When I tell women that I play golf one of the most common questions I get is “Doesn’t it take a long time?” I always say it depends. It can take a long time to play 18 holes depending on the course, but it’s possible to play a quick 9 holes in a couple of hours. When I try to encourage other women to play, one of the first things they say is “I don’t have time.” Time, time, time. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough. However, it is possible to fit golf into a busy lifestyle that involves having a career, raising a family, spending time with friends and binge watching your favorite Netflix show.
Before I started learning to play golf, I thought it was simply a leisure activity for the wealthy and retired people. It was a luxury that involved spending endless hours walking around a fancy park-like setting and the term “sport” was loosely applied. Golf was for ladies who lunch, and only when invited by their Type A husbands. On the other hand, it was for the long retired couple who needed to fill their days with some physical activity. It was certainly not something that every day women who worked for a living bothered doing. Now that I play regularly, my whole view about golf has changed.
A couple of years ago I joined a local golf club. There are women from all walks of life in the club, from business owners to 9-5ers. We play 9 holes of golf one Saturday morning a month, and finish early enough to do other things with our day before sunset. I occasionally get in a little practice at the driving range before or after work. It’s like going to the gym and it beats sitting in traffic.
Historically, it is true that golf was played primarily by wealthy men for leisure. However, Mary Queen of Scots is credited with popularizing the sport by introducing it to the world during her travels in the 16th Century. She commissioned the creation of St. Andrews. The LPGA was created in 1950, during a time when women were expected to study home economics in high school, marry young and spend their existence doting on husbands and children. Today, there a several women’s golf clubs comprised of everyday working women, who use golf to bond, network and let off steam. Ladies, our roots in the history of golf are deep.
There are some great golf organizations started by working women - Women on Course, Swing Golf Clubs and Black Girls Golf - with the goal of making the sport more accessible and fun for other working women. Each organization sets up non-competitive 9-hole round play dates, either during the week or on weekends. Occasionally play dates include wine or champagne, but that’s for a different blog post.
Golf is also a great group activity for the family and is becoming more affordable. I often see families with small children golfing together at the local municipal courses. A family golf outing can be less expensive than going to the movies or an amusement park. Need a break from the kids? Change “Girls Night Out” to “Girls Day On The Greens”. Grab your clubs, pack some snacks, and head to the golf course. Netflix can wait.