Has Golf Shifted From Status Symbol To Entertainment Vehicle?

And is that a bad thing necessarily?

I ask because Tim Grant of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at the state of golf and also of private golf clubs in the Pittsburgh area and features an interesting quote from Megan Hawk, internal auditor at 3 Lakes GC, who sees a change in perception after 9/11. (Thanks reader Big K for this story.)

Some private clubs in this area that continue to thrive on the old model where new members are handpicked by current members include Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont; Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley; and the Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel.

But for the most part, private clubs that insist on doing business as usual are finding it difficult.

“The game of golf was part of the success culture,” Ms. Hawk said. “It made people feel successful, especially if they belonged to a private club. They felt they had made it. Now it’s not as closely linked to prosperity. Now it’s more a form of entertainment than a status symbol.”

A lot of modern golf players “want to collect experiences,” Ms. Hawk said. “They want to play six courses in one summer rather than the same one with the same people.”

What do you think?