Age, an important number in golf 

It’s a common misperception that golf is a game for old people: it’s really a young person’s game.  The reality is that many people take up golf as a recreation when they are older and have ‘more time on their hands’. But, it’s often said that the best golf swing is that of a child. Nevertheless, data for 2012 show about 60 percent of golfers are over 50, and the average age of golfers in 46. Golf tends to be expensive, which may explain why more golfers are older, being people with steadier, higher incomes, averaging US 95,000 a year per household. Some UK data show the average age of golfers playing at least once a week had risen from 48 to 63, between 2009 and 2014.  That coincides with falling participation rates, especially of younger players. Again, cost comes much into play. So, golf has problems attracting younger players, and has become more a game played by older people. 

This week, Jamaica hosts the 59th edition of the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships, being played on July 28 through 31. It’s going to be at two excellent courses, Half Moon and Cinnamon Hill. Many of the participants from nine countries fit the age profile well, but a good crop of players are well under 30. Oddly, the categories favour the young, with the men’s ‘senior’ (over 50) and ‘super senior’ (over 60) only allowing two participants per country. 

While I know that the game needs to grow its younger players, I’m going to take the chance this week to look at an area where older people thrive, despite the odds being against them.

I’m not sure, ahead of the play, how the posts will appear, so prepare for some short and pithy pieces.