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The Loop

Study: Golfers and non-golfers actually see golf not so differently

September 01, 2015

You’ve all seen the jokes about golfers and how they dress or how stuck-up they stereotypically are in films like Caddyshack, and how those perceptions haven’t really changed in decades. Witness the recent MetLife commercial of the golfer touting a bag full of drivers because “That’s all I need, right?” All perceptions likely fueled by non-golfers, who naturally have a negative view of the game and its participants.

Or is it?

Golfers may seem an easy target, but the idea that golfers view their game differently than non-golfers may not be true, according to a recent study of the two groups by the National Golf Foundation. In short, it’s too easy for non-golfers to dismiss golfers because the fact is they may be more like us than they’re willing to admit. Or, in truth, we may be more like them than we’re willing to admit.

Some numbers from the study:

—86 percent of golfers in the survey agreed with the statement “Golf is a good way to enjoy the outdoors.” Non-golfers: 74 percent agreed.

—”Golf is great for socializing/hanging out.” 83 percent of golfers agree; 70 percent of non-golfers.

—“Golf is a good form of exercise.” 70 percent of golfers agree; 60 percent of non-golfers.

Even negative opinions of the game were shared by golfers and non-golfers.

—”Golf’s rules are too restrictive.” 28 percent of golfers agree; 30 percent of non-golfers.

—”Golf’s social environment is stuffy.” 33 percent of golfers agree; 36 percent of non-golfers.

—”Golf is elitist/exclusionary.” 38 percent of golfers agree; 40 percent of non-golfers.

Weird that last one since according to the NGF, 75 percent of the golf courses in this country are open to the public.