There seems to be an upturn in public interest in target and field archery lately. I don’t have any specific numbers to give you, only personal observations.
It used to be that I could be assured of getting a lane at the Golden Gate Park archery range in San Francisco on a weekday, or if I show up early enough on a weekend. Not anymore. The attendance of newbies at the Sharp Park range in Pacifica at the Community Outreach Sundays has increased. One could simply attribute this to Summer, but that would not follow the pattern of previous Summers.
On the other hand, attendance at organized events is down. What gives? We are getting more newbies but losing the established cadre?
The economy may be a driving factor in both of these phenomena. People are starting to look for recreational activities that don’t involve a lot of money and can be done locally.
We all know how expensive archery equipment can be. But when you compare the price of outfitting an archer to, for instance, the price of outfitting a golfer, we archers have to admit we have the better part of that deal. Also, I don’t know any golfers who build their own equipment, and I don’t ever remember seeing a golf club (or a golf ball) that could be considered a piece of art.
We all know that there are some very nice golf courses in the Bay Area. What most people don’t realize is that there are half a dozen very beautiful outdoor archery ranges within an hour’s drive of downtown San Francisco. These golf courses can charge up to $60 and more even on a weekday. That’s about the price I pay for my yearly membership to San Francisco Archers, which allows me to use the range at my leisure.
So, why is attendance at the organized events down? I believe it’s because people are starting to pick and choose which events they want to participate in. When times are good, we go to all of them. Or nearly. When the price of gasoline is high and the value of the US dollar drops, we only go to our favorites. I won’t be attending the Western States Traditional Rendezvous until the venue returns to California, or I start making much more money. Hmm. I wonder which will happen first?
Filed under: archery, economy, field archery, pacifica, target archery Tagged: | archery, economy, field archery, Golden Gate Park, golf, pacifica, San Francisco Archers, Sharp Park, target archery, traditional archery, Western States Traditional Rendezvous