"Imagine a scenario in which a family goes to the neighborhood layout for a friendly game, share some laughs, and get some exercise. The family dog trots along when junior and dad go to play on a summer evening. Shotmaking is an art form. Courses are constructed and maintained at reasonable costs, and fit into their native environments. And a round can be played in 3 hours because the designs are not built to suit the power game. Affordable, relaxing, congenial. That was the stuff our great grandfathers tried to hand down to us."
"Golf has been de-regulated and is now paying the price. The separation between commerce and culture has all but vanished. It is now a manufacturer-driven power game and the numbers are stagnant. The sport is not growing, nor has it really grown since the 1950’s."
In this book, Shackelford tells the story of how it happened. This is an in-depth look at the issues responsible for the sentiments expressed in my initial post. However, Shackelford delves into the evolution of equipment, the decision-making of the USGA, and some heavier topics far beyond the scope of this simple blog.