Golfing and Shooting Demographics

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Golf Week magazine reported on golfing participation numbers.

Bowling and Shooting Demographics


In an Ernst and Ernst study it was determined that an average bowling alley derives 65 per cent of its income from bowling itself. Even with additional attractions or services, such as a pro shop, restaurant and bar, two-thirds of a bowling alley’s income comes from participants. Getting bowlers to actually bowl is key.

Among participants, league bowling is the principal source of income and patronage. The same study showed that patronage by per cent of yearly lineage was:

  • League bowlers, 52.6%
  • Tournament bowlers, 4.3%
  • Junior bowlers, 3.3%
  • Open bowlers, 39.8%

Of participants, nearly two-thirds of income comes from those involved in organized events such as leagues and tournaments and just over one-third is from open, non-enrolled participants. Also note this is gross income. Consider the ease of marketing to those involved in league play, who visit regularly, offer contact information, and want to hear from the alley because they want to see scores, league standings, upcoming events, etc. Also consider this active group is also smaller and easier to communicate with.

According to research reported by the Bowlers Journal International, 70% of a bowling alley’s total income is derived from regular, organized events such as leagues, arriving at an even higher figure of the importance of league play than that reported by the Ernst and Ernst study.

What does this have to do with shooting and why should you care?

Bowling companies recognize the value of organized participation. Consider AMF and Brunswick both list directories of active leagues. It is rare to find a firearm manufacturer doing anything similar.

Worse, organizations that are supposed to organize this, don’t. The NRA reports that 98% of its card-carrying membership have never participated in an NRA sanctioned (approved or registered) event.

Sports and activities that can’t depend on financial success via spectators must drive participation. They must find ways to get people that own the equipment to use it in an organized fashion on an on-going basis.

Special Operations Find Competition Shooting Valuable

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Competition produces better performance. Special Operations personnel know this. Everyone in the know does as well. Only the ignorant or people with an agenda wrongly claim otherwise.

Master Sgt. Scott Satterlee says the military could learn a lot from civilians

View story at


The Value of Competition


The Value of Competition: What Weightlifters Know That the Hippies Didn’t

by Dresdin Archibald

At various times during my active weightlifting career I was asked why I competed. What could I possibly get out of it? Months of hard work culminated by just six lifts in a competition, and no way to argue with the results on the scoreboard. The posers of the question were usually non-athletes. While these people may have enjoyed watching and avidly cheering those competing in professional sports, they did not imagine their own lives being enriched by such heady action. Why would this be so?

Majority thought notwithstanding, I always thought that shunning competition was mainly an excuse to avoid coming to terms with your own limitations. By competing you might have to face the fact that you are not as good as you thought you were, and that can be scary. This all was essentially a risk-avoidance gambit on these doubters’ parts. Competition was a dirty word with many then (as it often is today as well).

Training for lifting without entering competition seemed as silly to me as training for football or any other team sport and then not bothering to go to any team try-outs. In that I was no different from most other Olympic lifters. Only in competition can an Olympic lifter satisfy that urge to metaphorically step onto the Coliseum floor and do battle. You have to step on that platform to impress anyone, even yourself.

Now, what about the risks? What if you train hard, enter, and lose? Well, it’s not a what if. It is a when, at least in your novice days and often beyond. There are a lot of good lifters out there, and most started before you did. You have to work your apprenticeship. In weightlifting, coaches have no control over who else may enter a meet, so you have to expect that you may get blown away sometimes. In other competitions you may win easily if no one comes. You will not win every meet you enter, modern self-esteem instilling teaching methods to the contrary. This is true regardless of the sport. Hell, it’s true of life itself.

However, in the event that your opponent has posted a qualifying total a hundred kilos above yours it is not a time to roll up and die or even to quickly withdraw from the meet. No, barring a bomb-out or him suddenly having a heart attack and dying, you are not going to win that one. What you do then is to forget about that individual as an opponent, that day at least.

You then concentrate on the one opponent who will be more fearsome than anyone. You guessed it, that competitor is you. You do have a best competition total or your best gym lifts. The person who lifted those numbers is who you will be competing against this day. You and him (her) are two different people, because competition lifting is way different from gym lifting. In fact, you should see the lifter who did your gym PRs as your opponent, one who is not the same person as you – a different person. You are the lifter on the competition platform. And you must defeat that other lifter.

