less painful than golf.                                                                  

Trade of the Day: Swap Your Putter for a Wetsuit

Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg View columnist and writes editorials on economics, finance and politics. He was London bureau chief for Bloomberg News and is the author of “Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable.”
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"Golf is a good walk spoiled," Mark Twain is reputed to have said. Sporty types are starting to agree.

There were just 24.7 million golfers in the U.S. last year, the fewest since 1996 and down from 30.5 million in 2003, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Contrast that with World Triathlon Corp., owned since 2008 by Providence Equity Partners, which has added 50 events around the world in the past six years; USA Triathlon, governing body for the sport in the U.S., has quadrupled its membership since 2000, to 533,000 registered triathletes, Bloomberg's Michael Buteau and Eben Novy-Williams report.

No wonder Adidas AG, widely regarded to have triumphed in the battle-of-the-sponsorships at the World Cup soccer tournament won by Germany, is restructuring its golf division. Disappointing sales of clubs and apparel contributed to the company's reduction of its full-year profit forecast.

So the Trade of the Day is to swap your golf clubs for a wetsuit and a pair of running shoes and sign up to do an Ironman -- even a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon is preferable to 18 holes while dressed like Michael Jackson in pastel shades and a single glove.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Mark Gilbert at magilbert@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net