Tiger Woods’ resurgence over the last year two years has revived the interest of golf spectators everywhere on the planet. However, outside of air time, golf has slowly been on a constant decline in popularity over the last decade.
Golf courses have seen the number of rounds decrease over the last few years as their older members leave with no one to replace them. This phenomenon causes many to blame millennials for their no-interest in the sport.
Although such a claim would be statistically correct, it would be foolish to say millennials are ruining golf.
A new vision of the Sport
The new generation of golfers is indeed moving away from the traditions that helped build the sport to what it has become today. However, this new crop of golfers has realized how the elitism linked to golf has tarnished the sport’s reputation in the eyes of many.
Smaller budgets are the reality for the vast majority of millennials when compared to their parents, and it’s even worse when compared to their grand-parents (the baby-boomers). These past generations helped raise the sports’ popularity to what it is today. But they have also caused it to become unaffordable to the younger generation as well as setting strict old school standards that are begging to be updated and adjusted to fit the next generation’s lifestyle.
Millennials-run companies like Golf Avenue are having an impact in this modern golf market as they subscribe to the very millennial concept of a circular economy. This concept in which pre-owned goods are resold to other customers once the original owner has no use for the product anymore. This how Golf Avenue has managed to become the biggest online retailer of used golf clubs up in Canada.
The Fashionista Young Players
Aside from the technology, the new generation has helped the sport grow to new heights in the fashion domain. Woods helped usher Nike into the closed world of golf, but millennial golfers like Brooks Keopka and Rory McIlroy have taken the brand to the next level of notoriety. Earlier this year, Keokpa kept the trend alive when he brought in a touch of fashion wearing Nike x Off White shoes for the Tour Championship.
Stepping away from Nike, another millennial, Rickie Fowler has been a fashion icon on the Tour since he burst into the scene in the late ’00s. Most will recognize him for his flamboyant orange outfit, but Fowler has been a fashion staple since joining the Tour.
Even more important than fashion or technology, millennials are taking over on the biggest stage. McIlroy, Keopka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are now the favorites to take home the honors on Sundays. The Big Cat is eternal and will in contention for as long as his back can hold up, but there is no denying the uprising of the youth and their passion for the sport.
If you still need convincing, just pick up your phone and head to some golf pages on Instagram. Golf “influencer” are gaining traction on the platform. They represent a strong testament to the ongoing love of millennials for the sport.
The sport is alive and well in the hearts of millennials, we just need to understand that just like the times, the game is changing.