The Phenomenon Of Golf Grows

By: Jim Ross

The popularity of the game of golf has skyrocketed since the early nineteen nineties in the United States. There are a multitude of reasons for this phenomenon. Perhaps the main reason may be the aging of the baby boomers. However, another factor to not overlook is the social benefit that the sport offers.

The physical fitness craze took over the country in the last several decades. All of the health conscious athletes looked for different ways to hang on to their competitive nature. Some migrated to jogging; others went after bicycling; still others found the answer in a different physical activity.

But the masses migrated to golf. It is a sport that has held up over the test of time. As the body grows older limitations on what it can do are placed upon it. One of the activities that the body is still allowed to do as it grows older is swing a golf club. All shapes and sizes as well as genders and races can enjoy the competitiveness of the game well into old age. That is due in part to the gentle demands that are put on the body as the sport is played.

It seems that only a very few can continue playing touch or tackle football into their twenties and thirties. The same can be said about baseball, softball, and basketball. Even runners tend to go by the wayside because of the demands that are placed on their knees, joints, hip and back. But the game of golf tends to attract anyone that enjoys competing and enjoying nature at its finest.

Not to be ignored in this attraction to golf are the social advantages. How many times have you heard about business deals being made on the golf course? The contacts that can be made during a friendly round of golf are limitless. That's not to mention the wagering between friends and the camaraderie created between competitors.

Many of my adult friendships have been initiated and then established on the golf course. Not only does that include business contacts, but it takes into account golf buddies that enjoy taking trips around the country to the various golf resorts. The bond that is created encompasses trust, loyalty, laughter, and integrity. Those are some of the basic qualities of life that are memorable, worthwhile, and everlasting.

So, to deny the game of golf its true place in American society would almost be sacrilegious. It is one of the last pure professional sports that is left. There are no steroids. There are no referees. The game is mainly policed by each golfer. A player tees it up and lets his or her ability speak for itself on any given day. There are no guarantees. There is no secret to getting the ball in the hole.

The only thing that is assured is that it is called the "gentleman's game" for a reason. That is because it is to be played with manners, etiquette, and respect for your playing partner. Is there any wonder why it has grown in popularity?

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