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Mr Puddle

How Diverse is Your Club?

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I've played the game for a long time, mostly in the St Louis area when I was younger and mostly at public courses.

Often my rounds were after work by myself as a walk on.
The course was in the city limits and had many women, blacks, whites and kids.
Many old guys would often play in the morning to avoid the summer heat.

I also worked at a nine hole course in the early 2000's
Again it was a very diverse group of golfers.

I have played many rounds and made friends with many of the players.   
A couple of remembrances have been when playing as a single and joining a group of 3 black men.
It was a great time and afterwards, I found out their friendly game was for big $$, like a hundy a hole.
One evening I was fortunate to have a single black man join me on course.
He was a very good player and taught me some things like how to hit a driver off the deck any why and when.

For the past 15 years I have been a member at one of the better golf courses in Missouri.
The course was relatively new and most of the members were either retired or white collar workers
We now are at full membership with many families, retired mens and women and members ranging from 20 year old thought 80 year old.

We lack black members if comparing members to public courses, but are probably comparable to other private clubs.
Our outskirt location from the city is most likely a factor.

I still golf with anyone at anytime for the love of the game.
My two man partner for the past five years is a black man.
He and I are a good team and both good players.
We have a great time every time we tee it up together.

IMO, diversity comes with the growth of the game and location of diverse population in the surrounding areas.  

19 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

I would say that a big reason for the lack of "people at the door" is the economic barrier that people of color typically face from a very young age.

Not necessarily, There are many youth programs and foundations which have been implemented to introduce golf to kids and women of any color to help them learn the game of golf all over the US.

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On 6/20/2020 at 3:37 PM, Mr Puddle said:

My best friend happens to be of Asian decent, but won't join my club because they insist on him wearing golf shoes, and he doesn't like them. Most proper clubs in the UK insist on the wearing of golf shoes, where I am aware it's not the same in the U.S

I am not sure I understand the reluctance.  Most modern golf shoes are comfortable enough and almost feel like sneakers.  In fact, some of them are as light

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Not diverse at all. Most of the members of my club are ex military and their wifes. And average of 70 year old people, all white.  
 

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3 hours ago, Club Rat said:

Not necessarily, There are many youth programs and foundations which have been implemented to introduce golf to kids and women of any color to help them learn the game of golf all over the US.

While we are definitely better off than we used to be in that regard, we've got a long way to go. But that is a discussion for a different corner of the internet.

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There are a lot of Asians (myself included) in greater Vancouver.....so a lot of Asians on the golf courses.

Koreans are so addicted to golf (both men & women)...supposedly they only make up 2.2% of the Vancouver area population....but there are many courses here that seem like 70+% of the golfers on the course are Korean.

If there were more Korean residents...the green fees would sky rocket because of supply vs. demand.

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35 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

While we are definitely better off than we used to be in that regard, we've got a long way to go. But that is a discussion for a different corner of the internet.

This is a Golf Forum and discussions about topics related to golf, not just some corner of the web. LOL

Yes, great strives have been made for introducing golf to anyone and programs for kids within lower income brackets.
But, there still are many other aspects which influence children to participate and discontinue participation. 
Many children have interests in other sports along with X-Box Games, Social Media along with other things kids do nowadays.
Peer pressure from parents will deter them often.

Golf was and still is a Rich Mans game, but golf is pretty dam good now for anyone who wants to play. 

 

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15 hours ago, Club Rat said:

This is a Golf Forum and discussions about topics related to golf, not just some corner of the web. LOL

Yes, great strives have been made for introducing golf to anyone and programs for kids within lower income brackets.
But, there still are many other aspects which influence children to participate and discontinue participation. 
Many children have interests in other sports along with X-Box Games, Social Media along with other things kids do nowadays.
Peer pressure from parents will deter them often.

Golf was and still is a Rich Mans game, but golf is pretty dam good now for anyone who wants to play. 

 

I'm referring to a discussion on racial inequality. While we can certainly have that discussion within the confines of golf, this game is the least of our society's worries about the inequality people of color face on a daily basis.

And your last part is precisely the problem. It shouldn't have to be "a rich man's game." It should be a game accessible to all those who wish to participate. Do you need money to make money with it? Yes. But I doubt even most of us here are professionals.

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12 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

I'm referring to a discussion on racial inequality. While we can certainly have that discussion within the confines of golf, this game is the least of our society's worries about the inequality people of color face on a daily basis.

And your last part is precisely the problem. It shouldn't have to be "a rich man's game." It should be a game accessible to all those who wish to participate. Do you need money to make money with it? Yes. But I doubt even most of us here are professionals.

On a super basic level, anyone could dig a hole in a yard or a field. Grab a couple of clubs and a ball and play golf. But, I'm guessing that's not what you really mean.

To play golf as we know the game, requires an incredible amount of land and resources to meet players expectations. Some local governments really do try to subsidize golf and make it more accessible but there are always limits. After all, how many other necessities need that funding. How big a deficit is the government willing to tolerate.

One bit of information that surely went into the City of Dayton's decision to pull the plug on my old home courses was the fact that most of the regulars (like 85%) actually lived outside the city of Dayton. The way the politicians looked at it was "why subsidize the recreation of these white suburbanites". Subsidized or not, most of the resident population either still couldn't afford to play or had no interest. It made it an easy decision for them.

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15 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

I'm referring to a discussion on racial inequality.

I commented that the St Louis Area has a good diverse within our community.
The OP topic is about "How Diverse is your club" 
Why did you bring up "Racial Inequality"?

