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Finally, it’s summer time in the Midwest. That means Fore Fun can stop blogging about “expert” PGA Tour picks and focus on our passion: Millennial golfers . Last year, I tracked money spent, rounds played and handicap improvement at Southview CC. We found out that I saved time and money by joining a country club. This summer, we’ll follow 3 different golfers, who reside in 3 different millennial golf segments.

Please explain golf segments, Jer… Last winter, the National Golf Foundation (NGF) released research findings on millennial golfers, breaking them down into 4 categories:

1)     Throwbackers

2)     Breakfast Ballers

3)     Dabblers

4)     Lurkers

Throwbackers are what you imagine when Happy Gilmore said, “Golf requires goofy pants and a fat ass”. In general, they play about 20 rounds per year and are most likely to follow the rules/etiquette. The Breakfast Baller plays about half as often and is more likely to take a mulligan or two.  Dabblers do just that, dabble… maybe only playing a handful of rounds per year. And then there is the lurker, always window shopping but never actually setting foot on the course.

If the stars align this summer, we’ll follow Jake Miller, who is working at Southview as an assistant pro.  His goal is to save money and put it towards Web.com qualifiers in the fall.  I was lucky enough to golf with Jake this past weekend and excited to write about his journey to golf professionally. Jake might not fit all the stereotypes of a Throwbacker, but he will be our example of one.

Nate Skemp photoThis spring, a good friend of mine, Nate Skemp (pictured above) joined Cedar Creek Golf Club in Onalaska, Wisconsin.  Before last year, Nate was 1 of the $1.7M millennial dabblers.  However, uniquely, his interest peaked from watching golf on TV and he started playing regularly last summer.  He’s ramping up his rounds in hopes of regularly shooting in the 80s. Again, I don’t necessarily think Nate is a prototypical breakfast baller, but that’s the segment NGF put him in.

Alec middle part Then we have the lurker, Alec Hentges.  Alec and I’s friendship dates back to bowl cuts in second grade, the disgusting middle part (picture above) soon afterward, “frosted tip” highlights in middle school and now, we both hide our hair line with hats and tight haircuts. Alec agreed that he does enough lurking in night clubs (modern day Alec on left in picture below), so no need to lurk with golf.  And if there is a spot to hide your hair line, it’s on the course with a golf cap (Cough… Jordan Spieth.. Cough)

Alec now

 

 

Excited to learn and write as these millennials move up the golf spectrum.  It should provide good entertainment, knowledge and perspectives about the game we all love. Check in next week for bios on each golfer, their goals and progress.  Cheers, friends!