Vicki Martz, ASGCA Fellow, has been giving some thought to the next generation of golfers. What does the game hold for millennials? More than you might think.

Does golf even resonate with young professionals today (re: millennials), considering time constraints and lack of opportunity to play? In a matter of just a few days, I found several examples where the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

As a surgical patient in our local teaching hospital for five days earlier this year, I had the opportunity to discuss golf with several staff members, as The Player’s Championship was being played that week in our area.

One of my RN’s was planning on attending the tournament after her all-night shift ended at 7 a.m., despite concerns about staying awake. That was a real love of golf. She concurred. In her early 20’s, she is in love with the game, but is always looking for others to play with, besides her father and his friends. She had always played with these men and had quite a good game.

She told me that one of my doctors, a senior surgical resident, loved golf as well, and would occasionally have a free afternoon to play together. Later that evening, this doctor had a break in his shift. He sat with me to just talk golf for about an hour. We shared our love of the game, favorite courses and equipment purchases. He was devoted to the game even though he was busy becoming a full surgeon.

Another of my RN’s was excited to take up the game. Of Hispanic background, her parents never played as she was growing up. However, in the last four years her father had found a group to play with and made the time to play four-to-five days a week. He was addicted! She sees his love for the game and wants desperately to learn to play well enough to go out with her father.

These millennials have the “passion for the game” we all have felt, but we need to keep golf accessible and affordable. The good news, however, is that young professionals have not given up on the game and the death of golf is terribly exaggerated.

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