A reader has an idea about the decline of golf:
The reason golf is dying is that it no longer offers the benefit that used to make it popular.
For a generation and more, a golf course was a place a man could go to get away from his wife. Oh yes, and family, and work, but mainly wife. A place beyond her reach. A peaceful, green sanctuary.
The mobile phone changed that. Golf is never coming back. Perhaps weekend spiritual retreats – where you check your phone in at the door – might.
I’m dubious. First, it’s not that hard to turn your phone off, or simply not bring it with you in the first place. Second, if it’s harming their business, golf courses should simply ban mobile phones on the links.
I think golf is in decline – to the extent that it actually is in decline, I don’t pay enough attention to it to actually know – is that golf is essentially a Boomer activity. Generation X and the younger generations grew up playing video games alone and with each other rather than activities with their parents, and as with so many other Boomer failures to pass things on, Boomers failed to instill a love of golf into their children.
A few of my friends back in the States golf, but none of them are anywhere nearly as serious about it as I remember my best friend’s father being. So, I suspect that as the Boomers continue to age into decrepitude, there will be fewer and fewer men on the golf courses.