Life-Cycle Studies: Golf

“A good walk ruined” is how Mark Twain described a round of golf, but something about the game nevertheless inspires deep devotion. Fans have been shanking drives since at least the mid-fifteenth century and probably far longer. Today some 60 million golfers hack away on 25,000 courses worldwide. They pay annual club membership fees ranging from several hundred dollars up to US$650,000, which is what the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, New York, demanded when it opened in 2006 (plus $12,000 in annual dues). A recent poll asked 11,000 golfers if they would rather be a) very intelligent and a bad golfer or b) not very intelligent and a great golfer; worldwide, 29 percent preferred the latter. Among Thai golfers it was 52 percent and among Japanese golfers 77 percent.

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