There was an article in the National Post yesterday about new trends in Golf, featuring a new golf course NE of Toronto in Pickering called Bunker Hill.  A 12-hole course that has only 3 par holes.  But this is not the cheap par 3 courses we know.  Each hole is a challenge with bunkers and elevation changes, but no holes that invite the modern 350-yard drives from the tee.

Apparently an exciting course that you can play in 2 1/2 hours instead of the normal 5 hours, and popular with good golfers who do not have a day to take off.

Golf as a recreational sport is dying (except in China).  It is a sport for old people,  sorry that is wrong; it is a sport for the Boomer generation.

Now is that not a great title for a generation?  As you well know Pat and I are Boomers.  Born in houses that did not have indoor plumbing, and guaranteed high paying jobs if we made it to University, with big houses and backyard pools as years went on.  Golf was just one of the luxuries that Boomers could enjoy.

But golf is being abandoned by the next generation, and even more so by their kids (granted you can understand that last generation because how would you keep them from their video games).

In the last 10 years, 10,000 golf courses have closed down in the US and Canada, and only 1,000 new ones have been built.  Even Glen Abbey in Oakville is about to turn into a very highly priced housing development.

The Nike brand, after losing many millions on their golf equipment business over the last 20 years  (granted, a lot of it lost sponsoring Tiger Woods) has closed the business down.  Adidas, which owned Taylor Made, Adams and Ashworth, sold off the brands.  The big companies are baling out.

The industry is trying desperately to save itself by making the game more interesting.  The Bunker Hill course in Pickering is an example.  Tests are being done in California to make the golf hole        8 ” in diameter (which would have improved my personal score over the years by hundreds!)  There is even talk of trying to change the professional game by softening the ball so they can only drive 250 yards.  The game is just too time consuming and too expensive for the next generations.

However…  As Pat and I sit in the backyard tonight enjoying our BBQ rib dinner and look out over the golf fairway behind us (that, incidentally, extends our yard to 200 meters), golf has been good for us and we assume this vista will remain.  Golf courses still make for some beautiful parks.