Why is golf perceived to be an upper-class sport?

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qx0d

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#1  Edited By qx0d
Member since 2018 • 333 Posts

It seems like, in the U.S., golf has certain perceived associations. It is often perceived as a sport for upper class people. It is also considered like an exclusive club.

Can anyone enlighten me on why? Why do average Joe's play basketball, baseball, football, etc, but when golf is mentioned, it's seen as a sport for the wealthy?

Is playing at a golf course expensive? Is golf equipment expensive to buy? Why is golf perceived to be for rich people?

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Byshop

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#2 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19823 Posts
@qx0d said:

It seems like, in the U.S., golf has certain perceived associations. It is often perceived as a sport for upper class people. It is also considered like an exclusive club.

Can anyone enlighten me on why? Why do average Joe's play basketball, baseball, football, etc, but when golf is mentioned, it's seen as a sport for the wealthy?

Is playing at a golf course expensive? Is golf equipment expensive to buy? Why is golf perceived to be for rich people?

Yes, to most of your questions. Individual golf courses can be expensive to play. Equipment can cost quite a bit unless you're buying "budget" equipment. Some clubs are "exclusive" and are not easy to join.

-Byshop

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KungfuKitten

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#3  Edited By KungfuKitten
Member since 2006 • 27220 Posts

Because you need a large swath of land to play it on, and it comes with a personal servant.

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uninspiredcup

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#4  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 39525 Posts

Golf was banned for distracting from archery then re-popularized by royalty in Scotland by James IV. It was consequently played by the higher classes and his successors, including Mary Queen of Scots spreading it in France, which is ironic considering how woman became banned from Golf courses.

http://www.artsales.com/topics/golf_history/historyofGolf.htm

I would imagine as well, due to the way things worked with lords owning lands, clans and what not, with largely sparse populated area, they took advantage of that, made assholes pay through the nose (or just leashed out land as payment), used for socializing with elite like hunting and other past-times that requires land.

Now it's middle aged men with a sports car.

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Sevenizz

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#5 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 4649 Posts

Easy answer is land and maintenance of that land. In a metropolitan or a large city where land has more value, it’s obvious that a golf course that requires acres of valuable land will cost players more. In order to keep those customers happy, you require higher end facilities. Not to mention the amount of staff required to maintain the acres and acres of land. Golf carts aren’t just grown on trees - they cost money to buy and maintain. Machinery is required to maintain that land as well - fuel too.

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Jackamomo

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#6 Jackamomo
Member since 2017 • 2157 Posts

Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden!

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rmiller365

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#7 rmiller365
Member since 2010 • 826 Posts

Because it's the only sport fat, white, old men can play and still be decent at. Imagine media pictures of Donald Trump trying to play basketball, football, or tennis instead of golf.. Those sports have 100% less golf carts in them, so no dice for grandpa.

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with_teeth26

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#8 with_teeth26
Member since 2007 • 10001 Posts

there are lots of less wealthy people who play it here (including myself, not that i'm, i'm not upper class though).

there are some super fancy and expensive golf/country clubs around, but also some much cheaper public courses that anyone can play at

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comp_atkins

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#9 comp_atkins
Member since 2005 • 36413 Posts
@KungfuKitten said:

Because you need a large swath of land to play it on, and it comes with a personal servant.

i had read somewhere that more land area than the state of delaware is dedicated to golf across all of the us... that seems crazy

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#10 theone86
Member since 2003 • 22669 Posts

For basketball, all you really need is a ball. There are courts literally everywhere, walk a block and you're likely to find one, and that's if you don't know someone with a hoop already. Football you really only need a field, and there are still a lot of baseball diamonds around. Of course, if you want to do it competitively you need equipment for those two, which is why high schools and little leagues provide so much funding for them.

Golf, you need an entire course that has been designed and constructed and meticulously kept up. Even with public courses, it's nowhere near as easy to find one as a court, baseball diamond, or open field. You need equipment to play, unlike in baseball and football where things like chest protectors, masks, and helmets are optional for pickup games, and that equipment isn't cheap. A basic set of clubs without drivers can run you hundreds of dollars. Then there are gloves, bags, tees, and balls. If you're just starting out, you're going to be going through a lot of balls. And public courses aren't free. They're cheap compared to the expensive clubs that primarily keep the sport going, but it's not like walking over to a public park to toss a ball around. It's also a big time commitment, with 18 holes taking around 3-4 hours to complete. And with the sport not having a lot of widespread appeal, if you're the oddball who likes it then it's going to be harder to get your friends into it than getting them to play a pickup game in the driveway.

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#11 Trevorcon
Member since 2018 • 14 Posts

Would say equipments and subscription fees are the first factors...

Then, as said above, cooptation is also key to join some exclusif clubs.

Personaly, I prefer to stick to my Everybody golf on PSP :)

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#12  Edited By mandzilla  Moderator
Member since 2017 • 4354 Posts

Depends on how you define golf I guess. When I was younger we used to go to the park and whack balls around. All you need is a beat up old club, a tee and a couple of balls.

