“It’s Not Like It Used To Be”

That’s a line from the movie The Last Waltz.  The cameraman has started a discussion about how The Band in the early days used to constantly jam.  He’s trying to get them to start such a jam as the band prepares to play its last concert prior to dissolving.  One member tries to start something, but no one’s heart is in it, and the music fizzles out almost immediately.  Robbie Robertson remarks, desolately, “It’s not like it used to be.”

I met a friend for lunch in a part of town I once frequented.  I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of FootJoys, so on my way home I stopped at a golf chain store where I spent many a dollar back in the day.  A friend and I used to eat lunch then fill up the remainder of our hour at the music store, the bookstore, or the golf store.  The music stores (there were two, one with CDs, the other guitars) and bookstore are long gone.

I pulled into the parking lot and for a moment I thought the golf store had shut down, too.  There was a single car in the parking lot.  I spotted four cars off to the side of the store: the employees’ cars.  One of them pulled out, headed to lunch, as I walked toward the front door.

An employee shouted a greeting as I entered.  I told him I was just looking around.  Two employees swapped golf-related stories with each other the five minutes I was in the store.  Another fiddled around with a bag hanging on the wall.

I used to get impatient waiting to be helped.  The lunch hour was always hectic with people rushing in and out.  Today it was a ghost town.

It’s not like it used to be.

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12 Responses to “It’s Not Like It Used To Be”

  1. Jaybird77 says:

    It’s not like it used to be but then again, the Internet wasn’t what is is now, 20 years ago. Nowadays, shopping is done online. You don’t have to go down to the local golf store to check things out. You can do it online. I mean, you can go all over the country and see once prominent “big box” malls and strip malls and the vast majority look all run down. Hell, when I was a teenager my friends and I would commonly ride up to the local malls and just hangout, going store to story browsing this and that. Now those same malls are half full with many empty stores. Whole different world.

    • lannyh says:

      I wonder if the entire public is in a golf funk like I am. Between Tour oversaturation and Spieth’s 12th hole, the wind is gone from everyone’s sails. When I surf the web, Trump is more than a match for a regular Tour event made forgetable by the playoffs and WGC events. The events have a fall event feel to them, and the upcoming Players is always, to me, 99 percent sizzle, 1 percent steak. Maybe Rickie can repeat and make that one his tourney the way Augusta is Bubba’s. But for me, that event is dependent upon one of my favorites contending just like any other “regular” Tour stop.

      • Jaybird77 says:

        It’s definitely a down period in the schedule between The Master’s and The Player’s.. I still tune in because I participate in Fantasy Golf (kind of addictive really) but not as closely as I do for the bigger events.

        I know you don’t share my opinion on this but I find the final 3 holes at Sawgrass awesome.. So much can, and does, happen every year and it’s very exciting to me.

      • lannyh says:

        I can relate to the fantasy comment. Over the years, I bet NFL football games. A few years ago, I stopped. I was surprised at how little I actually cared about the sport. Without betting, I didn’t watch at all. I follow golf and college football on their own merits, but that’s pretty much it.

  2. Ken says:

    I do find the lack of music and book stores sad. I’ve never really enjoyed shopping, but used to like to browse those. They’re still out there, but it usually involves a longer drive now. The days of Walden Books, Brentano’s, B. Dalton, Tower Records, or Sam Goody in every strip mall are long gone.

    There’s a big Golf Galaxy store a few minutes from my office. There’s also a mall close by where Dick’s Sporting Goods (owner of Golf Galaxy) has a huge golf section. All the Dick’s have large golf sections, and DSG is everywhere. Online is hurting golf stores, but I think people still like to check out their clubs in person. There’s just a lot more places to find good selections than they’re used to be.

    • lannyh says:

      I agree re browsing book and music stores. That used to be a staple of my every week when I was younger. We lost our last convenient bookstore a couple of years ago. It was always great when I needed to kill an hour while waiting to meet someone, or for the lunch places to open, or for a movie to start or whatever. Or just to hang out when I had nowhere special to be. There are still a couple of bookstores, but it means driving out of my way.

  3. Jaybird77 says:

    Kind of interesting. Just saw that Rory will skip wGC Bridgestone and play the French Open instead. Really makes a tone of sense.

    1. Bridgestone doesn’t count towards his Euro Event Total for him to keep status where as the French counts as 2
    2. Two weeks prior to the British so it provides a good warm up/preparation.
    3. Probably some money involved.

    • Ken says:

      Is that the one he’s skipping? I was thinking the Akron Bridgestone WGC, formerly the World Series of Golf. Isn’t that in late August?

      • lannyh says:

        It looks like it is the WGC at Firestone. Very interesting. These WGC events — outside of the Match Play — have always struck me as somehow “wrong.” Limited-field events with no cut that count as Made Cuts.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, that is indeed interesting. Didn’t he win Firestone once? It should be a good match for his game.

      The French counts as two? That’s funny. At some point, they might want to drop the pretense of a minimum number of events.

  4. DanishDude says:

    That’s old news. The WGC was moved from it’s original spot by the PGA Tour because of the Olympics and clashed with the French Open. In response to this provocation the European Tour dropped the WGC, doubled the Ryder Cup points and increased the prize fund significantly for the French Open. Quite understandably the European Tour showed loyalty to the French Open.

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