Weightlifting always comes down to this. You only have one opponent, ever – and that is you and the fears you want to defeat. But you cannot really defeat this opponent lifting in your gym. You can only do it on the competition platform. You win on this day by setting a new personal record.

After the meet you go back to the gym to train for the next meet. You are now the lifter in the gym again. You must now change places and out-lift the one you were in the last meet. Keep doing this, keep out-lifting that other lifter and you will be that frustrating lifter who posts that qualifying total far above all others. Step by step, that is how a career is built. But you need to compete to make it all work.

FBI Training Division: Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners

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Shots to the Central Nervous System (CNS) at the level of the cervical spine (neck) or above, are the only means to reliably cause immediate incapacitation. In this case, any of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons. Other than shots to the CNS, the most reliable means for affecting rapid incapacitation is by placing shots to large vital organs thus causing rapid blood loss. Simply stated, shot placement is the most critical component to achieving either method of incapacitation.

Cartridge and caliber discussions are even more annoying and useless than tactical pontifications. For both tactical and hunting environments, most claims of firearm/cartridge ineffectiveness is usually the operator’s fault. Lousy marksmen on the range experiencing their first stressful shooting experience at an enemy or at big game shoot even worse in the field and then place blame for their failure on perfectly adequate equipment.

A solid hit might still not be an instant death ray, but most shots are not accurately directed. Those poor range results should have been the first indicator, but too many fools lull themselves into believing low scores won’t impact performance elsewhere. Worse, most don’t even bother to measure.

Shot placement is paramount and law enforcement officers on average strike an adversary with only 20 – 30 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident. Given the reality that shot placement is paramount (and difficult to achieve given the myriad of variables present in a deadly force encounter) in obtaining effective incapacitation, the caliber used must maximize the likelihood of hitting vital organs.

The Ballistic Research Facility has conducted a test which compares similar sized Glock pistols in both .40 S&W and 9mm calibers, to determine if more accurate and faster hits are achievable with one versus the other. To date, the majority of the study participants have shot more quickly and more accurately with 9mm caliber Glock pistols. The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success while improving the speed and accuracy of the most skilled shooters.

Getting hit rates up starts on the range. Beyond novice stages, merely hitting silhouettes isn’t good enough. Unless increasingly-challenging time limits are enforced, getting center chest hits on static, fighting-distance targets isn’t good enough either.

We can argue on how best to hold the gun, or use the sights, or conduct the training but none of that matters if trainees aren’t require to demonstrate increasing proficiency. That requires the means to measure skill and the requirement to demonstrate that skills are increasing over time.

Morons complain a range drill like El Presidente isn’t realistic for police/CCW, but fail to define what should be done instead. The point is developing the means to get hits fast and providing a definition to what that means. A par El Presidente (all center chest hits in 10 seconds with duty gear) is a good step in that direction. Or use something else. Course specifics are less important than providing a skill metric and enforcing it.

If you can’t do it on a square range, then you can’t do it.


Wisdom from Bob Vogel

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Just a shooting rant here:

All mental stuff aside, I have met many people in the defensive shooting realm who over analyze tactics (mostly bad shooters who are trying to make up for their poor shooting.)

Now, I’m not GI Joe but I have studied the details of many gunfights and I believe (again all mental stuff aside… which is the most important) that most of the time the victor was the guy who was just faster, more accurate and flat out better with a gun.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all about tactics and I’ve got some background in them. I just think because of the fact they are much less black and white (where good shooting is not) many people decide to focus too much on them, and in turn, less on being more skillful with their weapon.

-Bob Vogel

Wisdom from Keith Garcia


There is a large group of people who hold this type of belief, that competition shooting is bad. You will find plenty of LEOs and civilians who have been told competition is bad and believe it. Some cite the lack of tactics and others the specialized equipment.

The underlying thing that I have seen is that these folks see themselves as “serious” people and competition shooters as “gamers” who are not serious. No matter how good the competition shooter is he cannot be seen as “serious” because he plays a game; he must be discounted and rejected.

The most vocal of this crowd is the trainer who wants to teach them. This group is much larger than all the competitive shooters combined so there is a lot of MONEY to be made catering to them. That is why the debate rages on and the belief that competition is bad is promoted and protected. Just follow the money to find a school near you to be taught the evils of competition!

– Keith Garcia

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