No, I’m not wearing plaid pants. And no peaked cap. And no, I’m not an old gentleman with too much time on my hands.
As a woman in her mid-forties – in other words, a woman in her prime – and a passionate golfer, I never tire of clearing up the most common preconceptions of what I consider the most beautiful game in the world.
Prejudice 1: Only old gentlemen pick up clubs
It may be true that golf was historically reserved for men – no wonder because according to oral tradition, the sport was invented in Holland in 1297. And at that time, unfortunately, we women had to stand at the stove.
The first officially documented women’s tournament was played in 1810, making the sport available to women.
In the course of the last few years, golf has become popular in all age groups and many children and young people have discovered the fun of the game for themselves.
Measured by its players, golf is the 5th most popular sport in Austria with 100,351 members (source: Bundes-Sportorganisation BSO 2018), ahead of gymnastics, competitive climbing, swimming, and cycling. Certainly, many old men play golf, but not only. 🙂
Prejudice 2: Every golfer has a yacht
It is true that in the early days golf was a costly sport. The equipment was quite expensive as it had to be imported from England. The construction and maintenance of golf courses were equally expensive and these costs were passed on to club members in the form of high enrollment and annual fees.
Nowadays, the equipment can be purchased cheaply or can be rented, and also the number of public golf courses has increased greatly so that the sport has become affordable for everyone. Club memberships are no longer mandatory because there are options for cheap remote memberships.
Prejudice 3: Golf courses destroy nature
Golf courses are nature! Golf courses adapt to nature and landscape, and not vice versa. Environmentally compatible development and management of golf courses have been an important topic for operators for many years.
As a golfer, you share the course with plants and animals. Many golf courses are home to endangered fruit trees, create compensation areas for bypasses, support the relocation of toads or even provide a home for honey bees.
Prejudice 4: Golf is not a sport at all
One thing I noticed after my first day on the golf course: You discover completely unknown muscles. Every single swing is a complex movement. And for each swing, you need more than 200 muscles in your body, especially the torso muscles. Before each round of golf, you should warm up so that muscle and ligament injuries are avoided, and stretching after practice doesn’t hurt either.
Yes, it may be true: Golf is (not) a sport like any other. But as with many things, the following applies to me: The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you try, you can overcome prejudices.
Have a nice game!