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How Daylight Saving Time Benefits Golfers and the Golf Industry

As you probably know, daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. local time, when our clocks will move ahead one hour to accommodate for more daylight in the evenings. It means adjusting clocks, losing an hour of sleep, and perhaps a groggy start to the day.

The rationale is that hour of daylight is better utilized at the end of the workday than at the beginning. Many people think we do it to save energy or to benefit farmers or school children. 

However, according to Michael Downing, a professor at Tufts University and the author of the book "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time," those theories are actually false. Downing says the answer can be found in the sport of golf. He says it is "the most important reason we're still doing and expanding the period of daylight saving time." 

The golf industry once estimated the game would increase revenue by $400 million if daylight saving began a month earlier. Those figures were part of a 1986 lobbying effort asking Congress to extend daylight saving from six to seven months, which ended up becoming the norm. Now it has been extended to eight months. In 2024, DST ends on Sunday, November 3rd.

According to the World Golf Foundation, "The reason it's good for golf is because it creates more daylight when people are likely to play. It could be going out to play nine holes or even just spending 30 minutes on the putting green. We believe any activity is good whether it leads to increased revenue or increased engagement in the game."

Here's how those extra hours can elevate your golf experience:

Twilight Rounds

Daylight saving time extends daylight well into the evening, creating a prime window for twilight rounds. This allows busy golfers, who might not have time for a full 18 holes during the day, to squeeze in a quick nine after work or enjoy a leisurely round with friends without feeling rushed. This extended window can boost participation and enjoyment for many golfers, especially during the longer daylight hours of spring and summer. An added benefit is that many courses offer discounted twilight rates.

Increased Practice Opportunities

The additional daylight also translates to more time for practice. Whether it's hitting the driving range to refine your swing or chipping away on the putting green, those extra hours offer valuable opportunities to hone your skills. This can be particularly beneficial for golfers who work during the day and might have limited practice time otherwise.

While some aspects of daylight saving time might require adaptation, for golfers, the advantages are undeniable. The extra daylight provides more opportunities to play, practice, and socialize on the course, ultimately enhancing the overall golf experience. So, the next time you hear about the "spring forward" time change, embrace it as a chance to spend more time playing the game you love.

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