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Why Is Golf So Popular?  
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3964 times:

Don't get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to the millions of people who enjoy playing golf, but I just can't figure out why it's such a hugely popular participant sport. Golf suffers from a number of disadvantages that by all means should make it very much a niche sport.
Among other things:
1) It's expensive. A decent set of clubs is a significant investment, greens fees are quite pricey in many areas, and at some point most serious golfers join private country clubs at often-stratospheric prices.
2) Golf is inconvenient. Playing a full round of 18 holes takes hours, and even nine holes will use up the better part of a morning or afternoon. Unless you're a member of a country club, it can be a real hassle finding convenient tee times, especially since you may have to coordinate times with up to three other people.
3) Golf has very little exercise value. While you'll cover several miles walking a course - not an option everywhere, as an increasing number of courses make cart use mandatory - the leisurely pace, as well as all the stopping and waiting, makes it little better than a truly sedentary activity.
4) It's weather-dependent to a significant degree. While you can play in most types of weather, being out on the course is not a pleasant experience during inclement weather.
5) Finally, golf can be very frustrating. Bunker shots, lost balls, putts missed by inches are just some of the things that really test your frustration levels. It's worth noting that being good at golf is very difficult indeed.

So just what accounts for golf's huge popularity?


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGoose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3958 times:

"Golf is a long walk, spoiled......."

I think golf's popularity has to do mainly with the fact that it doesn't seem like "physical activity" to those partaking in it, yet there's quite a bit of skill and bragging rights among those who play - who can drive the ball the furthest, the best putt, bunker shot, and so on.

I think there's also leftover stigma from when golf was a "rich white men"'s game. It's expensive, yes, but not that much moreso than buying equipment for hockey or football. And you're less likely to get injured playing golf.



"Talk to me, Goose..."
User currently offlineUTA_FLYingHIGH From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

Because it's cheaper than an A3 and has the same engines/platform.
It also costs a lot less and has more equipment than a entry level Merc or ...whoops, that's the wrong Golf Big grin

UTA



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3931 times:

UTA, LOL!!!!  Nuts

The reason why I like golf is because there are so many different factors that can f*ck you up and it is also a game where you can always get better. It is also a game druing which a lot of business is done.

I am a handicap 14 person, but my best score is 2 over par. I have been told by many pros that if I only would play more often, I could easily be a scrath player. (Also been told that by a PGA tournament director in Sweden and a PGA professional here in europe.)

My biggest advantage over others is my distance. I usually hit my drives around 270-280 meters when there are no winds. I would say that almost all par 5s are within reach for me if I manage to to keep my drive on the fairway. I managed to reach a par 5 that was 520 meters long in two shots (drive, 3+) at a golf club outside Vienna last fall.

During the fall I also worked as a marshall for a few larger tournaments and then as a pro during a 2 week golf camp.

I had one incident with my driving distance last summer. I was hitting drives at our golf club in Sweden at the driving range one day. The range is about 250 meters long and then about 20 meters after the end, there are 4 houses built. This day I was hitting my drives really well, and then after about 10 minutes and about 20 drives hit, I saw that a guy came out onto the balcony by one of the houses and started waving. I figured that it was time for me to get my a$$ away from there, so I jumped into my car and took off. The next day I found out that a golfball shot by someone on the range had gone right through the front window of a car that was parked by the house! They never found out that it was me though.  Laugh out loud


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3915 times:

Because it offers smug, self-satisfied white guys an opportunity to get away from their families on a day when there is no good excuse for going to the office. Better yet, they will not have to interact with many minorities.

signed

A smug, self-satisfied white guy who doesn't play golf.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineHomer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2242 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

There's also the scenery and being a part of it, with the trees, hills, manicured greens, etc.

I look forward to playing in Hawaii, Colorado, Canada, etc.



"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3900 times:

I used to wonder about golf until I tried it. Then I became a convert. I found a set of clubs (driver, 3 & 5 wood, irons, putter, and bag) for $100. Nope, they're not the worlds best, but they allow me to play. I just got my wife into it and she loves it too. Got her a cheap set of clubs. We play on the public course (about $30 for both of us if we walk the course). There's some good shots and some bad shots, but we find that it gives us a chance to be outdoors, and lets us talk - it's longer than a dinner date, and it's a helluva lot of fun.

As far as the "minorities" comment - there is an awful lot of minorities that I see on the public course - playing some pretty good golf I might add. In fact, if you haven't noticed, check your sports pages to see the color of the guy who is considered the best golfer in the world.


User currently offlineKYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3890 times:

Well, for many, it is a time to go out and have a good time with family, friends, or co-workers. Also, many guys see it as a convienient time to escape from the wife. Big grin I'm sure that many enjoy being outdoors also, and taking a whole morning or afternoon is worth it.




"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3888 times:

Our Boss at work takes every Friday afternoon off to go and play golf. I don't understand the mentality. But there again, no one understands us aviation nuts! Big grin

I must admit I like the look of golf, but i would probably suck at it  Laugh out loud Crazy golf is as far as I go to be honest!

Just my 2 pennies.

