Want a silver lining to the global pandemic? We’re in a golf renaissance. The sport was in bad shape before Covid—country clubs were bleeding money, courses were shuttering, and the number of rounds played had dropped significantly. Then America started working from home and seeking an outdoor experience. So, we made some tee times.
Golf courses in America saw 50 million more rounds played in 2020 than 2019. And today’s golf has evolved, becoming more accessible and fun in ways that vary from the clothes we wear to how we play the game. Now just take everything you know about golf, tee it up, then drive it 400 yards into a hazard. The sport has evolved in several directions at once (fore!), becoming more accessible and fun. Here are seven reasons why this ancient game is new again.
Putt-Putt Is All Grown Up
Forget the windmills. No volcanoes, either. The greens at PopStroke, an 18-hole putting course, have more in common with TPC Sawgrass than the Putt-Putt you grew up playing. Think of real PGA Tour-level greens, like Augusta’s 12th hole sandwiched by bunkers, but stacked back-to-back and connected to a bar and restaurant. Oh, and Tiger Woods helped design these greens.
“Putting is half of golf, but people overlook that,” says Greg Bartoli, founder of PopStroke. “This is an elevated putting experience…designed by the greatest putter in the history of the game.”
But don’t get intimidated. Sure, caddies and pros will spend time at PopStroke working on their finish, but the beauty of putting is that it’s accessible, whether you’re 7 or 77, and PopStroke makes it fun without being silly. A huge screen displays the leaderboard of putters playing (low score of the day gets a free round), music plays from the bar and people are playing ping-pong and cornhole on the edges. It’s part of the latest trend to further gamify the game of golf, and it’s working.