Aug 2, 2012

Golf Demographic Suddenly Skews Younger - On Course With 1D

Let's face it, golf, more than any other sport... except maybe shuffleboard... is perceived as an old person's game.

Despite recent industry efforts to change that view, the "old golfer" image is clearly alive and well in the minds of many. At least that's the impression I came away with after a quick perusal of Twitter recently.

 Some were quite matter-of-fact about it...

...while others were more emphatically dismissive.

I encountered one young lady who seemed to thoroughly enjoy interacting with her on-course elders...

... and another who definitely didn't.

The general consensus however seemed to be: golfer = old (and generally uninteresting, often unpleasant, always uncool).  However, that may be about to change.

Golf... and those who care about the game and its image... may just have a secret not-so-secret weapon that goes by the code name boy band name of One Direction.   

One Direction... or 1D as they're known by fans... are actually five guys: Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayne Malik and Niall Horan. They're British/Irish, ultra-talented and exceptionally cute.  They're also enormously, extraordinarily, popular... sell-out-Madison-Square-Garden-in-less-than-10-minutes popular

1D's target market is tween girls, after all, they are a boy band.  However, they seem to be transcending that famously cacophonous niche... to some extent.  At least that's what I've read... and heard.

And here's the thing;  naturally, the 1D guys have millions of twitter followers, and... quite fortuitously... they also play golf. So when they tweeted about spending a day on the links, and later posted photos and videos of said golf day, word got around pretty quickly... and rather breathlessly... and suddenly golf was being looked at in a different light;  a decidedly younger, sexier, more positive light. The fact that D1 was playing with JLS... another massively popular boy band... meant that many who once considered golf the most geriatric of sports... are now desperately seeking lessons:

The French apparently aren't immune to the sport's new sex appeal, "One Direction is on the golf course. Admit it, you suddenly have a strong desire to play golf"

Does Golf Make 1D sexy, or does 1D make golf sexy? That question was answered.

...and so much for the overweight, aging golfer stereotype.

...just the #facts from Mexico "Since One Direction started playing golf the sport's become sexy"

...and I think this fan expresses the views of many,

Well, I detect a definite change in attitude there, don't you?  Anyway, you can follow @OneDirection and @Harry_Styles @zaynmalik @Real_Liam_Payne @NiallOfficial & @Louis_Tomlinson on Twitter. I'm guessing you'll see them (and their fans) playing more and more golf. Just be careful with their music and videos, because I don't care if you're young or old, or male or female... listen to their music for just a short while, and you're very liable to find yourself addicted. 


  1. .

    anyONE else see a connection ?

    when i initially opened this topic and read the banner, i then noticed kids in a golf cart

    my first impression was why are these two NOT WALKING the course ?

    then i came across MS HURDLEs comment and was immediately relieved that there are yet those that "get it"

    (further observation revealed a saracaseyhurdle of east carolina)

    there you have it - what the old-timers who love GOLF actually take from the game: a good healthy experience while WALKING and communicating UNinterupted, except by nature and the beautiful surroundings, sharing at a casual pace the plesantries of life

    using GOLF for any other purpose IS an unfortunate, yet common, occurance and alas serves no lasting benefits nor sustaining life lessons

    i see it all the time


  2. Hey Golf Girl! Have u saw that Ryder Cup has already started?! I found it here:

    Sounds interesting. Any thoughts / know the product?

  3. So true Frank! Unfortunately golf is a rushed game these days. Even when it takes 6 it's a rushed 6 hours. I imagine many private clubs might still allow for the casual pace but it's extremely rare at public courses particularly if one's locked into a 9-5 work day. I do get to play that way sometimes when the weather isn't great and the masses have cancelled and those are my favorite rounds, weather not withstanding.

    Is it my imagination or do I see both Rory and a Rickie look-alikes in One Direction?

  4. .


    anyONE taking six hours to play is doing someTHING very wrong

    AND by "casual pace", i don't endorse slow play, by no means take more than four hours - period

    (in soFLA heat, more than four (4) continuous hours in the sun would be simply be unbearable even for a camel)

    AND if all you have are a few hours of daylight after work then just play until dark (most courses have twi-light rates which calculate for the fact that you will NOT complete an entire round) - remember MATCH PLAY ? well if you're competitive, a seven hole match can be as spirited, and as easily handi-capped, as a scheduled eighteen holer !

    i won't get into carts vs walking but there are some studies that do indicate walking golfers can play faster than 90-degree rule cart golfers (especially if a hooker and a slicer are in the same cart (and that's hooker as in golfer))

    as for celebrity golf, may i introduce those unaware of bing crosby and "the clambake" with bing and bob hope up through todays ATT celebrity pro-am for REAL stars AS REAL golfers


  5. I was reading some of the tweets about these guys and their day on the golf course, the ladies (all ages) sure are taken by them, the boy band formula never seems to fail, does it? Anyway there was a lot of really funny stuff. But one stood out that kind of encompasses what we're talking about. It was a young guy who said (something like) 'I love caddying for the old folks, they get so much joy out of golf'. ;-)

  6. .

    yeah and thankfully NO TWEETs were allowed from the tam o shanter private club on LI in NY


    1. I heard they had a rather raucous little golf outing there recently ( ‘.’ )

  7. .

    BOY BANDS here means the estate of LOU PEARLMAN who my office is the bankruptcy trustee on and that fatso had a lot of sports related memorabilia but no golf connection

    anyway these days he's flopping around in an orlando FCI


    1. Lou Pearlman certainly did have the market cornered on Boy Bands for a while... and what an inauspicious end to that career.

  8. Patricia,

    Nice to hear the sport is getting younger. Rickie Fowler has obviously had an impact.

    I’ve never heard of this 1D boy band. It’s great to hear though that a lot of younger celebs are playing the sport.

    I often though that Timberlake would bring more youth to the game. But his audience is a little older and he is performing less and involved in other projects.

    Entourage was another pop culture appearance for golf. The guys were often seen hitting range balls and on the course.

    The problem however is not going to be spreading awareness around the game. It’s going to be how to make it fun, easier, affordable and less time consuming. The big one is affordability. Young people don’t have much disposable income and I can’t see them becoming rabid players because of the money issue.

    1. So true about the affordability factor.

  9. .

    and to put this entire american YOUTH movement into perspective, may i direct your attention to FRANCIS OUIMET

    and as far as the music goes, by an early age, between five and twelve, there once was someone who created pieces still popular today, some two-hundred and fifty years on: his name was MOZART

    does anyone think we will be discussing timberlake two-hundred and fifty years from now ? for either his golf or his music ?

    or ANY of these contemporary artist of today ?

    just sayin


  10. Peter Worthington-Shipley8/07/2012 6:19 AM

    It could be worse, if golf was a cheap game to play then you'd be even less likely to see younger participants. The fact that it has some elegance and class about lends it an aura of aspiration. Anybody who said they wouldn't want to stay and play at somewhere like Belmont Golf Course are kidding themselves.

  11. I don't understand why people see golf as an "old people game"
    It's such a great sport.

  12. One Direction in Golf Course? Maybe this boys really like golf.

  13. I'm guessing we won't be discussing JT... or 1D... two-hundred and fifty years from now. I'm trying to think of a contemporary artist we WILL be talking about in 2262 but I'm not coming up with one. ...However when it comes to golf, there is, one current player who makes the grade. (~_*)


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