SPORT Is golf the new people’s game?

5 min

Move over, football. It’s golf’s time to shine.

Strict club rules. Old-school etiquette. Polo shirts with outrageous patterns. There are so many reasons why golf isn’t called ‘the people’s game’. But a younger, more diverse generation of golfers are giving the sport a fresh coat of paint. They’re trading late nights out for early morning tee-offs. They’re gorging on golf memes all over the ‘Gram. Sneaker brands are adding spikes to iconic shoes, originally named after famous basketball players. (You know the ones we’re talking about.) So how did golf learn to chill out? We’ve got a few theories. Clear up the cobwebs, grab a shiny new set of clubs, it’s time to hit the links.

Tommy Fleetwood, Professional golfer and TAG Heuer Ambassador

A hole new ball game

Golf is one of the oldest sports in the world. It’s bound to regulations and traditions. But to become more popular, every sport needs to keep up with the times. That’s why resorts and courses are breaking golf’s hallowed rules while seeking out younger audiences. They’re making the game shorter, offering 9-hole options instead of 18-hole options. They’re turning golf into a recreational experience. Something you can enjoy while hanging out with friends. And by mixing the challenges of the sport with the pleasures of a sports bar, they’re inspiring a spirit of inclusion.

Dressed to chill

You don’t need a dress code to play some of the world’s most popular sports. It’s something golf has only just realized. (A little late, but we can forgive that.) In fact, the relaxing of dress codes is a big part for golf’s cultural revolution. No more restrictions on hats being turned backwards. No need to tuck your shirts, or wear shoes. No more skirts of a certain length. And hopefully, no more polo shirts with outrageous patterns. The old codes are being rewritten. And there are a growing number of establishments that are seeing the merits of being a bit less formal. 

Teed up for change

Golf’s newfound popularity is also getting progressive players to reexamine their relationship with the sport. Especially during a time when matters of social justice are front and center. For a sport that’s steeped in history, the only way forward is through accessibility and inclusivity. If it doesn’t embrace the zeitgeist, golf might find itself in a hole. So the people who love it, and the people who are falling in love with it, are the same people who are making sure that golf isn’t just cool; it’s also relevant. Welcome to the new people’s game.

TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition (SBR8A81.EB0251)

Take your game to the next level

We’ve launched a new version of our golf watch, the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition. With its new automated shot-tracker and a magnetic ball marker built into the strap, it’s your perfect golfing companion. The watch’s redesigned interface makes it easier for you to control its golf functions, including high-resolution 2D maps showing hazards and distances on more than 40,000 golf courses around the world. It enables you to improve your game, no matter what level of player you are. You can learn more about the watch here.