No Longer Bowling Alone, But Golf is Sinking Fast

I never knew this until I read it in today’s New York Times, but golf is losing popularity. The story said there has been a serious decline since 2000, and that people who used to play frequently are playing less and less.

Golf courses are trying new schemes to battle the time factor…four hours for 18 holes seems like too big a commitment, not to mention that also means no cellphone chats on the fairways. They are contemplating six-hole rounds and trying to use the courses and grounds for weddings and other events.

During a meeting in Long Island of four golf course owners, many ideas were batted around. One problem stems from the huge number of courses built between 1990 and 2003: 3000 new ones that brings the total to about 16,000 in the US.

But it comes back to that weekend duffer who has to bring the kids to soccer practice. There just isn’t time like there used to be.

This contrasts with bowling, which I thought was also dying…but in fact, few people are bowling alone any more. Last weekend when my daughter and her husband tried to go out bowling there was a 2-hour wait. And lanes have added loud rock and roll, cocktails and a party atmosphere so that now bowling is the hippest thing you can do on a Saturday night.