Regards,

Justin  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3886 times:

Actually, it's possible to get hooked on golf and satisfy your aviation nut cravings as well...just golf on a course near an airport.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14007 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3880 times:

No, I don´t play golf andto me it looks quite boring, but in Ireland it is a popular sport among blue collar workers as well. Green fees and membership fees are affordable and I´ve seen many people playing or just practising on any clear field.

Jan


User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3877 times:

"It's expensive. A decent set of clubs is a significant investment, greens fees are quite pricey in many areas, and at some point most serious golfers join private country clubs at often-stratospheric prices."

It's only expensive if you are foolish enough to spend $500 on one club. Personally, every piece of golf equipment that I own I bought used or on sale (except for my pull-cart, which I payed a full price of $40 for.) The retail value of all my equipment approaches $2000. I put maybe $600 into them. And you can get some decent equipment for significantly less money if you know where to look for it.

Every gone skiing? Ever gone flying? SCUBA diving? All these activities are more expensive than golf, yet they do not suffer from the stigma.

I consider myself a "serious" golfer, and I would not even consider joining a private club. Nine holes at a public course in most parts of the country costs $10. That's not going to kill anyone.

"Golf is inconvenient. Playing a full round of 18 holes takes hours, and even nine holes will use up the better part of a morning or afternoon. Unless you're a member of a country club, it can be a real hassle finding convenient tee times, especially since you may have to coordinate times with up to three other people."

It's only inconvenient if you don't enjoy it. And personally, I hardly ever play 18 holes, so I end up spending 2 hours at a time. That sounds like a pleasant afternoon to me.

Also, I think it's fun to just show up as a single and get put with a group. You get to meet people and socialize. I enjoy that.

"Golf has very little exercise value. While you'll cover several miles walking a course - not an option everywhere, as an increasing number of courses make cart use mandatory - the leisurely pace, as well as all the stopping and waiting, makes it little better than a truly sedentary activity."

While I agree that there are better forms of exercise, that still doesn't explain why I'm sore and tired after I've walked 18 holes. And personally make it a point to always walk the course. I think golf carts ruin the experience.

"It's weather-dependent to a significant degree. While you can play in most types of weather, being out on the course is not a pleasant experience during inclement weather."

I fully disagree. Bad weather is when golf is the most fun. In fact, some of the best golfing memories that I have are from times when the weather was so foul that I was one of two or three people on the course. I always carry an umbrella in my bag in anticipation.

"Finally, golf can be very frustrating. Bunker shots, lost balls, putts missed by inches are just some of the things that really test your frustration levels. It's worth noting that being good at golf is very difficult indeed."

But see, that's why it's so popular! It gives you something to work for. It is difficult enough that it could give one an entire lifetime of enjoyment. It's a hobby with some real staying power.

-Normal


User currently offlinePortcolumbus From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1614 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3868 times:

It's a good way to pass the time, have fun with coworkers/family and get a little exercise, too. I play at a 9-hole municipal course 5 minutes from the house and it only costs me $150 for unlimited golf each year. The challenge of the game keeps me coming back.

User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3863 times:

Actually, for golfers who aren't that good, walking can be faster than riding the cart, especially if a course has the "90 degree rule" in effect, or if carts are not allowed off the paths. You can walk directly to the ball. And golf is much more enjoyable when you walk the course....although I draw the line at carrying the clubs...I'll use my pull cart.

User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3862 times:

I've played for 14 years now, and I'm still shite. I think I've given up on it, haven't been to the course in over a year.

It's great to see improvement in your game, and you strive to learn different things all the time, that was what it was for me. But once I hit a stagnant period, I gave up on it. It just takes up too much of my time, when I could be in bed, sleeping.

Speaking of bad weather, I played a round at Banff Springs a few years ago with my parents. In the middle of June, the temperature was 4 celsius, and hailing. That was one of the worst games I've ever played, but one of those ''I have to play this course since I'm here'' thing.


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3841 times:

Some interesting responses, thanks.
What really puzzles me is how golf has retained and indeed increased its popularity while other participant sports for adults have declined, at least in the United States. I can remember back in the 1970's when tennis was a really popular sport. It was a real hassle getting reservations to play at many public courts. But then tennis began a long decline, and in some respects is just a niche sport today. Racquetball had its day in the 1980's, then that too began to lose popularity. Bowling is still popular but may be on the decline too, especially league play. In some places you have adult leagues for softball, basketball, soccer etc., but I don't imagine that the numbers of participants are especialy high. But golf? It's like the Energizer Bunny of adult sports.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

It's mentally and physically challenging. There are many variables to create the perfect swing for each shot. There are thousands of beautiful courses in the world. Despite many, many poor shots, when you hit a sweet one, you'll be hooked for life...or is it sliced....? Spending 4 to 6 hours on a course with 3 good friends is quality time. I could go on and on.

A great game. I surfed my whole life and my dad and brothers always tried to get me to golf with them. I finally took it up when I turned 40. I'm sorry I waited so long. I still surf, but love golf, too.


User currently offlineChi-town From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 971 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3814 times:

I'm not a serious golfer. I like to golf for fun. I actually find it very relaxing.

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