Why Do Millennials Golf Differently?

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Leveling the Playing Field
April 18, 2018
Affirmations for Golfers
April 20, 2018

Why Do Millennials Golf Differently?

One Millennial Golfer's perspective on why Millennials golf differently.
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Written By:

Summer Anderson

Summer Anderson is a mother, wife, writer and longtime lover of the game of golf. Her passion lies in writing from the heart, and on topics that are most important to the Millennial generation. Her work has been featured on various websites related to golf, motherhood, and entrepreneurship.

A perfect day on the golf course typically includes beautiful weather, great company, and a score you can be proud of. But seeing a group of young, music-blasting, phone-obsessed, neon-clad Millennials can have some shaking their heads at the direction this new breed of golfers is taking the game.

Millennials are one of the most unique generational makeups that have ever existed. Our mix of tech savvy intuition and passion for making our dreams our reality has put the traditional work-life balance off kilter. We long for a meaningful experience rather than just another job to fill our day (or at least pay back some of our student loans).

As a Millennial and a lifelong golfer myself, I understand the worry for the future of the game and its traditions, but as a member of this new generation of golfers, I want to help bridge that gap between the new, the traditional, and everything in-between to shed some light on some of the ways Millennials might golf a little differently.

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Experiences Mean More to Millennials

Millennials long for a deeper, meaningful experience rather than just something to fill their time. We see the golf course as a space to make memories, especially ones that can be shared on social media platforms. Events such as, TopGolf have become more popular for Millennials because they add an out-of-the-box characteristic that is different than the traditional competition golfing formats. As much we love a golf scramble or best ball game, there isn’t much to be added to the format that makes it unusual or evolutionary.
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Evolution of Gender Roles and Family Time

The golf course isn’t just for the boys anymore. The game has evolved to include women and children alike to enjoy and play for years to come. For many people, golf has become an avenue for quality family time, especially in a world where gender roles are blurred, and time together is extra meaningful. Many Millennials want to involve their families in all aspects of their lives, and not use the golf course as a getaway of their own anymore.
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Clothes Don’t Define the Millennial Golfer

Adaptable and practical are two words that go hand in hand with the apparel of Millennials. While traditional clothing such as collared shirts and respectable pants are still quite popular on a golf course, a more athletic tone has been added to the golf apparel we see now. Comfort and practicality are huge factors in what we wear throughout our day. As much as I would love to wear a nice dress while tending to my kids and work endeavors, it’s just not possible.
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Technology isn’t just essential; it’s like a dependable friend

If we have our phones out, it’s not that we can’t have a conversation with our fellow players in person. Sometimes we may want to post a picture of the course (golf courses are truly breathtaking in photos) or post a picture that everyone can look back on and laugh about. We can easily answer an email, send a text, and reply to a Facebook post all before we take our second shot in to the hole. This isn’t because we can’t look away from our phone, it’s just that we try to be as efficient as possible, regardless of our location.

As a Millennial golfer, I appreciate the class and grace that the game has emanated for years. I hope to share it with my own children someday, as it is a game that has brought me joy and has taught me so much about life and humility. I have found ways to evolve the game to my lifestyle, but it has never lost its traditional roots or foundation with these adaptations.

So, the next time you see someone on the course looking at their phone or jamming to music, don’t think of it as an out to avoid human interaction or socialization. This is simply just a way for Millennial players to enjoy their golfing experience, and to truly live in the moment.

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Catherine Baker

Although I appreciate your attempt to explain how Millennials want to experience golf (e.g., music, smart phones, relaxed athletic sportswear, etc.) some of your general statements diminish your message. Do you really believe “experiences mean more to Millennials” (in golf or in life, for that matter)? Do you really think generations of golfers before you played the game because they were looking for “something to fill their time?” Unfortunately, you derailed your desire “to help bridge the gap” while trying to express why your generation is unique. I think as golfers we are more alike than different in that we… Read more »

cynthiaw

Nonsense… It’s rude, disruptive and self – centered… if you cannot play without disrupting everyone else’s game, just get a WI golf game to play at home….

Scott Morch

To Cynthia Bryant: I do not believe in any way the author was suggesting that you should do whatever you feel like and not care about others’ experience. She was very careful in her message. Quite frankly I find your comment rude and self-centered. If you cannot accept different ways in which people enjoy the game, so long as they respect others experience on the course, you are only hurting the game.

Beth

Loved your article! This is the argument I’m having over and over again with my parents (and i’m a 44 year old gen x’er). They hate the WM open for its noise – i love it for its fun. They think i should only wear skirts and leather golf shoes, i like my lululemon and running sneakers. They do cigars and beers – I drink diet coke, eat a yogurt from my mini cooler, and play music. They complain their northeast courses are closing because there aren’t enough golfers… I’m lucky if i can get a tee time in southern… Read more »

Barbara

Loved your comments. It’s tme to embrace change, or be left behind. I am a new, older golfer and I just wanna have fun. Let’s all hit, chat and laugh together.

Maryann Mastrodonato

Music doesn’t belong on the golf course….

Dani

I personally don’t like to hear loud music on the course because I’m there to enjoy the quiet and serene setting. Just not for me. I don’t mind the texting and phone calls as long as it doesn’t slow the pace of play. Just my 2 cents.

Susan

I recently played with my music playing daughter-in law. The music was respectfully low so that only we heard it. It gave me an insight into who she is by what she chose to play. We spent a delightful round together building a stronger relationship and learning from one another through a game we both enjoy.