It can be no shock to see that participation in golf is dipping at the same time that our economy has suffered through historic drops. But can the blame extend beyond the economy, and does golf possess a future that could make it go the way of horse racing? I never thought it would happen.
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I wouldn’t be doing my Golf Like You’re Poor job if I didn’t take a short break from my current “day job” duties and write up this tip: Keep your eye on Groupon.
I know: it’s rare that Groupon comes with a deal relating to golf. But once it does, it’s highly worth it....
I just got back from vacation in Hawaii, and the best things I brought back are words. Words! Yes, and I consider this an improvement, a meaningful accomplishment, from the souvenirs, memories and such I've brought home from previous vacations.
Used to, I’d bring back t-shirts. Though I did find a unique t-shirt this time fashioned from the red dirt of Kauai, most t-shirts reflect little from your vacation experience. The feeling of having them in my clothes drawer is just as hollow as the shirt itself.
In the days when I traveled a lot on business and had a free afternoon, I would bring back posters from a museum where there was a nice exhibit going on. The Art Institute of Chicago, the Kimbell in Fort Worth, that nice Degas show from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the vivid, striking paint of Eugene Delacroix on display that time in Philly all are still hanging from my wall. I’d stick the poster in a flimsy frame when I got home, and maybe that‘s where my fascination of being cheap got started.
Pictures? I hated bringing along a camera. It was just another thing I’d forget in the rental car. Now I can take a few shots through my phone and “develop” them on facebook. That’s cool, and I did it this time around.
But words? It happened when I noticed there was a book on golf in Hawaii on the coffee table in the house we rented with the others in our travel group. It was published in 2001 and written by a man I’d never heard of before, Evan Schiller. Though it was a picture book typical of something laying on a coffee table (the title is Golf Courses of Hawaii), I found Schiller’s words were just as impressive as the photos.
When I blurt out the motto Golf Like You’re Poor, I think Schiller expressed it quite well in these few paragraphs from his book:
“The great artist Picasso said ‘Art cannot be taught, it can only be found.’ This may also be true of golf. It is my opinion that golf, like art, can be found, but only within us. One simply discovers golf and then expresses it in one form or another.
“There is a real joy in golf and in life that I have discovered comes when I create each shot and each moment freshly without being bound to my past.
“Some time ago I discovered I could create a purpose for creating the golf or photographing the courses that inspired me, as opposed to one that culture had imposed on me. The game I had been playing was one in which I was usually concerned about how I looked and what other people thought of me … you discover new possibilities for yourself and the game you had not imagined.”
Golf is found within us, and it’s best shared. In my case, it’s through the expression of words. There is real joy in golf! Indeed. In golf, you are the creator, and you behold the created. And, best, you don’t have to let anyone impose anything on you! You find what’s best, adapt it, and discover possibilities you had not imagined.
I was fortunate to play golf -- even if it was just nine holes on a municipal course -- in a place as beautiful as Kauai. But capturing these words is far better. They won’t shrink or fade, and they won’t get lost.
My blogs can be found in this section of Secret in the Dirt, and if you're interested in more stories you can go to Tim Price Sports Books. My writing also can be followed on Twitter @golflikeurpoor. Enjoy the reading, and your golf, no matter if you're rich or poor.
Can’t I ever give it a rest? Do I always have to spout off about playing Golf Like You’re Poor?
I mean, come on, now’s the time for a break. It’s my family vacation next week, for crying out loud. Can’t a GLYPer get a vacation, too?...
I know there is a crisis coming in my game. I could tell when I hit a ball last week at the practice range. I kept making the correct swing, but still it wouldn’t go away. As I shifted my weight to the left side on the follow-through, the toe of the golf shoe on my right foot flipped loose.
Yes, this is a crisis for a guy who plays Golf Like You’re Poor -- a GLYPer -- and has zero in his budget for equipment. That shoe is going to continue to break down as long as I keep swinging correctly and transferring my weight, so I better find a way to get a new pair....
I'm going to get specific on how I play golf and yet make it work within my budget. But I want to add some thoughts to my first entry ("Golf Like You're Poor? You're kidding, right?") that I think are important and serve as the foundation for Golf Like You're Poor.
I once was in debt to the tune of $25,000 on an annual salary of less than $40,000....
I'm not going to kid myself. I know that people who read about golf also play a lot of golf. And they want to play the best courses and try not to bat an eye when they pay the green fee. So the prospects of this blog, which chronicles a golfer who has to limit his number of rounds to the cheapest ones he can find, having much traction with those folks is pretty far fetched.
Read the remainder of this blog at Tim Price Sports Books and look for the Golf Like You're Poor tab.