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Ceron-Anaya focused his study on three exclusive golf clubs in Mexico City and focused

his research to be conducted during the summers of 2010 and 2014. 58 semi-structured

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interviews were conducted with corporate executives and businesspeople who use golf as part of

their professional interaction (Ceron-Anaya, 2015). Ceron-Anaya used participants from all

different social classes. He was able to interview upper middle and upper class (represented




Golf & Social Class

39.6% of sample), caddies (29.3% of sample), golf journalists who belong to the lower middle

class (6.9% of sample), golfer without a club who are part of the middle class (10.3% of sample),

golf consultants (10.3% of sample) and golf instructors (3.4% of sample). By having participants

of all different social classes, it will help validate Ceron-Anaya’s point (Ceron-Anaya, 2015).

Ceron-Anaya found that his own social class affected how members would answer and

elaborate during the interview. He stated that a member stopped elaborating his answers when

the member found out that Ceron-Anaya took public transportation to get to the golf course. I

believe Ceron-Anaya’s study directly correlates to what I am looking for in my proposed

research. Again, like Cock, having participants of different backgrounds and social classes

provides more information to the study. Also, by gathering participants from multiple golf

courses helps the study as well. Every course is individualized, so by getting a bigger sample

pool helps gather different perspectives.

In the article, Golf class teaches students the art of schmoozing, it shows that people use

golf to help network and benefit of getting set up for a job. The article explains that there is a lot

of busines taking place on the golf course between golfers. Proper gold etiquette should be

followed in order to impress a client and it states that you want to make the other person feel


This article has some serious limitations as it does not include any research conducted,

but it does show that people are thinking like a businessperson while on the golf course. It’s not

just for leisure, golf is used to conduct business. This adds to the social aspect of golf and how

the “higher ups” use golf.




Golf & Social Class

Malcolm and Tangen’s (2015), main goal of their research was to examine the cultural

diffusion and the etiquette code of golf. Through their research, they were able to gather

information on the role of emotions and psychological life (Malcom and Tangen, 2015).

Although they were only able to provide qualitative data, they were able to conclude that the

concepts self-control, embarrassment and impression management would be valuable to

understanding the phenomenon of golf etiquette (Malcolm and Tangen, 2015).

After interviewing 38 golfers of all levels, from scratch golfers, golfers with handicaps as

high as 33, and golfers who do not report their handicap, Malcolm and Tangen were able to

understand that golf etiquette plays a huge role. All golfers also reported that dress code plays a

major role in who is “accepted” on the course (Malcolm and Tangen, 2015). The four main

etiquette categories of golf include: safety, courtesy, pace of play, and care of the course, and

some would include dress code (Malcolm and Tangen, 2015). Through my experience of playing,

etiquette plays a role in every round that a golfer participates in. Providing the data that golfers,

of all levels, recognize the importance shows that they are serious about the game enough to

learn and understand. The article never stated anything regarding social class but does show that

the serious golfers follow the different categories of golf etiquette.

Although the research provides great information, there are limitations to Malcolm and

Tangen’s findings. As I have a prioritized field on golf in the United States, their research was

conducted with Norwegian and English golfers. Yes, golf is a universal sport and all serious

golfers do follow proper etiquette, this could be a much different case (Malcolm and Tangen,


Humphries (2011), takes a different approach to the golf industry in his article. Her goal

was to determine if there is a correlation between the level of golfer and the type of course they




Golf & Social Class

choose to play, while on vacation. This study also had a wide range of golfers, ranging in number

of years of experience, handicap and total number of vacations (Humphries, 2011). Like

Malcolm and Tanger, Humphries only gathered qualitative data. She believed that this would

allow greater opportunities for in-depth insight of the study. Her methods included using semi-

structured interviews through email to gather information.

