That boy you see behind the wheel of a golf cart – no, he’s not your caddy. Rather, he’s the one you’re competing against for course records. Millennials are making golf mainstream, and a slower pace of play due to Instagram photoshoots isn’t the only evidence.
According to the National Golf Foundation’s annual study on golf participation in the United States, 36 percent of players are ages 18 to 39. And, upwards of 15 million more millennials are interested in the sport. Soon, this age range will make up for the majority of players.
But, it isn’t the physical sport that’s attracting the younger generation. It’s the lifestyle. Humor and lightheartedness have made their way into all platforms of media, making golf and players more approachable and entertaining. (Let’s not forget 2011’s Golf Boys music video.) And, social media alone has filled with short videos, photobombs, and witty captions.
Another added “cool factor” is that we’re not only seeing the Jordan Spieths and Ricky Fowlers hit the greens. Team sports athletes, like two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and pop culture influencers, like singer Niall Horan, are showing an affinity for the sport, creating a fan base crossover.
However, conflicting reports claim that millennials are doing the exact opposite and are instead destroying the traditional game. That’s why it’s important to look past course play. Upscale, game-based driving ranges, like Top Golf, continue to pop up, trending course time downward.
Golf is evolving. And its accessibility is making it a viable option for young people to get involved and reap the benefits of a game that lasts a lifetime.
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