Back Off, Golf Haters

Stereotype of it being a rich man's game is a falsehood
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2009 1:53 PM CDT
President Barack Obama puts away golf clubs after putting on the sixth hole at the Mink Meadows Golf Club in Vineyard Haven, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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(Newser) – There’s been a lot of hatred leveled at golf this year, with everyone from Bill Maher to Hugo Chavez putting down the game—Chavez called it bourgeois, and Maher complained that Obama only played it to “relax the white people.” One USA Today writer even blamed golf for the recession and everything “that’s retrograde with American life.” So John Paul Newport jumps to the game’s defense in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Haters buy into the stereotype that only rich, white Republicans play golf, even though “the reality of that stereotype expired approximately in the 1920s.” These days, less than 10% of golfers belong to private country clubs. Others argue that golf isn’t a real sport. “It’s probably safe to say that most virulent golf haters have never played the game,” writes Newport, “or at least not well.”