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13 most shocking findings from GOLF’s Survey of the American Golfer

April 26, 2017

How do golfers really feel about the state of the game (and their games) in 2017?

We asked, you answered.

GOLF.com has released the results from its Survey of the American Golfer, in which we polled more than 1,000 everyday hackers on topics including their spending habits and playing habits, their pet peeves and aspirations, their feelings about where the game is headed, plus a whole lot more.

Here’s the cheat sheet: 13 noteworthy findings that caught our eye. For the complete results and to learn more about how we conducted the survey, click here.

1. What decline? Nearly 60% of golfers said they expect to play the same amount of golf in 2017 as they did in ’16, and 37% said they plan to play more often.

2. Pick up the pace. Sixty-five percent said slow play is their greatest on-course irritant, followed by poor course conditions (18.4%), poor etiquette (11.1%) and high green fees (5.3%).

3. Dress to impress. Nearly 80% said they would not join a club that allows its members and golfers to play in blue jeans.

4. Your money’s no good here. Only 16% said golf is more fun to play with a cash wager on the line.

5. Say what?! One in 10 golfers said they have had sex on a golf course.

6. Presidential pass. Eight of 10 said they would rather play golf with a Tour pro of their choice than with President Trump.

7. Making birdies — and friends. Almost half of respondents said they have become friends with a stranger they met during a round of golf.

8. Wrong turn? Nearly 70% believe golf’s governing bodies are not taking the game in the right direction.

9. Sorry, honey! The world is full of stress-free golfers. Only 11% said they have felt guilty that golf has taken away family time.

10. Shopping spree. Half of those surveyed said their golf-related purchases in 2017 will be on par with what they spent the previous year, and about a third said their spending will increase.

11. Rules are made to be broken. Sixty percent said they bend or break the rules at least once a round. Twenty-seven percent said they do it two to three times a round.

12. Tiger who? Only 18% said they watch less golf on TV since the 14-time major-winner has been sidelined with injuries.

13. Money talks. Fifty-seven percent said they would rather record an ace than receive $1,000 in cash, although 65% said they would take $5,000 over a hole-in-one.