- August 10, 2022
Mother Nature can be such a tease. Especially in the month of February. I love North Central PA but this is just crazy. A groundhog predicts another 42 days of darkness and then our temperatures jump to the mid-60s. Dude? Now it’s back to Kelvin with a possibility of sleet and snow. I don’t know
Mother Nature can be such a tease. Especially in the month of February. I love North Central PA but this is just crazy. A groundhog predicts another 42 days of darkness and then our temperatures jump to the mid-60s. Dude? Now it’s back to Kelvin with a possibility of sleet and snow. I don’t know what’s going on but these ups and downs have raised havoc on an already crazy flu season. #Cough.
But it sure was nice getting outside this past Wednesday. Holy cats man. Simply gorgeous. The River Walk near the Hepburn exit was just booming. I saw hundreds of fellow residents enjoying the afternoon. I thought about taking the kayak for a spin, but my better judgment actually kicked in. I’m getting smarter kids, and the water of the mighty Susquehanna is still freezing cold.
I wanted to throw a few casts in my neighborhood stream, but Teach quickly scratched that idea and made me pick up sticks in the yard instead. Oh, don’t worry — there will be many more fishing opportunities, and maybe next time I just won’t ask for her permission.
Several of my mates decided to hit the links this past week. A few even sent out an invitation to join. That was nice. Tempting, but it is a little too early for golf boys and girls. There was a time, but I do plan on playing more in 2018. I struck the ball really well, and had a nice run last fall. Hopefully, everything will carry over for the upcoming season. OK. I am back to practicing with my putter on the living room carpet. Everything breaks towards Lycoming Creek.
The game itself remains in a funk. Rounds are down and equipment sales continue to tank. TV ratings are taking a hit, and golf courses are folding left and right. The entire golfing industry is buried in a green side bunker. So why has the biz entered such a rough patch of late? I hate to speculate and will leave this problem to the so called “experts.” I retired.
Skeptics insist that the sport isn’t dying. They say that golf is merely taking a natural dip after Tigermania of the early 2000s. It will bounce back eventually. But let’s face it. The game just isn’t the same. Golf is hard, and expensive to play. It takes a lot of time and people are much more busier these days.
Another factor on the local front is the unpredictable weather of North Central PA. Seriously. We have to rely on WBRE and a 10-pound marmot to tell us when we can golf. It’s no secret that the long harsh winters, extra wet springs, dry humid summers, and chilly short autumns can have a major impact on revenues. Can I get a little backup from my friends?
“2017 was a tough wet year,” PGA Professional Judd Caruso of Belles Springs explained. “We saw some of our lowest round totals going back to 2003. Our membership numbers were slightly up, but there were way too many weekend washouts. The weather is a huge factor.
“Our club tournaments are holding, but the overall outing participation is down,” Caruso continued. “There are a ton of fundraiser events and scrambles nowadays. You could seriously play one everyday. At $75 to $100 a clip — that can get expensive real fast. We have a very limited market in this area and the players now have to pick and choose which events to support. It makes it hard because no one can play in every tournament.”
“The weather is so unpredictable and can definitely take its toll.” PGA Professional Sean Kaczynski from Clinton Country Club chimed in. “It was a difficult year and total rounds continue to decline.
“Twilight specials and online discounts have helped golf become more affordable,” Kaczynski added. “But we need to find ways to keep the next generation interested and involved. Our junior clinic numbers and young adult rounds are improving, but man, we could use another Tiger Boom.”
I look forward to telling you more stories about the game in the upcoming months. I believe it will be a very hot and trending local topic. Yes. There are thousands of interesting tales from a golf course. A quick shout to my two pals for swinging by to get us started. Continued success and I appreciate it guys.
The county will be watching one’s performance rather closely. This is the last of three-year contract. While Casper has done an excellent job limiting their spending, they will need a banner year at White Deer Golf Course in 2018. Let’s just hope for better weather and a major boost in rounds. Or we might have to endure another political contingency. More to come. Cheers.