Is golf a rich man’s sport?

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You will find this controversial conversation about golf and I feel it is time we answer it in a detailed manner. The two questions that we shall address in our discussion include: if indeed golf is a rich man’s sport and why golf is the most expensive sport in the world.

Is golf a rich man’s sport? Yes and No. Golf is a rich man’s sport depending on the choices that you make while purchasing golf equipment or the membership of the golf course that you would play your game. In modern times, golf is more accessible but it still has some cost barrier to access.

Golf Definition

  • It is a game that is played on a huge open-air course (about 30-200 acres), in which a tiny hard ball is smacked with a club into various small holes in the land with an objection of using the fewest probable strokes to finish the course.
  • It is a game in which a player utilizes a club with an intention of sinking a ball with a few hits as possible into each of the 18 or 9 consecutive holes on a golf course.

Golf History

Scotland is the birthplace of Golf and it later spread to the UK and entire Europe, US, and now the entire world. It is a sport that was created by the nobles and the King of Scotland in the 15th century. The game was intended to be played by higher class and the elitists. Nonetheless, in the modern society, the game has been played with people who have enthusiasm and interest for the game and have some resources to buy golf equipment and pay for their membership which is not very expensive for a good bargainer.

There are people who ask if golf is a white man’s sport. It was mostly associated with the whites but it is now a global sport that is played by all people. The golf sport has seen players like Tiger Woods who are not white playing very well. Thus, the game is ideal for all who have a passion and would like to excel in it.

Golf Rich Man’s Sport: How is Golf a Rich Man’s Sport?

There is no doubt that golf is a sport for the rich compared to other sports in the sense that the cost of golf can be higher than any other types of sports. It is considered an elite and expensive sport due to the course fees, equipment, membership, and uniform that demands costly charges. Despite the charges, the golf clubs are self-selecting and discriminatory while selecting members to join their clubs.

Another reason why golf is a sport for the rich is that it is hard to choose and play. The game requires a lot of lessons and practice which adds to the cost of playing the game. The stereotype that golf is a game for the wealthy makes the selection to discriminate the not so wealthy and give rich people a chance in the golf course.

Cost: What you need to play Golf

In order to determine if the sport is for the affluent in the society, you need to consider the tools and equipment that you should possess.

High-end Golf Bag: $300

New Irons: $1500

Driver: $500

Hybrids + woods: $600

Putter: $300

Wedges: $400

Rangefinder: $500

Balls: $50 for a box

Tees and other assorted equipment: $40

There are clubs that charge $1000 to $25000 for a one-time fee payment depending on the club. Additionally, you can find clubs that charge an annual fee so that you can have full access to the golf course. The aforementioned costs plus other related expenses make golf an expensive sport.

Golf is not exclusively a Sport for the Rich

If you have a weak wallet, you need a passion for the sport and also a great bargainer. It is important to know where to buy cheap golf bags and other accessories. Also, you can reduce the unnecessary expenses such as using a cart or hiring a paddy.

As I researched, I find a friend who has reduced the expenses by eliminating what they don’t need. This is my buddy’s golf equipment and can be used by anyone who is on a budget.

How to My Friend Minimizes Golf Equipment Costs

Used Golf Bag: $35

Old irons: $250

3 used wood: $100

His brother’s driver: $0

Old putter: $50

Balls and Tees (collected on the course): 0

Gloves used by the dad: $0

Wedges from a demo sale: $120

Annual Course membership: $500

The aforementioned expenses and prices show that you don’t require a lot of cash to play golf as you can look for cheaper golf equipment for your game. Therefore, is golf really just a rich person game? No.

Why do Rich People Play Golf?

There are many reasons why the rich play golf more than the other segment of the population. I will explain 11 reasons why rich people play golf. Here is a highlight:

a. Connects them to luxury

Golf is a sport that connects the player to luxury by permitting them to see beautiful scenery and landscape, enjoy nature as they take a walk, relax, and enjoy a slow-paced game. A rich man is a luxury seeker and would be excited by such luxury.

b. Opportunity to meet other rich people

The sport gives the rich an opportunity to meet other affluent people in society by going to places that they can easily meet. The golf course provides a chance for business people to meet and strike a deal.

c. Challenging Sport

The rich in the society has achieved such status by engaging in challenging activities and ventures that seemed impossible. Playing golf is a very tough sport makes it appealing for the wealthy in the society.

d. Safety

Golf is popular among the rich because it does not involve physical confrontation. Unlike skiing or skateboarding, the likelihood of getting hurt while you’re playing the game is low.

e. High Barrier of Entry

The rich do not like crowded places. They want to have exclusive sports and places where they can enjoy time alone. Golf has a high barrier of entry from expensive equipment too costly golf course membership. The rich will be comfortable to pay for lessons and other costs as long as they’re assured of a safe and secure environment with a barrier of entry.

f. Ample Free Time

Golf is a game that you will spend hours practicing and playing. The rich and well-established individuals can afford to play the game for several hours without having to worry. The working population may hardly get all those free hours to play a luxurious game.

g. Makes Old Golfers feel Young

The sport is usually associated with old people as opposed to young individuals. The game does not require people to utilize a lot of energy or physical strengths and this is ideal for an old player who feels young when they play the game.

h. Showing Off

Not all those who play golf like to show off their wealth and their financial success. However, the game is usually for the rich and if you’re that person who likes to flaunt their wealth, this is a great sport to do so.

i. Convenient practicing schedule

The rich guys have some busy schedule and you can only have time at odd hours. The best thing about golf is that you do not have to coordinate with a partner or friend so as to play. This game allows you to practice or play at any time even when it’s dark.

j. Compete against yourself

The rich people don’t like to lose as they tend to be super competitive. The best thing about golf is that you can compete against yourself and no one will directly try to prevent you from doing what you want to do in the golf course.

k. Legitimacy

The rich are concerned with legitimacy and they would want to excel in something that matters to them. Golf is sponsored by brands such as Nike, Titleist golf bags, and Rolex and in the front page of major newspapers. There are few rich man’s sports that are legitimate and gives the players bragging rights like playing golf.

Final Thought

Golf was first formed as a rich man’s sport. However, things have changed and anyone can play the game as long as they have the required resources to buy golf equipment and pay for a golf course. Thus, we cannot authoritatively say that it’s a rich man’s game but a game preferred by the rich.

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Peter Ndagi first started playing golf when he was 10 years old, playing with his dad and big brother. He was an accomplished junior player at the Wisconsin State Golf Association Junior Tour and assisted his high school win the state contest his senior year. At the age of 26, Peter went back to university to get a degree in Golf Enterprise Management from the University of Wisconsin. He wanted to pursue a golf career and he has achieved his ambition of becoming a certified instructor. Peter enjoys coaching and reviewing golf accessories to help players buy the right products for their game.