Golf Numbers Are Down Too

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

Our local newspaper the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette had a front-pagestory today about the status of golf courses in the area. Many of the courses are hurting financially because the number of rounds played is down about. The paper reported that nationally more than 5 percent of all golf courses have closed in since 2005 and the number of participants has declined from a high of 30 million in 2005 down to 23.8 million in 2016.

In our area, one course is already closed and couple of others are on the verge of closing as well. One course was sold and re-opened as a 12-hole course. One of the owners of a course was quoted as saying "It's a different world. People are busy now, so we think that 12 holes is the place to be. They don't have time for 18," said Percy, whose group runs the only 12-hole course in the area.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Here at the Midnight Freemasons and on numerous other blogs and podcasts across the internet have been filled with articles on how to improve Freemasonry, how to get new members, how to make things easier, getting back to the basics etc.

Freemasonry is not alone on feeling the changes in society. At times we are very hard on ourselves about what is wrong with Freemasonry. But for all of things that could be improved in the craft, I personally believe we have a very awesome organization already in place.

Just as societal changes have impacted golf, they have also affected this fraternity. But we are adapting and positive changes are happening in this fraternity across the nation. A renewed focus on education has taken hold in many lodges. The fraternity is on a path to return to our roots and focus on what we do best, making good men better.

I am firmly convinced that greatest day in this fraternity is today. We have a long rich history as a fraternity, but today is what matters. I’ve seen the difference this fraternity has made in the lives of countless members, including myself. That’s happening across the nation every day when a lodge meets, initiates another brother or is out helping the community.

Make today count. Go to your blue lodge meetings, invite back a brother who hasn’t been there in a while, give a petition to a deserving potential brother, write a paper for lodge education or visit another lodge to meet some new brothers.

Just as the golfing industry is adjusting, so is Freemasonry and we will be stronger for it.


WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.

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