Total Pageviews

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Runoff And Play Golf

Texas, has a tea party in it! (Lord have mercy on our souls.)

Ted Cruz and several other Texas tea party candidates win in this weeks runoff...

Their message is unreal and full of lies; in fact, the very foundation of their tea party is a lie.
*See Koch brothers*
They're Sarah Palin, wrapped in an American flag, holding a cross, and lambasting the president as a socialist Muslim, gun-toting asses who never learned to spell their words of hate on their poster boards from Wal Mart.
This goofball (Cruz) is whom the super majority of republican voters want as their Texas representation in Washington?
(The voter turnout was atrocious for a state full of whiners against the federal government.)

This is what we've become...

Meanwhile, Texas denies Federal Aid every day for it's 25 million residents (1/4 of them uninsured).

It's enough to make me want to say f*%# it and go play Golf.
So I did...

Stonebridge Ranch in McKinney, TX is so hard even the pros won't play it. If your ball lands in the first cut of rough, it's gone...
My grandfather played the game and watched the pros all his life. When he died, I was given his clubs. They're made of wood. I love to play the game- albeit not as well as I would like- and I love the comradery it brings. I love to be outdoors testing my abilities physically and mentally. Learning to be a gentleman is a wonderful thing. Too bad over a million participants walked away from the game last year.
I wanted to know why, and here's what I found:

Golf’s participation numbers have been in a five-year decline. Just 8.5 percent of the U.S. population plays golf these days, with more players walking away than newcomers embracing the sport.
 Those numbers were reinforced by a series of focus groups administered by Boston Consulting Group, which reinforced many of golf’s positive qualities but added that consumers often felt like outsiders and the sport needs to be more consumer friendly.In recent years, golf’s leaders have seemingly flooded the market with various “grow the game” initiatives – Play Golf America, Get Golf Ready, Free Lesson Month, Tee It Forward. You may or may not be aware that May is Welcome to Golf Month. But for all the initiatives, the game is still losing participation.
 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. But now I think it could be. Society wants entertainment that’s easy on the brain and body; it has to be WalMart-easy on the pocketbook; and it must be something that, if it’s not quick to finish, it’s at least something that can be put down and resumed almost with the touch of a button.

Horse racing doesn’t measure up. And neither does golf.
 And now I’m reading the Golf 2.0 initiative being pushed most heartily by the PGA of America. I applaud them for taking a hard look at the sobering statistics that have been out there now for the past decade and finally realizing that it’s not just the economy that’s pulling down golf participation. Probably what has awakened them is that despite all the technology that’s pushed by golf equipment companies that supposedly make the game easier, the lack of substance of those claims has caught up. The nature of golf, the truth that golf is a difficult game, is a big reason people are giving up on it in my view.
We know the statistics: The story I’ve read in the January 27, 2012 issue of Golfweek cites a decrease of annual rounds played to 475 million from 518 million in the past decade (8 percent). Last year was the fifth consecutive year of declines. There has been a 13-percent decrease in the amount of people who play golf over the five-year period that ended in 2010. Throw in the first 11 months of 2011, the National Golf Foundation claims, and that period shows a 3.5-percent drop from the same months of 2010.

As an interesting aside, the FBI during this same 11-month period reported a record number of background checks that gun buyers must submit, which indicates guns sales increased 70 percent over the previous record from eight years earlier.
It has to be easy on the pocketbook. The people who make golf equipment that is tagged “game improvement” charge $400 for a driver. That is crazy, to me at least (there are enough people out there who are willing to pay, I know, or else the companies wouldn’t charge that in the first place). It‘s a horrid mindset. Think about it: It’s one of 14 clubs we can carry. I’ve not thrown in a bag, shoes, what else? Oh, paying a fee to get on the course when I’m ready. I used to badger horse tracks that charged to park, made you fork it over for a program of some sort, wanted you to pay for admission -- and then asked you to give it up for an “upgraded” seat -- and then expected you to pull out the wallet again and go make a bet. This is an area where the golf lords, the PGA of America and USGA since they appear to be interested, can steer the fiefdom in the right direction. Any effort to generate interest in golf should include a “how-to” on acquiring equipment cheaply. I know how to do it. I call it “Golf Like You’re Poor.”
If you think that first suggestion about video golf is whimsical, remember the data showing gun sales may be increasing. There could be loads of reasons for that, if the sales figures touted by the guns lobby are accurate. But think about one possible reason for increased gun sales: when you go to a video-game establishment, or the bank of video games at the mall or wherever, what are most of those games based upon? Guns.

How far does golf need to, want to, go? I’m not clanging away at the death bell, but I’m telling you I’ve seen this before. Golf has been great, right at the top of the list for many, many people looking for something to do. But horse racing once could say the same thing.

And, by the way, we haven’t even mentioned the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Water, or lack of it. Horse racing never had that problem.

I like to think the reason people are moving away from the game is because the "Old Cronies" are unwelcoming to newcomers, but the fact of the matter is more likely to point to time, difficulty and money.
Golf is at least a 4 hour sport. In today's world that's quite a commitment.
If you're not seeing an improvement in your swing, then why bother? To play well, one must practice often.
Golf equipment is too expensive. It doesn't have to be if you know how to shop.
What do I love most about Golf?
I play the game better at 41 than I did at 18. That's why I love it!

-Thank you Tim Price at Secret In The Dirt.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Weekly pre-Election Day Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is overloading on the Olympics as it brings you this week's roundup.  The TPA also reminds you to cast your ballot at your precinct poll tomorrow in the runoff elections happening throughout the state.

Off the Kuff notes that for a guy who claims to hate the federal government, Rick Perry sure gives them a lot of opportunities to get involved in Texas' business.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger was on a roll this week. In America and Collateral Damage and Double Jeopardy, the NCAA went overboard when they punished past, present and future Penn State students. Too many Americans have been tricked into believing that the government can no longer help them and their families. Until enough people realize that as a lie, take back the government, and use it to bring economic equality back we will continue in this depression.  

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says it's It's the inequality stupid.

As long as Mitt Romney didn't bring bacon-wrapped shrimp to the Knesset after leaving London, then last Thursday was the worst day of his European vacation, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.  

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that Republicans at Texas A&M are thrilled to give our money to North Carolina while screwing Texas workers.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about an interesting and expansive definition of life that he read about in New Scientist magazine.