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The Average Age Of A Golfer (Are You Too Old To Play?)

It might be surprising to know that golf has an extraordinary reach. In today’s day and age, millions of people of all ages participate in this sport. But does golf appeal more to a particular age group? What’s the average age of a golfer.

The average age of a golfer in the US is 45 years old. This is consistent with the popularity of golf among middle-aged Americans. However, golf is gaining popularity with the younger generations, and it is estimated that millennials will soon become the biggest demographic of golf players.

Although golf is a sport for individuals of all ages, it might be interesting to know more about the average age of a golfer, at what age golfer hits their peak, and why older generations like golf. To learn more about the average age of golfers, let’s dive in!

A golfer teeing off. Average Age Of A Golfer

What Is The Average Age Of A Golfer?

With millions of golf players worldwide, you may be curious as to the average age of a golfer. If we look at the latest US participation and engagement statistics, the average golfer is 45 years old. But, of course, this figure will differ from country to country and continent to continent.

However, it is clear that golf is popular among the older generations in the United States, as depicted by demographic statistics. So I guess all those movies that showed golf players as middle-aged men were onto something.

Surprisingly enough, it seems that the popularity of golf is reaching more younger generations – with millennials estimated to overtake all other age groups as the largest market share in the sport.

So don’t be surprised if you come across lumber jacket-wearing men with impeccably groomed beards the next time you visit the course!

As of 2017, young adults aged 18 to 39 made up 36 percent of the nearly 24 million golfers in the United States. In 2020, golfers aged between 18-34 made up 27 percent of all new golfers in the US. Golf is definitely not a dying sport, and the sport’s surge in popularity in 2020 was even better than expected.

It must be noted, though, that younger generations tend to prefer the more social aspects of the game (such as Topgolf) rather than playing for score. So although Millenials and Gen Z are attracted to golf for different reasons to older generations, it is clear that this game has managed to appeal to all age groups.

However, I should also mention that golf seems to correlate with one’s socio-economic means. In 2013, more than 400,000 golfers hung up their golf gear, citing that golf was just too expensive to play.

This statistic raises the question; does the average age of golfers have something to do with economic means? Meaning: do older generations have more economical means to play golf, so they make up the majority of golfers?

The answer is unclear. However, it is evident that the tides are turning for the average age of golfers in America.

Ariel view of a golf course

What Age Is A Golfer In His Prime?

Golf is one of the few rare sports you can play at almost any age. You can be at the golf course, club in hand, as soon as you learn to walk or until the age of 100 (provided you can still walk and are in decent health). But, the fact remains, golf can be for anyone.

So, does this mean that all age groups can play with the vigor and skill as the masters?

Of course not. Golf has its prime or peak age, just like any other sport. Unfortunately, once you pass the peak age, you are less likely to keep up with your younger counterparts in the golfing world.

This doesn’t imply you can never be as good as golfers at their peak. It isn’t some written-down rule of the universe that destiny has to follow.

People past their golfing prime can be as good as golfers in their peak. However, compared with peak-golfers, non-peak golfers’ wins are comparatively small.

Golf major champions have an average and median age of 32. But when analyzing the age span in which golfers tend to do best – 35 and under is the peak performance age. Players in this age group do far better in championships than any other group.

More precisely, over three-quarters of championships since 1960 have been won by players 35 and under. Although previously stated that players over the peak age can, and have, won championships, the numbers are clear; 35 and under dominate the golf field by more than 75%.

Although these numbers can be disheartening, do not fret. If you’re not a professional golfer, these statistics are nothing more than fascinating facts. Just because you are not at a golf player’s peak age does not mean you can’t enjoy the sport. So, overall, there is no limit to the number of years you can enjoy golf.

Two Elderly Golfers Playing Golf

Why Do Older Generations Like Golf?

I’ve already mentioned that the average age of golfers in the United States is 45. Golf, for many years, has been predominately occupied by people in their middle ages or even later. So, why do older generations like to play golf?

It is hard to say precisely.

However, a few reasons may aid golf’s appeal to the older generation.

  • For one, golf is a relatively low-impact sport. It does not require vigorous activity are actions that can be exhausting, like basketball or soccer. Read more: Golf vs. Basketball: Which Sport Is Tougher?
  • Another reason is that golf can provide a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere where you can socialize with others.
  • Golf is also a sport that requires skill. And because many people are not able to engage in sports that might be challenging as they age, they may opt for golf.

These are just a few reasons older generations may choose golf over other sports.

Final Thoughts

Golf is a popular sport among older generations, especially those in their middle years. With an average golfer age of 45 in the US, it is clear that this sport has a hold on an older demographic.

However, golf has also managed to appeal to other age groups significantly. Overall, it is clear that golf appeals to individuals of all ages.

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