The Wall Street Journal 's Personal Journal section today includes two front-page articles that should be of interest to readers of this site. One is about golf and one is about real estate. (Note: Full text of the articles is available only to subscribers).
Tara Parker-Pope, the editor of the paper's Health Journal column, has some sobering news and advice for those of us who play the game. Her contention is that our golf swings can tell us something about our overall health. What, for example, does an inconsistent swing tell you about your health? Parker-Pope's contention is that such a swing indicates we "lack strength in our 'core' muscles." These are the deeper muscles in places fundamental to a smooth, repeatable swing, such as thighs, hips and buttocks. What about accuracy issues? The problem, the author contends, may be a sign of looming neck arthritis and shoulder problems. I have both physical issues as well as the consequent misdirected hits. Indeed, in my younger days, I either drew or, when I mishit, pulled the ball. Now I spray right almost as often as I go left.
The accompanying chart, attributed to a 2006 Golfer Health Study commissioned by Golf Digest, comes to some depressing conclusions. Eight-percent of golfers suffer from pain, injury or illness; 27% have back pain; 66% are overweight; and 30% have played with a hangover. We really have to love the game to put ourselves through all that (the drinking aside).
The other Personal Journal article indicates that more and more young people -- those barely out of their 30s -- are purchasing second-homes in anticipation of using them as retirement homes later. Most of the examples highlight properties on lakes, and most of those are within a few hours driving distance of the young couples' primary homes and workplaces. In the more reasonably priced golfing communities we have visited in the southeast, we have noted that young couples -- some without children -- are buying their primary homes in golf course communities, and those who can afford it, are buying second homes a reasonable distance away, some with golf courses on site or nearby. This developing phenomenon could continue to help prices stabilize in the south even as they wobble in the north.