I bet Mark Twain, who called golf a "good walk spoiled," would have liked bowing because everybody likes bowling. The same can't be said for golf.
The New York Times recently painted a pretty depressing view of golf business. For instance, the total number of players has declined or remained flat since 2000 and the number of people who play 25 times a year dropped by one-third between 2000 and 2005, according to the paper.
This is a sign of the times.Men aren't willing to spend an entire day away from their families chasing a small white ball around a beautifully manicured course, Their wives just won't tolerate it. Might I suggest an alternative: bowling.
Bowling is superior to golf in every way imaginable. For one thing, it's cheaper, You can bowl at most centers for about $5 a person per game most weekends including shoe rentals. A decent ball and pair of shoes will run you under $200. Best of all, you don't have to suck up to a snooty Country Club membership committee or pay to be "initiated" into the bowling center. Everyone is welcome.
The one problem bowling has is marketing, and for that I blame Fred Flintstone. People assumed that since a working-class hero like Fred was a good bowler that it mustn't be that hard. Let me assure you that bowling well is not easy. But it certainly is fun for people of all ages. My 16-month-old son recently bowled for the first time and had a blast because he got to knock things down and make a racket.
If anything bowling is a pretty unspoiled sport, except for the glow-in-the-dark bowling that centers have on Saturday nights. But hey, nothing is perfect.
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