Why Golf Isn’t The Most Boring Sport

Why Golf Isn’t The Most Boring Sport So, golf is the most boring sport on the planet? What does that say about us?! Well, the woman golfstagrammers know as GolfPeach is decidedly miffed and indignant about the findings of the much-publicised YouGov poll that branded our beloved game one long yawn. But then the same woman of four years ago had never swung a club in anger because… well, golf seemed the most boring sport on the planet. Golf is sporting marmite. You either pile it on in layers or you curl your lip at the very mention of it. Golfing converts often encounter a ‘Road to Jericho’ moment when they suddenly, maybe unexpectedly get a taste for it. It is at that crossroads when all of the things that made golf seem boring… its slowness, its weird vocabulary, its anal attention to technical detail… are perversely the very same qualities that make it fascinating. Rory McIlroy: I don’t fear any of them. I’ve beaten them before” 70% of those canvassed simply haven’t found their way to that intersection yet, right? Now let me say straight away I do kind of agree with the survey! Not the headlines, but the actual YouGov research. The question their pollsters asked was all about ‘watching’ sports, not ‘playing’ them. I have been fortunate enough to tee it up alongside one or two pro golfers but I am yet to develop an appetite for trooping around a tournament course to watch them. I don’t mind tuning into late-night action from somewhere sunny to marvel at how far DJ smashes it but I’d rather be out there myself. 99% of competitive pro golf is 72-hole strokeplay. Our sport’s heroes and heroines spend most of their careers playing against the course. There is a saying that the Masters doesn’t begin until Amen Corner on Sunday afternoon. Only then do we see the cut-and-thrust of man-against-man that is the essence of most spectator sports. The Ryder and Solheim Cups are sporting theatre, but too many of the Majors are long processions. Like Test cricket, they are pure sport because the best player wins over 72 holes… but, like Test cricket, they are for the aficionados. The really worrying thing is that, four years into life as a golfer, I think I’m becoming a bit of an aficionado myself. Ping G700 irons revealed The mental subtleties of keeping your nerve when the leaderboard says a par at the last will be enough are something you can identify with when you’ve stood on the 18th tee with 35 points already banked in the Monthly Medal. Golf lovers quickly become protectors of all of the finer points that shape our addictions to it. It’s like being part of a secret society. If the great unwashed say the sport is boring then it almost confirms our own refined tastes. So, do we care if golf’s image is staid and stately? We should. The golf economy in the USA came under attack from … Continue reading Why Golf Isn’t The Most Boring Sport