The most creative look back at 2012

Cabot Links
Courtesy of Cabot Links
The new Cabot Links course in Nova Scotia rates a well-deserved mention in Greg Nathan's year in review.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, December 31, 2012 | 12:21 p.m.

By now, I think most of us have about had our fill of reflections on the year in golf just past and are more eager to get the 2013 party started – I know I am. However, there is one last look back I'd like to share with you because it's different – and better – than any other I've seen.

This one was written by Greg Nathan, and I encourage you click on over and give it a look. He's the senior vice president at the National Golf Foundation, but likes to call himself "the Mayor of Crazy Town," and his perspective ranges far beyond what happens on the tours.

The No. 1 item on his list is 2012 as a comeback year for the golf business. Right behind that is his praise for the PGA of America's Golf 2.0 efforts to grow the game. Those things aren't as sexy as Tiger vs. Rory, but they're really more important to all of us on a day-to-day basis. (Tiger and Rory are both on the list, I should point out, but down toward the bottom.)

And while I appreciate the industry-wide focus of Nathan's topics, what I appreciate most is his perspective. On the anchor ban, for example, he comments that the "best thing about the issue is that it makes us all think deeply about the game and what's most important to each of us, as golfers, administrators, guardians… and as business people."

He even finds some good news in the downbeat fact that this will be the seventh consecutive year that more golf courses will close than open in the United States.

"Don't let the media tell you that closure of golf courses is indicative of the decline of demand to play. Simply not true," he writes. "Net reduction of 500 courses since 2006 (out of roughly 16,000), is not a story at all."

Closing more weak facilities "would improve the health of the existing courses and the impact on golf demand would be negligible," he believes. And he says, "There is plenty of supply to serve America's golfers… and the quality of that supply has never been better."

A positive yet sensible outlook on what seems like a negative story? Hey, that's the kind of mayor I want in charge of my Crazy Town.