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The Tradition Of Daylight Savings And Golf!

The Tradition Of Daylight Savings And Golf!

Here in Ohio, we will be springing forward on March 13. I always enjoy the ‘fall back’ in autumn because we gain an extra hour of sleep, however, I have never been a fan of ‘springing forward’ because we lose an hour of sleep. The generally accepted notion as to why this tradition continues has been to cater to the agricultural community and school children; a notion that I realized was false as I stood at the bus stop on a dark Monday morning with my first grader. So, being the history nerd that I am, I decided to research this seemingly antiquated tradition. A quick Google search later, I read numerous articles discussing the origins of DST and how it was used to preserve energy and create more productivity. I still wondered about the relevance in the 21st century as electricity is much more efficient and readily available than it was in the early 1900s.

Then I found my answer in an article on John Hockenberry’s website called, “The Take Away”. His guests were Michael Downing, a Tufts University professor who authored a book on this very subject, and Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. Downing explains that the reason the tradition continues is to help the economy and golfers! Mona then states, “For people who don’t play golf, they should care a lot about the fact that daylight savings time creates additional opportunities for people to play golf…from an economic standpoint, golf on a national level creates almost $70 billion a year in economic impact. It employs almost 2 million Americans, it generates almost $4 billion in charitable giving, almost all of which goes to causes outside of golf. In addition to that, golf facilities are small businesses and they’re usually among the most stable employers and source of revenue for local suppliers than any other business.”

Downing goes on to say, “Since 1915, the principal supporter of daylight saving in the United States has been the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of small business and retailers,” says Downing. “The Chamber understood that if you give workers more sunlight at the end of the day they’ll stop and shop on their way home. It’s not just golf—the barbecue industry loves daylight savings, so do the home good stores because people tend to go out of their houses, see that their roofs need replacing and buy more shingles. It’s a really important part of niche marketing for the retail industry.”

As a golf enthusiast and avid shopper, I was quite intrigued to learn this. Furthermore, I have become a full supporter of Daylight Savings! So don’t forget to push those clocks ahead and pull those golf clubs out of hibernation! Golf season is upon us!

Comment: 1

  • Steve
    March 7, 2016 11:13 am

    Very interesting piece on the intersection of DST and golf. Historically speaking, DST was implemented not only for agricultural purposes but also for factory productivity; however, as workers gained the eight hour workday, they found more leisure time. Golf became just one mode of how the working class utilized leisure time. It was fascinating to learn that small businesses backed the DST initiative. That said, it is not surprising. As DST and leisure emerged in the late nineteenth- and early-twentieth century, a mature capitalist system saw an opportunity for gain. Both ends of the production spectrum utilized the new found time for the pursuit of activities like golf. Well written piece! Very informative!

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