An open letter to the golf haters

Take a look into golf, you may enjoy the activity like Tyler! | PC:

Take a look into golf, you may enjoy the activity like Tyler! | PC:

You heard it here last


You know that friend who claims to hate sushi, but they’ve never actually tried sushi?

Or perhaps the one time they had sushi it was leftover Walmart sushi that went bad months ago? Whatever the case, they certainly haven’t given sushi a fair evaluation, and your sushi-loving taste buds cannot fathom why they don’t find it appetizing.

That’s essentially what goes on in my head when someone says they hate golf.

“But golf is a sport for the rich!”

I’ll concede golf can be expensive. But what people don’t realize is that it can also be quite the opposite, if done right.

For example, you could get a cheap old set of clubs for about $50, and some decent courses charge around $15 per round. Extrapolated out, even if you only played ten rounds with those clubs, you’d be paying about $20 per round, or five bucks per hour played.

For comparison, one hour of golf is about the same as one game of bowling plus shoe rental, at even the cheapest alleys. It would also be equivalent to a large starbucks mocha, or a typical ticket to the movies. 

Obviously, you wouldn’t ideally want to play with $50 dollar clubs. But if you do spend more, all you have to do is play more to recoup your costs.

“But golf is a sport for old white men!”

The old part is understandable. As people grow older, they can no longer participate in physically-demanding sports, so they move to more mentally-demanding ones. That does not mean young people can’t and don’t play golf, it means that older people are more likely to play.

The race issue in golf is certainly an interesting one, but it isn’t an issue of white people not allowing people of other races to play. If that were the case, it would be highly doubtful we would have ever heard of Tiger Woods. 

As for the sexism issue in golf, it is true that there is a significant gap in promotion, coverage and pay between men and women. The PGA hands out over five times the prize money of its female counterpart, the LPGA. I won’t defend this discrepancy - in fact I would like to see a decrease in this ratio.

However, when compared to other sports, this discrepancy seems low.

For example, the maximum contract of a male basketball player exceeds that of their female counterparts by about 150 times. Additionally, the salary cap for a male team exceeds that of a women’s team by about 80 times.

“But it’s such a slow game!”

I won’t disagree that watching golf can be slow. Playing it, however, is a different game. Between shots, you’re essentially doing three things: exercising, conversing and planning your next shot. There are very few moments in golf when you’re truly doing nothing.

“I tried golf, and I was terrible. Why play something that’s not any fun?”

This logic is a bit more understandable. Golf is a perpetually frustrating game, particularly if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. But if you had given up on learning to walk because you fell and hit your head once, where would you be today?

I would encourage you to at least give golf a fair chance. You get to spend time with friends. You get to be outside and can escape from life’s responsibilities. You get good cardiovascular exercise. You improve patience, focus and motor-function.

Plus, in your not-so-distant future, you won’t embarrass yourself in front of potential bosses, relationship-prospects, and/or in-laws. 

What’s not to like about that?

Tyler Dean is a junior studying business administration.