Most things indicate that golf, as a sport, is living dead. You will hear as much from golfers themselves, so there’s no reason to doubt that golf is dying. But is that really the truth? There are many golf stereotypes that sometimes fool even golfers themselves and become self-fulfilling prophecies, is there a chance that this is one? That’s what i was asking myself when i decided to write this post. I want to find truth in golf myths. Another major stereotype about golf is that it is only for rich white dudes. I’m mentioning that stereotype because it’s falsehood is directly related to stereotype that golf is decreasing in popularity. Spoiler alert – neither one of them are true. The reason for why these two stereotypes are connected is that the reason for golf not dying is the fact that rich white dudes aren’t the only ones playing it. The number of white males who play golf may be decreasing, but picture is evidently different when it comes to women. More and more women are starting to play golf every year, and the rise of golf’s popularity among women doesn’t seem to be stopping. Most of the players are young, too – seems to me that parents have realized that golf isn’t supposed to be played by only guys, but both genders. So they encourage their daughters to play golf, as much as they used to encourage boys. Which is a positive improvement, obviously.
Golf club brands are waking up to this revelation as well. There were only handful options for women looking to buy golf clubs back in the nineties, but now, market is flooded with excellent clubs sold by trusted brands like Callaway and TaylorMade. My favorite set of clubs so far, has been Kalea by taylormade. It’s a perfect women’s golf club set, no matter from which angle you look at it.
What’s the best part of this whole phenomenon though, is how involved girls are in golf events and championships. Female athletes have turned into celebrities of sorts, with both girls and boys lining up to join their fanbases. That really gives me hope that golf is becoming relevant again. It’s not unusual to see children of all genders on golf course, with cute kids’ golf clubs and wearing adorable golf clothes and shoes. That really warms my heart. Their shots are impeccable too – the distance that some of these girls are able to hit is impressive for their age. Overall, getting girls interested in golf has really been major factor in rejuvenating average golfer. We should also give golf courses credit where it’s due – they have done excellent job of making golf courses female-friendly. It’s extremely important for girls to feel welcome and not be harassed, of course. You might think that what i’m saying is obvious, but i’ve seen far too many instances of old white guys telling jokes about how women are incapable of playing golf and etc. Of course they don’t tell it to little girls, that would be strange, but still, it’s something worth keeping in mind.
The way girls learn is no different from boys, but you have to make sure that they have same and non-toxic environment to practice in. Competitiveness can sometimes get better of people, especially children, which results in some toxic behavior like bullying and making fun of each other. Not only girls, but people of all age need safe environment for learning. It’s hard enough to try something new, you don’t need someone making fun of you in the process. That has put off many young girls and boys from learning golf. So if you’re parent, there is lesson in this for you as well. Be patient with your kids, even if he or she doesn’t get it at first, don’t act annoyed or bored. If you’re really comitted to teaching them how to golf, make sure to do it properly, and if you can tell that you’re incapable of doing it the right way, you can always find them a teacher. Classes aren’t that expensive and few hours of training can really do wonders for a child. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that classes can only do so much. Most important part of learning any new sport or skill is to go out and actually do it. Trial and error are the best teachers for golf.
It’s also perfectly fine if you don’t care about your children’s skills and just prefer to let them have a good time. That’s great approach as well. Most golfers aren’t professionals and just play golf casually anyway, so it’s totally normal to not want to obsess over getting better at golf. That’s even better argument for being patient with your kids. Playing golf is beneficial in many other ways as well. For instance, walking on the golf course is considered to be one of the best cardio exercises. You enjoy nature and stay fit at the same time, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Some organizations take children friendliness to whole another level. There are facilities for these kids to play and practice together, instead of being introduced to golf with adults, who can be intimidating. I think that’s a great approach to take.
So, to sum it all up – the stereotype that golf is dying, and only consists of male players, is outdated. In fact, number of young girls who play golf and take part in various tournaments is increasing every year. So i’d say picture is quite different and frankly, opposite : golf is young and has bright future ahead, with both genders who are represented equally.