21 April 2020


Golf courses will reopen in Denver tomorrow. As far as coronavirus risk goes, done in a responsible way, it can be pretty low risk. 

My inlaws are about as good as you get as amateur golfers. My daughter was captain of the golf team and even got a golf scholarship to college.

This said, I don't get the value of the sport. Personally, I would not be troubled in the least if every single golf course in the state were bulldozed and converted to open space, campgrounds, parks, and even housing. 

Golf courses are water hogs in the arid west.

Golf is also the physical personification of inequality. They take large tracts of land for the benefit of a few. It takes an immense amounts of leisure time to play eighteen holes, or even nine, which few people have to spare. And, it isn't a cheap sport in terms of money. The equipment isn't super cheap. The fee to play on a public course isn't trivial. And many people join country clubs with membership dues of upwards of $10,000 a year and selective admissions just to play.

As I understand it, the public golf courses in Denver pay for themselves, but that ignores the property tax free opportunity costs associated with the idle land. I don't know if country clubs, which are generally organized as non-profits, pay property taxes on their golf courses or not.

I suppose it is a "lifetime" sport that one can engage in for your whole life, not that there aren't other alternatives. I'm sure that my class biases and values are showing. But, in my humble opinion, a world without golf would be a better world. 


Guy said...


My parents and sister and her husband all played golf avidly. And they were all firmly lower middle class. I'm pretty sure that golf is financially in the reach of most anyone that cares to play. My first (and only) golf club set was someone else's castoff. Mainly I was not willing to invest the time it took to get good at the sport. But I sure enjoyed the getting outdoors part.


Tom Bridgeland said...

Also my friends, small town, middle to lower middle class, a few urban factory worker types, all played golf back in the 1970s when I was growing up.