The Biggest Misconceptions About Golf - And Why They Are Wrong
GOLF is a very special game. Those of us who play it love the sport and almost everything about it. However, for those who look in from the outside, it is also a game that is surrounded by misconceptions.
Well, I am here to address some of those and, hopefully, dispel a few myths.
It’s an expensive game
OK, so golf CAN be an expensive sport but it really doesn’t have to be. If you are a Tottenham supporter the very least you will pay for a season ticket is £807 - and that will not gain you entry to FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League games - you have to pay extra for all of those. And a football season runs from August until May. For £800 you will gain a full year’s subscription to most golf clubs. You can play as many rounds as you want and, weather permitting, you can play all year round. To my way of thinking, that represents pretty good value for money. Equipment can be expensive - you can easily spend upwards of £2,000 on a set of clubs. However, there are many great second-hand bargains out there. You can easily get yourself kitted out with a really good set of clubs for less than £500.
It’s a game for the upper classes
Trust me - it’s not! Yes, some very wealthy golfers are members of clubs such as Sunningdale, Wentworth and Muirfield. But your average club golfer is just a typical working man or woman. If you have any doubts about this, take a drive around a few golf clubs and look at the cars in the car park. And a trip to any municipal golf course anywhere in the UK will soon put your mind at rest. Golf is a game for everybody, no matter their social standing.
It is a sport for men
Of course there was a time when this argument held true. It is shameful that many golf clubs excluded women entirely and that many more simply tolerated them. Thankfully, things have moved on and golf is now one of the most inclusive sports in the world. You will still come across men who believe that women have no place on a golf course, but dinosaurs exist in all walks of life. Most men welcome women golfers. Most men enjoy playing golf with women. And those who don’t a) have no place in our sport and b) really don’t know what they are missing.
It’s an old man’s game
Golf is a game for men, women and children of all ages. The misconception about it being an old man’s game comes from the fact that as long as you have some sort of mobility then you can continue to play golf. And if you struggle to walk 18 holes then you can get around the course on a buggy. This is surely something to be embraced and celebrated. Golf is a game for life. Just look at what Bernhard Langer is still achieving on the Champions Tour at an age when most sportsmen have long put up their feet and plonked themselves in front of the TV. The secret is to start playing this game at an early age - and then enjoying it for the rest of your life.
It is full of stuffed shirts
Again, there may have been a time when this was true. But the G&T brigade have largely been consigned to the past, where they belong. More and more young, forward-thinking individuals are driving the game forward - something else to be celebrated.
It is boring
Golf may be many things but boring is not one of them. Have you ever seen Rory McIlroy hit a golf ball? Were you around when Tiger Woods arrived on the scene? Did you ever watch John Daly or read about his colourful lifestyle? Bryson DeChambeau - boring? Have you ever flushed a drive? Have you ever caught a fairway wood right out of the middle of the club? Have you ever struck an iron from the sweet spot, watched the ball soar into the air and come to rest inches from the hole? Have you ever holed a pitch? Have you ever drained a monstrous putt? Have you ever celebrated a great round in the clubhouse with like-minded people? Boring? Pah! Not a bit of it.
The rules are complicated
This a thorny one, but here’s my take on it - essentially, golf is a pretty simple sport. You stand on the first tee, hit the ball, find it, hit it again and continue to do so until the ball disappears into the hole. You repeat this process 18 times. You need to know what to do if you hit a ball out of bounds or into a pond. But, by and large, it really is as simple as hitting the ball and finding it. You will quickly learn the rules you need to know.
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