Despite competing in a world with several hugely popular sports, golf holds a special place in the hearts of millions around the world. Although other sports like soccer, basketball, football, and cricket all have more global followers, golf has carved out its own niche with fans.
One of the qualities golf shares with these sports is that fans love both playing and watching it. There are believed to be over 15,000 golf courses in the United States alone, where both amateurs and professionals go to hone their skills. In terms of watching, there are several lucrative professional tournaments each year, which are covered extensively on TV on both national and dedicated sports channels.
These tournaments, which include the four majors, are also covered by reputable bookmakers that provide golf odds for fans who like to back their favorite players, something which has further increased the popularity of the sport.
So, why is golf so popular, particularly with men? Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons.
The huge number of golf courses in the United States are not there by accident, there is a huge demand for golf club memberships across the country, with players of all levels of ability keen to have a try. One of the main reasons for this is that golf is a great stress reliever.
Like baseball, tennis, and squash, golf sometimes involves the act of hitting a ball as hard as you can, when teeing off to begin a round or hole. This action often serves as a physical way to release any mental tension one may be feeling because of their work life, which has made golf popular among businessmen in high-pressure positions.
Stress relief in golf also comes from the escapism the game gives players, which derives from the fact that it is played on grass courses, usually surrounded by nature. This environment has a calming effect on players that enables them to take in some natural beauty and escape from the pressures of daily life.
Another reason for golf’s popularity is the simplicity of the game. The rules are easy to understand; players must simply aim to put the ball in the least number of shots possible. This makes golf an attractive sport for players of all levels of understanding, as the rules aren’t too intimidating to pick up later in life, unlike football or baseball.
As well as the simplicity, another aspect of golf that makes it attractive for late starters is the fact that it is played at a low intensity, which makes it perfect for older players.
Unlike many other sports, the only physical requirements for golf players are that they can walk and swing a golf club without pain. While the mechanisms involved can cause stress on the back, knees, and ankles, the forces are typically much lower when compared to other sports.
Golf like many other individual sports is great for encouraging self-improvement. While team sports are great for improving our ability to cooperate and share the workload, there is often a tendency to pass on responsibility in difficult moments.
Golf doesn’t allow players to do that, as each drive or missed putt forces the player to evaluate their own performance, which is one of the best ways to improve in anything. This is another reason golf is so popular with CEOs, business owners, and managers, as the introspection it encourages can be extremely useful in professional contexts.
Golf’s popularity in terms of participation goes hand in hand with its prominence as a spectator sport. Most of the vast number of players who enjoy playing the game also feel great admiration for the professionals who compete in major championships.
The four majors are the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open, and The Open Championship. These are all watched globally by millions of fans. Although golf is simple to learn, it is extremely difficult to master, so anyone who has tried to play can appreciate the high levels of skill displayed by professionals at these top-tier tournaments.