If you’re like me, there’s a chance you’ve viewed golf as a boring and esoteric sport reserved for rich businessmen and elderly retirees. If you didn’t grow up in a family that plays the game, your impressions may have been based on seeing borderline silent televised matches with groups of middle-aged men, clad in polos, awkwardly clapping after virtually every shot. But I am here to tell you that my naïve assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth, and maybe yours too. While everyone should give golf the ol’ college try, every millennial should try golf because they may have the most to gain from this glorious game.
The game’s original conception came from the Dutch, but the version of the game that people know and love today was born in Scotland during the 15th century. Golf is one of history’s oldest sports still being played today, and it’s currently gaining popularity among the millennial generation, and for a good reason. Regardless of age, race or gender, golf is a safe game that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s a fun way to help you further your career, stay active, keep your mind sharp and even have a guilt-free way to day drink with your friends. While the list goes on as to why everyone should give it a try, here are five reasons why every millennial should try golf.
1. Advance your budding career
Historically, golf has been a mainstay in business because of the opportunities people have to develop relationships with prospective clients or potential business partners at a luxury course or resort. This is important because the business world is not what it used to be. With a surge in all things virtual, young professionals aren’t experiencing the traditional norms that established executives are accustomed to regarding networking and closing deals. People tend to invest in other people, not just ideas, so a more relaxed environment to allow someone to get to know you is imperative.
Young professionals entering into the world of business are at a disadvantage when dealing with generational gaps and a disconnect of social norms. Every millennial should try golf because taking the time to learn the game is invaluable when it comes to developing and maintaining new business relationships. Not to mention the leg up a young professional would have when dealing with an elder executive set in the old ways of business. Still not convinced? Don’t just take my word for it, Forbes believes that golf can help better your career too, and they know a thing or two about business.
2. It’s for athletes and mathletes
There’s a popular misconception that you’re either athletic or you’re not. Athleticism is actually more of a spectrum. Of course, there’s always the people you grew up with that were good at virtually every sport without trying too hard, but the average person may excel in some physical activities more than others. Some people may not enjoy sports at all. Golf is a game in which all of these different types of people can gain a fun common ground. Just because you weren’t a multi-sport athlete in high school or college doesn’t mean that golf won’t have something to offer you. I didn’t play any high school sports and throughout college, I was (and still am) the dungeon master in a long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and I now golf every weekend.
If you think about it, at its core, golf is just swinging a stick at an unmoving ball. You don’t need cat-like reflexes or a six-pack to be able to find enjoyment from a leisurely game played on a beautiful and well-manicured course. Regardless of how many terrible shots you may take, making a halfway decent connection just one time and seeing that little white ball become smaller and smaller in the distance makes it all worth it. There’s an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment when you hear the crack of the ball and watch it soar straight down the middle of the fairway. Even if those shots are few and far between, chasing that dragon will keep you coming back and trying different courses or approaches.
3. Be competitive or carefree
There’s a reason why golf is one of the most beautifully aggravating sports around: it can be hard. When the game is taken more seriously, there are a surprising number of factors to be considered each time you step up to the ball. It’s not always about smacking the paint off the ball or driving it over 400 yards like Bryson DeChambreau; it’s about finesse and careful calculation.
This aspect of the game is honestly what appealed to me the most when I started hitting the links. Like many, I may be considered competitive, as well as what people would call a nerd. So semi-athletic or non-athletic nerds like me can have the opportunity to enjoy the analytical side of golf if strength and endurance isn’t their forte. Wind speed and direction, potential hazards and distances are just the main points of consideration before swinging your shoulders out of their sockets, with countless more to consider after you’ve improved your game.
If you don’t really care about competition or you aren’t particularly analytical, don’t let that part of the game deter you! When you first start, it’s all about just getting out there with your friends or family and having a good time. Millennials should try golf because spending a few hours in the great outdoors driving around on little carts can be a blast by itself. I’ve had several friends tag along when I play just because they love getting away from the hustle and bustle of the workweek while cracking a cold one at an immaculate resort designed for luxury.
4. Guilt-free day drinking
Yes, golf can be very difficult and infuriating at times, but there is one particular aspect of the sport that appeals to almost everyone: alcohol. This is arguably my favorite reason as to why millennials should try golf. In what other game is it acceptable to drink your favorite adult beverages while playing? Regardless of the time of day? Not only is drinking while playing totally normal, but most courses have an employee circling the course to serve you drinks.
Not only is alcohol readily accessible throughout your round, there’s no guilt associated with getting a little tipsy at 11:30 am on a Sunday. You can choose from the varied selection available at the course clubhouse, or you can even bring a cooler filled with your favorite beers or California’s Gray Whale Gin, ready to sip in style under the shining sun. But always drink responsibly and be respectful! Also, it wouldn’t hurt to try fitting a few water bottles in that cooler as well.
5. It’s a quarantine-friendly sport
The world we live in today is undeniably a strange place. With organized and public sports making constant changes and restrictive guidelines to adhere to the “new normal,” one sport has remained relatively unchanged. You guessed it, golf. Golf is a contactless game that you can play by yourself, or you can even play it with a group of friends without ever needing to come within six feet of each other. Of course, social distancing is enforced. A one-person per cart rule (who doesn’t want to drive their own cart anyway?) and not removing the flag from the hole (modern golfers rarely do this to begin with). But with the sheer size and grandeur of today’s golf courses, this can easily be accomplished.
There are countless high-end golf courses in and around Hudson county for all levels of golfers. Some local favorites include Liberty National Golf Club, which has a breathtaking view of Manhattan, and Skyway Golf Course is only a 15-minute drive from Hoboken. With limited options for recreational activities, now is a perfect time for every millennial to try golf.