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#13  Edited By JoPython52
Member since 2013 • 119 Posts

I highly recommend Disc Golf as a better alternative to standard golf. More exercise, usually very cheap or free to play, better crowd of people.

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Jackamomo

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#14 Jackamomo
Member since 2017 • 2157 Posts

There is actually a golf course in my local park back home but I never played it. It takes up half the park but I've never been hit by a ball and it doesn't spoil the park. In fact I forget it's even there. It as an anomaly. Also I remember going to the middle of the biggest, roughest housing estate once, with school (also next to a big rough housing estate, about half the uk is housing estates) to play on this big-ish course. I was bad at it but the area was properly poor.

So the plebs clearly enjoy a game too.

Also, there is the film Tin Cup. Proving that all you need is heart to be the best.

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mrbojangles25

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#17  Edited By mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 46491 Posts

@qx0d said:

It seems like, in the U.S., golf has certain perceived associations. It is often perceived as a sport for upper class people. It is also considered like an exclusive club.

Can anyone enlighten me on why? Why do average Joe's play basketball, baseball, football, etc, but when golf is mentioned, it's seen as a sport for the wealthy?

1. Is playing at a golf course expensive?

2. Is golf equipment expensive to buy?

3. Why is golf perceived to be for rich people?

Historically golf has been a rich-person's sport. Country clubs are expensive, golf clubs are expensive, and even on public courses fees can be expensive.

There's also the perception that a lot of rich businessmen and so on play it because deals are made on the golf course, i.e. some salesman takes the CEO of a company out golfing and they make million-dollar deals, etc.

Now, with that said, to answer your questions:

1. Yes and no. Golf courses often have really great deals. You can play at a 9-hole golf course for 10 dollars usually. If you go out on weekdays, it's cheaper than the weekend; most courses jack up the rates a lot on weekends (the course I played as a kid went from 15 dollars weekday to 30 dollars weekend....rediculous).

2. Yes and no. You don't need a full set of clubs to play a round of golf; in fact, I would discourage it simply because A.) if you carry your bag, it will be super heavy, and B.) you should learn how to adapt certain clubs to numerous situations. 90% of the time, the only clubs I use are: driver, 9 iron, 7 iron, 4 iron, putter, and then my three wedges (sand, loft, and pitching). I have a small, cheap bag that's lightweight but sturdy so I can walk 18 holes without getting tired.

You can find clubs for cheap; they also are perfectly fine as used clubs, no need to get shiny new ones. In fact, my dad worked at a golf course part-time when he retired, and would find clubs all over the course. He would generally put them in lost-and-found, but if no one claimed them he would bring me one or two as needed. I had a used, mismatched set of clubs and I loved it!

Golf clubs can also be extremely expensive.

3. For all the reasons above. Golf can be expensive. It doesn't help that we watch the pros play who get millions of dollars just for showing up, and then hundreds of millions of dollars for winning *shrug*. Golf courses and equipment can also be expensive, even golf balls are pricey.

Since this is a video game forum, I'll compare golf to PC gaming: you can make it as cheap or as pricey as you want, it totally depends on what you expect from it. You can build a modest PC for <1000 dollars and play 99% of the games out there at acceptable levels and have an amazing time with it; or you can spend 5,000 dollars on it and take satisfaction from that. Likewise, you can put together a set of golf clubs for next to nothing and go play a round for 10 dollars; or you can spend thousands on equipment, clothes, shoes, and then wait three years to spend an assload of money on a private course with a huge waitlist.

I highly recommend getting into golf, it's a lot of fun. It can be damn frustrating, though :D Just remember, you are playing the course, not anyone else. Don't expect to be good when you go out, and take lessons if you can afford them. And go to the driving range before heading out on the course; if you are bad and slow things down, people will get pissed at you haha.

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#18  Edited By PingPongCheng
Member since 2018 • 1 Posts

I heard you can't enter the golf course in pajames so at that point I lost all interest.

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shellcase86

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#19 shellcase86
Member since 2012 • 4748 Posts

Historical precedence is difficult to overcome. Historically, in the States, it has been a sport that excluded people or color and women -- leaving white men. The nature of the sport can make it costly. Hence, upper class-ism association with the sport.

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SUD123456

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#20 SUD123456
Member since 2007 • 5606 Posts

The same reason that soccer/football is the poor person's sport.

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#21 PSP107
Member since 2007 • 17741 Posts

@jackamomo: "but I've never been hit by a ball"

lol

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#22 Williboss
Member since 2020 • 1 Posts

this is nonsense, Golf is not just for the rich

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deactivated-5ecb2310ef8c3

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#23 deactivated-5ecb2310ef8c3
Member since 2020 • 58 Posts

It's expensive.

A good set of clubs with all the drivers, putters etc will cost you over $2000. Then memberships to a good club can cost you over $2000 a year.

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Byshop

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#24 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19823 Posts

@williboss said:

this is nonsense, Golf is not just for the rich

Please don't bump year-old threads.