Golf and the New Economic Reality

No matter who you are, and no matter what kind of rose colored glasses you're wearing, the world looks very different from the way it did just a year ago.

Even if your tag line is "fun, flirty and fashionable" you can't deny the new economic reality. The one that descended on the entire world just a couple of months ago. In my case it's resulted in a pile of unopened 401K statements. This attempt at denial hasn't worked, however. There's just too much bad news out there, if you watch tv or puruse the internet you can't avoid it.

Last week the 20th anniversary of Greg Norman's Merill Lynch Shootout took place at the Norman designed Tiburón golf course in Naples, FL. The Shark Shootout is a unique competition featuring 24 top golfers playing on two-man teams in a mixed-format of modified alternate shot, better ball, and scramble. The tournament, with its lush surroundings in the shadow of the Ritz-Carlton Resort is known for an atmosphere of intimate, exciting luxury.

This year however with the future of sponsors Merrill Lynch and Chrysler looking somewhat ambiguous, and crowds more subdued than in the past, golfers like Fred Couples, Stewart Cink and Mr. Norman himself, were feeling the economic reality and acknowledging that things had changed.

If you play golf, you know the effect negativity and pessimism can have, and you avoid them like the plague. As the Shark said last week, “If we played our golf in a negative mind like that then we would never get anywhere going forward.”

The truth is, as far as the world economy is concerned, no one knows how it's all going to play out. At this point, there's simply optimism or pessimism.

That's why I'm sticking with "fun, flirty and fashionable".

Photo: Last spring when I played at Tiburón.