Golf takes hit as Americans’ leisure time, resources slip away

07/25/2014 11:11 AM

07/25/2014 1:07 PM

It is not surprising that Dick’s Sporting Goods is cutting hundreds of jobs in its golf division.

Fewer Americans are playing golf. Why? Because golf, quite frankly, eats up a lot of time, and green fees are expensive. Those are hours and money that many American families no longer have for leisure.

The International Labor Organization reported years ago that American workers were putting in the longest hours on the job of any industrialized nation. That was in 1997, with Americans logging nearly 2,000 hours per capita that year. To put it in perspective, that was nearly two working weeks more than people in Japan.

That was before computers, tablets and smartphones made it impossible for people to ever really be completely shed of work. Add the Great Recession to that work pile, and it’s easy to see that those still fortunate enough to have jobs through years of layoffs, cutbacks and the pathetic recovery are actually doing more work with less pay just to stay afloat. With more women working, men in families who used to slip away to the links can’t anymore because they have more chores at home.

Then people who normally would have retired to spend more time on golf courses have had to continue to work because of recession-period losses in home equity and retirement funds that they had counted on to live on Easy Street. So golf has taken a big hit.

A spokesperson for the PGA of America said more than 500 full-time professionals in Dick’s golf section were told they’d be laid off, The Golf Channel reports.

It’s a sign of the times with more likely to follow.


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service