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mackingchicken

Golf is for the upper class?

114 posts in this topic

Just wondering what people think on the idea. Golf is pretty much seen as the sport for the rich with fancy country clubs, expensive green fees and all the other things that go with it. Im the opposite to most golfers my age I know. I have no friends that play or are even interested in it but when I meet people my age that golf we usually arent very similiar. Though I feel golf is loosing the identity of being an upper class sport that is reserved for rich country club folk.

Anyone have any thoughts on this??

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Nope not at all. Maybe back before Tiger hit the tour. Since him golf has become very affordable and has reached many wealth levels.

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I've been playing golf for 40 years, and I'm a long way from being anything like upper class.

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Yeah trust me i am not wealthy hahah, Im a student living out of home broke as hell spending money on food and drinks... But I hear a lot of people talk about golf as an upper class sport and I have been to some country clubs (before I played golf) and you can feel a bit unwelcome from the whole 'members only' vibe...

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Well, it's certainly not for the poor.
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Most middle income people can afford to play if they want to but some may not be able to play the nice courses or play as often as they would like (which is why so many golf courses are going broke).

I just saw today where a country club in Huntsville, Al. is on it's last leg. They lowered the monthly membership to $150 and opened play during the week to the public in a last ditch effort to avoid foreclosure.

The country club where I live is approaching the same situation and one of the public courses had to shut down last year. The course where I work gets about 1/3 the play it got just a few years ago. Most of the same customers but instead of playing several times a week they can only afford to play once.

Still not really affordable for low incomes to play often enough to get any good at it and it's not really on their radar anyway.

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Where you choose to play has a lot to do with the golfers..........

IE....a low end muni verses...a top level public course.

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I've been playing golf for 40 years, and I'm a long way from being anything like upper class.

Ditto...

Once upon a time, many years ago, I could only play if I found some golf balls to play with. The bag was a mismatch of secondhand clubs, and the bag itself wasn't pretty. What I couldn't afford was to play at the top courses.

Once I'd scraped enough to join a club, it was then scraping enough each week for competition fees. Never really experienced much in the way of snobbishness.

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Golf has certainly become more accessible over here in Ireland over the last 10 years. The game in general is not a cheap one and struggles to keep the 18-27 age bracket in the game. You need a car (over here anyway) and quite a bit of disposable income to play golf. But it's worth every cent :)
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Golf has certainly become more accessible over here in Ireland over the last 10 years.

The game in general is not a cheap one and struggles to keep the 18-27 age bracket in the game.

You need a car (over here anyway) and quite a bit of disposable income to play golf.

But it's worth every cent :)

Yeah well I dont have a car in Melbourne and I can luckily get to the range with public transport but still alot of effort taking my bag around haha...

I need some friends with a car to get interested, make my life easier.

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I've always had the view that golf is a middle class game in high population areas and more egalitarian in low population areas. I've just restarted after a 10 year break and (apart from splashing out £400 on a set of irons) it hasn't broken the bank. I've got 2 of my kids sets of clubs and their membership fees are tiny. Any sport requires a bit of cash and you certainly get your moneys worth with golf. My daughters clubs cost less than her Brownies uniform. I can't think of any sport where you can get tuition from a qualified professional as easily and as reasonably priced.

I am lucky to live in a low pop. area though. The green fees would be horrendous in some areas.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mackingchicken

Yeah well I dont have a car in Melbourne and I can luckily get to the range with public transport but still alot of effort taking my bag around haha...

My brothers are in Melbourne for the last few years. (Pretty hot there at the moment)

Having a car is the biggest piece of golf equipment IMO :)

I started golf 2-3 years ago, no car.

Got hooked on golf, now I have a car that I can't afford, but can't afford to get rid off either :)

I was lucky at the start, my mate that introduced me to golf was my personal chauffeur for 18 months ;)

haha yeah I really need to find a chauffeur so I can stop carting my clubs on trains....

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It's complicated. You have golf in the US. And you have golf everywhere else. Golf in general is more affordable in the US by default of cheaper gas, no $10/gal petrol here. Yet. Add lots of courses with low green fees and a vast 2nd hand market of cheap equipment, compared to say yachting or polo, golf can be cheap. I carry my clubs on the train to get to the course. It's nothing new to me and not a big deal but most Americans are like huh? Did you look into flexicar?
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Well, it's certainly not for the poor.

I guess it depends how you define poor. With less than a $100 investment, anyone with about $25 a week available for discretionary spending can certainly play at least weekly in most places. Certainly those that struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over their head aren't going to be spending a lot of time on the course, but I've known a lot of "poor" people that spend a heckuva lot more than that on cigarettes....

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I suspect that because of what is shown on TV some might get the impression that golf is for the upper class.  But I believe that if your income is above the poverty level that you probably could play golf if you choose to.  I know here in the Phoenix area you can purchase a "city card" for about $30 that significantly reduces green fees at all the city courses and there are several of them.  Not the best in the area but good courses that are fun to play and most in reasonable shape.  Having said that I do know people who don't have an extra $30 beyond paying rent, buying groceries, and the bare necessities of life.  So as someone once said "what you see depends upon where you stand" and I would think these folks would say golf is for rich people.

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I guess it depends how you define poor. With less than a $100 investment, anyone with about $25 a week available for discretionary spending can certainly play at least weekly in most places. Certainly those that struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over their head aren't going to be spending a lot of time on the course, but I've known a lot of "poor" people that spend a heckuva lot more than that on cigarettes....

Both my mom and my father in law were poor. As in they went to bed hungry at times, they shared beds with their siblings (3 in a bed), etc... For them, the only sports available were things like basketball or soccer if a friend had a ball. For them, golf would have been for the wealthy. I consider myself wealthy in comparison to the stories they can tell me. I am wealthy compared to my family in South America. I have a modest house, I have a car, my wife has a car, we don't live paycheck to paycheck. For a lot of the world that is wealthy.

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Both my mom and my father in law were poor. As in they went to bed hungry at times, they shared beds with their siblings (3 in a bed), etc... For them, the only sports available were things like basketball or soccer if a friend had a ball. For them, golf would have been for the wealthy.

I consider myself wealthy in comparison to the stories they can tell me. I am wealthy compared to my family in South America. I have a modest house, I have a car, my wife has a car, we don't live paycheck to paycheck. For a lot of the world that is wealthy.

Agreed. Always a good thing to keep in mind.

To the OP, If golf is a passion you enjoy and money is tight, find the least expensive way of playing. If that means hitting balls around the yard or a park more and playing a course less often, do what you have to. To some of us, the game is down there on the list of priorities in life. Well, at least 2nd or 3rd :-D . If I hadn't found a way to play golf as inexpensively as I do, it wouldn't be part of my life.

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Both my mom and my father in law were poor. As in they went to bed hungry at times, they shared beds with their siblings (3 in a bed), etc... For them, the only sports available were things like basketball or soccer if a friend had a ball. For them, golf would have been for the wealthy. I consider myself wealthy in comparison to the stories they can tell me. I am wealthy compared to my family in South America. I have a modest house, I have a car, my wife has a car, we don't live paycheck to paycheck. For a lot of the world that is wealthy.

Yep. That's why I specifically said, that it depends on how one defines "poor".

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