Through Humphries methods, she used an email database to contact golfers. After

contacting 107 different golfers, Humphries ensured to use golfers, of different levels,

“infrequent golfers” (5 or less rounds per year), “moderate golfers” (6-25 rounds per year), and

“dedicated golfers” (25 or more rounds per year). Humphries conducted, in total, nine interviews

with each golfer, lasting anywhere between 30-90 minutes (Humphries, 2011). Making sure to

use semi-structured interviews, this allowed flexibility to respond to the comments and details

provided by the participants which ensures that all relevant issues come to light (Humphries,


Through Humphries research, she was able to determine that there are multiple factors

that play a role in which course a golfer will choose to play while on vacation. These include

access, perceived golf reputation, quality and reputation of course, word-of-mouth

recommendations, course design, and linking the golf capital with its reputation (Humphries,

2011). Lots of golfers are willing to spend money, especially on vacation, at the finest courses at

their destination. Yes, they will take recommendations of certain courses and decide which to

play based on the factors above. But then they will also make a decision based on how much

each course will cost. If the course is a once in a lifetime opportunity, they may be more willing




Golf & Social Class

to pay more. Golfers in a lower social class may not even play golf on vacation; or they will play

at a much less prestigious course.

Humphries concluded that golfers will play at certain course to add to their own golfing

capital. Golfers feel that their capital is enhanced by experiencing elite, highly reputed, golf

courses and destinations. This can be achieved through reporting their experiences within their

cultural network, recounting their playing of a signature hole, their overall score achieved or

their opinion of the course, the facilities and the welcome (Humphries, 2011). By increasing their

personal capital, golfers are able to place themselves higher in their local social class of fellow

golfers. They can feel they have experienced something other golfers have not.

Lastly in McGinnis’ research, the article goes into depth regarding women and their

position in a male-dominated world of golf. There is perceived sexism in the sport. This study

was taken back in 2000, before Annika Sorenstam, Michelle Wie, Martha Burk, and other

newsmakers in golf penetrated the national media (McGinnis, 2005). McGinnis spoke about who

the sport of golf promotes masculine hegemony with the “citizen golfer” framed as young, male,

and able-bodied (McGinnis, 2005).

McGinnis was able to gather information from ten female golfers that had played rounds

of golf at Midwestern golf courses. The main goal was depth of experience of each golfer while

playing multiple courses. From how they were treated at the start of their round, throughout, and

after their round. Female golfers are viewed much differently from men when it comes to golf.

The lady’s tees are much closer to the whole and men perceive female golfers to be slow

(McGinnis, 2005). This is an of statistical discrimination when it comes to women golfers.

Driving distance is often an easily identifiable and important marker of who deserves to be on




Golf & Social Class

the course. Much of the results were spent on the issue of driving distance and how the female

golfers feel about the issue.

The article dives deeply in a major social issue when it comes to the game of golf. Male

golfers definitely are viewed differently when compared to their counterpart. There are

limitations to the research. For starters, the qualitative data was tested and recorded in the year

2000. With the changing game of golf, these results could be extremely different in 2020. Also,

the courses being played were in the Midwest. Could the results be different in different parts of

the country? Could the results be different in different parts of the world? Based on the LPGA,

most golfers come from all over the world; there are not many “good” American women golfers

on tour.

Research Design

The proper design for gathering data and research is by surveying golfers from different

golf courses, that range in price (memberships and public play per round) and are in a similar

geological location. There are a lot of courses in the New England area, all ranging in price and

privateness. By surveying the golfers, this will provide qualitative data to help gather opinions of

the golfers. Conducting semi-structured interviews and surveys will allow flexibility to respond

to the comments and details provided by the participants which ensures that all relevant issues

come to light. Along with getting qualitative data, by gathering financial data of each participant

will help gather quantitative data. Some of this financial data includes income, numbers of

rounds per year, price of golf clubs, and price of equipment. This data will give a better sense of

how much each participant is willing to spend (money and time) on golf per year.




Golf & Social Class

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