“The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” Ben Hogan
Yes, it’s that time of year – Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins at 2am on Sunday March 8. On that morning, we will “spring forward” and set our clocks ahead one hour, thus losing one hour of sleep! Many people look forward to the extra hour of light in the evening. DST ends the first Sunday in November, based on the Energy Policy Act of 2005. However, there are “pros” and “cons” to Daylight Saving Time, and many people who would like it to become permanent.
According to procon.org, there are 70 countries that observe DST worldwide. In the U.S., 48 states comply. Those that do not include most of Arizona, Hawaii, the American territories and some Amish communities. In 2019, 24 states were considering bills to change DST. Statistics have indicated that 55 percent of Americans say they are not disrupted by the time change, 28 percent report a minor disruption and 13 percent say the change is a major inconvenience in their lives.
People in favor of DST say that longer daylight hours promote safety and fewer accidents, are good for the economy and promote an active lifestyle. Those not in favor say it is bad for our health, changes our sleep patterns and the risk of heart attacks, strokes and miscarriages increases after the time change. It also is said to create a decrease in productivity (Sleepy Monday) the day after it starts, and is expensive.
Just why and when did DST start, anyway? Benjamin Franklin is often credited with the idea for DST because, in a satirical letter to the authors of The Journal of Paris, he suggested the people of France wake earlier to take advantage of “using sunshine instead of candles.” Procon.org says DST was implemented in the United States nationally on March 31, 1918 as a wartime effort to save an hour’s worth of fuel (gas or oil) each day to light lamps and coal to heat homes. It was repealed nationwide in 1919, and then maintained by some individual localities (such as New York City) in what Time Magazine called “a chaos of clocks” until 1966, when the Uniform Time Act made DST consistent nationwide.
I happen to like DST. It is an adjustment at the beginning and I hate losing that hour of sleep, but as a golf lover, I really enjoy the extra light during the evening hours. According to Golf Digest, the golf industry lobbied Congress to extend DST from six to seven months, increasing its revenue by millions of dollars.
For me, DST is one of the first indicators that spring is on the horizon and golf season will soon be in full swing. So, I say let’s keep on “springing forward!”