Photo credit: Topgolf
By: Glenn Gray, Vice President
Contrary to belief, younger generations are interested in golf and playing in droves. If you’re not one of them, you could be missing out on ideal opportunities to get your next promotion or gain visibility within your organization by using the game as a career advancement tool.
According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 6.4 million millennial golfers in the U.S. today. This is the second largest age group behind Generation X. In total, 18 to 34 year-olds comprise 28% of all participation and play 93 million annually or an average of 14.7 rounds per year. Additionally, millennials are spending about $5 billion each year on equipment, merchandise and playing fees.
Golf can be daunting to those who have never played but the professional benefits and doors it may open are plentiful. Thinking about taking golf seriously and using it as a way to move up the corporate ladder?
Below are tips and comments from golfers both in and out of the industry, who also happen to be millennials.
Show Your True Colors
“How you handle yourself on the golf course is a direct reflection of how you will operate in the workforce. No matter how well you are playing that day, your true colors will shine through. Are you humble when playing well? Honest about your score when your game takes a turn for the worse? There are not too many places where busy senior leaders spend four to five hours of their time. If you golf or played for a golf team, put it on your resume. There may be a chance the hiring manager plays the game and the leading topic during your interview could be golf.”
– Kris Hart, CEO of Nextgengolf
Time to Invest in Yourself
“Golf is a game uniquely positioned to capture your mental attention and also benefit your professional development. It’s a sport and a test at the same time – ultimately revealing who you really are and uncovering your true self. By investing into golf, you’re investing time into something that will bring you a lot of joy (and let’s be honest, frustration) while also greatly benefitting you professionally. The game can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, and I’m not talking about missing putts and hitting fairways. It’s a game that’s incredibly revealing and helps you improve your mental game in ways that can translate to the office setting and business world. If you’re a young professional, having an impressive golf game is an easy way to stand out to senior leadership. Play well once in front of the right group, and you’ll find yourself invited back again and again.”
– Preston McClellan, Senior Brand Marketing Manager for PGA TOUR
Are you new to the game? Don’t worry as there are 14 million Americans like you who are interested in the game but have yet to start playing.
Tips for Newbies
“For new golfers, don’t be afraid to go to the driving range solo or jump in with a random group to play nine. It’s a great opportunity to learn the ropes from other aspiring golfers and also potentially network with those in a similar industry.”
– Lauran Driver, Senior Client Partner for Twitter
Easy to Break the Barrier
“As golfers ourselves, we often assume that most people love and understand the game but this is not always true. New golfers investing in their own game seems logical but sometimes that’s not an option if money is tight or not a top financial priority. Regardless, there are easy ways to pick up the game and how to improve without ‘breaking the bank.’”
– Paige Spiranac, Golf Social Media Ambassador
The golf industry is welcoming and wants you to play the game for a lifetime while using the sport to increase employment opportunities. Ready to start playing? Here are a few ideas:
- Find an adult introductory golf program or clinic near you at GetGolfReady.co.
- The power of invitation for women is also important. Has a spouse, sister, cousin or friend expressed interest in playing? Learn more at inviteHER.com or view more on social media with #inviteHER.
- Hoping to find a driving range close to where you live? Check out this map: https://nextgengolf.org/app/find-driving-ranges.
- Would rather start with some food and drinks (and a few swings) at a nearby Topgolf? There are more than 50 venues across the U.S. Full list: https://topgolf.com/us/locations/.
A Buffalo since 2010, Glenn drives high-profile golf industry association partnerships such as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, LPGA, Mass Golf, Topgolf / Toptracer, Washington State Golf Association, World Golf Foundation and Youth on Course, to name a few.
He currently serves as Co-Chair of the WE ARE GOLF Millennial Task Force.