Tough Times in Ohio

From Sunday's Columbus Times-Dispatch, a story on the local golf market. I'm afraid to say it's another version of a familiar story: In Ohio, as in most states, golf isn't as popular in 2009 as it was in, say, 1999. As a result, business is suffering.

Lots of stories like this one:

"You used to have tee times booked, people teeing off from first daylight to 4 in the afternoon, then twilight after that," said John Whittle, the head professional at Thorn Apple CC in Galloway. "You'd have people coming out 12 straight hours. It's not that way anymore."

Or this one:

"It's a sad situation," said Jim Long, who owns three public courses in Ohio, including Indian Springs GC near Mechanicsburg in Champaign County. "I've been a golf course owner for 28 years, and in the 1990s golf was it. Now, I've had to sell some warehouses to keep making payments on golf courses."

-- G.R.