Let’s look at why some millennials do play golf and why they keep playing golf.
Same process as the previous article: to have an overview of the problem, we interviewed fifty millennial golfers, men and women, from different backgrounds, and we asked them these three questions:
- Why did you start playing golf?
- Why do you keep playing golf?
- Why did you stop playing golf? (Twenty of our respondents stopped playing almost completely)
Overall, we have been amazed by their enthusiasm and transparency.
1/ "Why did you start playing golf?"
We basically only had one single answer to this question: Family.
“My mother or my father (in most cases, unfortunately) was playing golf and I came with her/him once. I tried it and I found it was amazing, so I kept going."
This answer was so repetitive that we could anticipate it by the end. It was so obvious for players that, when I think about it, I believe now that golf would simply not exist anymore if the influence of a father or a mother had not been there.
Friends came up right afterwards. The influence of a friend is, after family, the strongest reason to start playing for a young golfer. A recommendation is the second most effective introduction to golf.
And finally, TV and the internet are the third factor explaining why people start playing. Big events and competitions are good motivators for non-players to get to the course and try out the sport.
2/ "Why do you keep playing golf?"
Millennials are clearly very different from their predecessors and the reasons why they play are also very different. Our young respondents gave us these reasons:
- Hanging out with friends and sharing an experience with others
- Having fun outdoors
It’s as simple as that! And it’s also, surprisingly or not, the exact same reasons why millennial non-players would start playing in the future (see previous article): friends and fun.
Our young respondents told us that the score, the handicap, or the networking opportunities, were not key motivators anymore. Today, millennial golf players simply want to have fun with their friends in a nice environment.
We also had other nice answers to this question, and we thought it would be good to repeat them here. These are good arguments for us :-)
- Golf is fun and simple; a first try is generally enough to "get it"
- Golf is a great way to exercise and connect with nature
- Golf is beautiful and has a great story to tell (we could not agree more)
- Golf is inspiring, and we need that more than ever today (also a good one!)
- Golf values are great and really close to tennis, running, fitness, ski, squash, biking, swimming, kitesurfing… but they remain unknown
- Golf allows us to be a better version of ourselves, more focused, more aligned, and it’s a great way to overperform in both private and professional life
3/ "Why did you stop golf?"
As said previously, twenty of our respondents had stopped playing golf. We took this opportunity to understand why millennials would say goodbye to golf after a certain time.
And once again, time and cost were the biggest reasons for these players.
- Time and cost: As said in the previous article, millennials have difficulties to balance and share their time with golf. Work, school, and family take most of their free time (and financial means) and they can’t afford to spend between two and four hours on a golf course.
- The "big steps in life" were also often given as a recurrent problem. Schools and other team sports, internships abroad, living abroad, entering the job market, weddings, newborns, investments in real estate, and other expensive acquisitions… All those "big steps in life" are also a reason to stop golf.
- Demographics & friends who give up golf. Indeed, if friends are a great reason to start playing, they are also (unfortunately) a reason to stop golf.
- Golf is more difficult than other sports, millennials feel discouraged and lose interest in the game. Besides golf, they also have other propositions, and it’s really easy for them to change and move to something else that’s easier and simpler.
Does that make sense to you? If you play golf, do you agree with everything? Do you see something else to add?
In the next and final article, we will try to offer possible solutions.
This story has been written from my perspective, my name is Arthur, and I am the founder of Untraced. If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to get in touch with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org