New York Times discussed the trend of Americans giving up golf.
The article included some statistics, which you would expect in an article like this:
The total number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since 2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
More troubling to golf boosters, the number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2005 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third.
The industry now counts its core players as those who golf eight or more times a year. That number, too, has fallen, but more slowly: to 15 million in 2006 from 17.7 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.
More interesting to me than the statistical proof was the discussion of factors contributing to the trend. Financial factors were considered. Time factors were taken into account. But I found these lines from near the end of the article most interesting:
At the meeting here, there was a consensus that changing family dynamics have had a profound effect on the sport.
“Years ago, men thought nothing of spending the whole day playing golf — maybe Saturday and Sunday both,” said Mr. Rocchio, the public relations consultant, who is also the New York regional director of the National Golf Course Owners Association. “Today, he is driving his kids to their soccer games. Maybe he’s playing a round early in the morning. But he has to get back home in time for lunch.”
Changing family dynamics — men wanting to spend more time with family. If this is really a trend we are seeing in America, perhaps we need to express thanks to God!