Paper of Fluff

nyt-paper.gifSo is it me, or does this read like something from one of those glossy giveaway rags loaded with cigar ads and stories on $500 golf shoes:

Golfing on business trips, that sweet escape from the frustrations of the road, can be full of surprises. It also may be on the increase. Exactly how many executives golf on business trips is not tracked, according to the National Golf Foundation in Jupiter, Fla., but Rand Jerris, director of the United States Golf Association Museum and Archives in Far Hills, N.J., said the numbers had swelled in recent years, a trend he attributes in part to the proliferation of "best" lists in trade magazines and books.

"The same competitive spirit that drives business spills over" to golf, Dr. Jerris said. Hotels are also making it easier for guests to sneak off to the links. Several years ago, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts introduced the use of free TaylorMade clubs at many of their properties to members of their frequent-guest club.

This swell article is from the New York Times. The paper of record says there is an increase in golf travel among businessmen, with not a single number offered to back up the claim.

Ah, but the sourcing was impeccable.

Even exclusive private clubs have seen an increase in business travelers. "I see many more people flying in for the day to do business deals," said Michael R. Yamaki, the corporate officer of the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. With the boom in private-jet travel, he said, the portion of membership applications from outside the local area has surged to about 35 percent today from about 3 percent 15 years ago.

The story goes on to tell golf trip war stories and leaves you saying, ah, this is why they say a once great paper has lost its way.