I believe there are threads already having this discussion?

 

18 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

And your last part is precisely the problem. It shouldn't have to be "a rich man's game."

Any why is this a problem? The game is better off now as I stated "but golf is pretty damn good now for anyone who wants to play."
 

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32 minutes ago, ejm1994 said:

I'm referring to a discussion on racial inequality. While we can certainly have that discussion within the confines of golf, this game is the least of our society's worries about the inequality people of color face on a daily basis.

And your last part is precisely the problem. It shouldn't have to be "a rich man's game." It should be a game accessible to all those who wish to participate. Do you need money to make money with it? Yes. But I doubt even most of us here are professionals.

I belong to a semi private course. Our membership is not really too diverse, but anyone that can afford to play is welcome, and we do get a diverse mix of daily fee players. We are probably a medium tier course as far as cost, but that is still out of reach for some. 

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17 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

The OP topic is about "How Diverse is your club" 
Why did you bring up "Racial Inequality"?

Yes this. Let’s keep it on topic, everyone.

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I think my course accurately reflects the demographics of the area in its day to day play. The membership is skewed to older white guys though. They are trying to grow the womans league, it had 4 or 5 members last year. Around a dozen now.

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16 hours ago, Club Rat said:

Golf was and still is a Rich Mans game,

My kids play baseball....hardly cheap.

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4 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

My kids play baseball....hardly cheap.

I actually think Gymnastics is the most expensive sport to put your kid in... But hockey is very close. 

Any sport CAN be really expensive. At least with golf they're aware of the cost barriers. They have programs like "The First Tee". To my knowledge no such thing exists for Gymnastics or Hockey. 

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I actually think Gymnastics is the most expensive sport to put your kid in... But hockey is very close. 

Any sport CAN be really expensive. At least with golf they're aware of the cost barriers. They have programs like "The First Tee". To my knowledge no such thing exists for Gymnastics or Hockey. 

Hockey's got the same sort of programs that golf does. The NHL calls their program "Hockey Is For Everyone." Lots of communities have various equipment sharing programs to try to defray the costs of forever buying new equipment as the kids get bigger.

It's sort of the same set of problems. The facility requirements to play the game that participants want to play are huge. These programs can try to expose their games, but will always be limited because of the amount of money necessary. I'd don't know much about gymnastics, but I'd imagine it is the same way.

The funny thing is that sports have become such a massive money-maker that sports that used to be cheap aren't. Baseball and soccer/football for instance don't require elaborate facilities, but the product (and that's what it is) that is sold here is. These youth leagues now require things like full uniforms, extensive travel and the like. These aren't just games kids play at the local park anymore with whoever happens to show up. 

 

Edited by mcanadiens

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I played Saturday at a course in Sunbury, OH called Bent Tree Golf Links. We played in the afternoon and I'm pretty sure at the time we were there white guys were the minority. At the time we were there I'd estimate the clientele was about 60% Black, 20% Asian and the rest some form of White. There were a lot of folks out playing on Saturday; The tee sheet was full from sun up until they closed. So my numbers are only the slice of the people I saw playing. It could have been totally different in the AM. 

Somebody mentioned earlier in this thread that if the area you live in tends to be pretty diverse than the golf courses (at least the public ones, which are the only ones I play.) tend to be pretty diverse. I think that's probably true. Where we live is pretty diverse. Of the six houses closest to us, three of them are owned by families of a different culture. Golf may actually be the second most popular sport in our neighborhood. It's a really distant second, however, to soccer. Soccer is far and a way the most popular in terms of participation. After that, it's either golf or basketball. We also get a little Lacrosse. 

Interesting I see almost no baseball or football. Yeah, everyone watches Ohio State Football around here, but I don't see the kids playing it. I don't see the kids playing baseball at all. Not only that but my son's almost 10 years old and I polled his friends; Exactly one of the six or seven I polled had ever watched a baseball game on TV. ... Incredible. My son's never watched one, but he's seen golf. I wonder which sport is in more jeopardy long term. Golf or Baseball? 

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41 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I wonder which sport is in more jeopardy long term. Golf or Baseball? 

Well, baseball is mostly a spectator sport.  Golf is participatory.  Beyond high school and college there are few opportunities to play baseball.  Not talking about city league softball.  The worst guy on the team may not even get into the game.  In golf the worst guy on the course is playing directly in front of you.

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5 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

At the time we were there I'd estimate the clientele was about 60% Black, 20% Asian and the rest some form of White. There were a lot of folks out playing on Saturday; The tee sheet was full from sun up until they closed. So my numbers are only the slice of the people I saw playing.

At my county courses, what time of the day you are playing will definitely affect the demographic you see on the course.

5 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Interesting I see almost no baseball or football. Yeah, everyone watches Ohio State Football around here, but I don't see the kids playing it. I don't see the kids playing baseball at all. Not only that but my son's almost 10 years old and I polled his friends; Exactly one of the six or seven I polled had ever watched a baseball game on TV. ... Incredible. My son's never watched one, but he's seen golf. I wonder which sport is in more jeopardy long term. Golf or Baseball? 

 

5 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Well, baseball is mostly a spectator sport.  Golf is participatory.  Beyond high school and college there are few opportunities to play baseball.  Not talking about city league softball.  The worst guy on the team may not even get into the game.  In golf the worst guy on the course is playing directly in front of you.

Let's stick to the topic, guys.

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