To many people, golf is a sport that will forever remain associated with upper class elitism and country clubs with restrictive admissions policies. Fortunately, more and more people are discovering that golf is becoming an inclusive sport with something to offer everyone regardless of their background.
Even with a variety of social changes taking place, however, making golf more inclusive isn’t always an easy process: After all, in some areas the sport can be prohibitively expensive to new players. Although they’re becoming rarer these days, moreover, there are still a few snobs to be found here and there on the world’s great courses. But the chance of encountering a few snobs shouldn’t stop enterprising players from discovering the many pleasures of this deeply challenging sport.
So how can golf become more inclusive over the next decade?
A Great First Impression on the Course
In many respects, people must experience the game before they understand why the pastime of golf has fascinated players for hundreds of years. Indeed, simply getting more people out on their local municipal golf course may serve to shift public attitudes about the sport. Not all courses cost an arm and a leg to play on; in fact, most major cities and bigger towns will have well-maintained public courses located not too far from urban centers.
Towards a More Inclusive Game
Although these smaller courses may not have the amenities or resources of the Augusta National Golf Club, they will likely have plenty of great opportunities for challenging play. These smaller courses are a great place to develop a passion for golf; moreover, playing at one of these locations doesn’t require the kind of financial commitment that playing at a bigger course or country club does.
Being the Change
As the saying goes, seasoned golfers must also “be the change that they want to see” as stewards of this compelling sport. If we are to do away with the snobbish attitudes of the past, we must first seek to examine why such attitudes are irrational and unnecessary. After all, a person should be judged on their character rather than on their bank balance.
If we see someone trying out the sport on a course that we frequent, in other words, we might try getting to know them. Making new players feel welcome at a course can really open up the possibilities of golf for a new generation of sports enthusiasts. When we act as good ambassadors for golf as a pastime, we can help make golf that much more of an egalitarian activity. Truly, that is the ethos of golfing at its best!