Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Retirement Icon is Dying?
More Americans Are Giving Up Golf

One of my clients told me recently that the local exclusive golf club in my home town recently needed some money, so they decided to accept 20 new members from their waiting list of 75 applicants. To their shock, they blew right through the waiting list and had to offer some incentives to fill the last few slots. So it shouldn't have surprised me to read that the total number of Americans who play golf has dropped from 30 million to 26 million since the year 2000, in this New York Times article, "More Americans are Giving Up Golf."

But somehow, it did surprise me. Golf is sort of an American icon for retirement. My mother and stepfather used to spend the winter at one of those golf course complexes in Florida where practically everybody's back yard has a view of some tee, fairway, or green. And I'll always remember how a war almost broke out one winter over a hotly disputed proposal to change the tee times from seven minutes apart to eight minutes apart. I even use that incident in my book-in-process, Platinum Living, as a warning to potential retirees about emptying out their lives so much that they get too "microscopic."

(That type of incident is not unusual apparently, as some of you may remember the famous "Seinfeld" episodes of when Jerry would visit his parents at "Del Boca Vista" -- particularly the "astronaut pen" episode .... but I digress)

Anyway, this article has me wondering if perhaps one of the generational changes that boomers will bring is the decline of golf as a retirement icon. I have to admit, I hadn't thought of that one. :-) Bob

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