Unemployed? Time to brush up on your putting skills
Hot news. I’ve just received a press release from the PGA of Australia which says that golf participation rates increased by a whopping 27 per cent in 2008.
And the reason we’re all flocking to the first tee in unprecedented numbers? Well, apparently it’s because we’re unemployed and have nothing better to do.
Seriously. Here, word for word, is the PGA of Australia CEO Max Garske’s breathtaking spin on the sudden surge.
“Typically the biggest concern for golfers is not finding enough time to play a few holes on a regular basis. But the current economic situation has created more leisure time for many Australians.”
“Traditionally, as the unemployment rate rises, so to does demand for tee times.”
So there you have it. Step 1. Lose your job because of the GFC. Step 2. Dig the rusting clubs out of the shed and get golfing on Monday morning.
What the PGA’s jaw-droppingly opportunistic take on this unbelievably serious economic crisis fails to mention is just WHO is playing more golf.
Reckon it’s the sacked Bonds workers struggling to find the cash to make their schoolkids’ vegemite sandwiches?
Or do you think maybe it’s former CEOs with multi-million dollar severance packages who can afford to ruin a good walk or two, as Mark Twain put it.
The truth about recreational golf in both Australia and the US is that club membership has been in rapid decline in recent years, largely as a result of time-poor fathers in the era of hands-on Dads.
As Australia’s world number 6-ranked golfer Geoff Ogilvy told me when I interviewed him last month, “I’m allowed to go to the golf course because that what I do. I don’t understand how normal guys do it.”
The point is, I strongly suspect that so-called “normal guys” still aren’t being given leave to play a round – so to speak. As a father of two, I know I’m not.
So instead of gloating about rising numbers to trumpet their own marvellousness, the PGA of Australia should come clean and provide a full demographic breakdown of just who is playing, and when, and why.
I for one can assure you I’d be at Centrelink – not the local golf links – if I lost my job tomorrow.
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