Out of bounds: How golf is teeing up for the next generation

Evolving traditions and championing greater accessibility can see heritage sports impact culture and fashion

Olly Webster

Lead 3D Creative Syn


Like any sport, golf is steeped in its traditions which, from the outside let's be honest, are still primarily perceived as stuffy and elitist. With more rules, regulations and restrictions than you can shake your 9 iron at! It costs into the thousands to fully set yourself up with clubs and clothing, and that’s even before club memberships and joining fees. Golf at a grassroots level can still be seen as an inaccessible recreational sport. For the more wealthy and privileged with the surrounding stigma that it is corporate-oriented where big business deals are done.

But since the pandemic, golf has seen a massive growth in participation which has been down to the sport evolving. Becoming more inclusive and more diverse - both from a more traditional and non-traditional sense. Contributing factors are the new game concepts that are breaking away from traditions and inviting wider audiences. For example, Par 3 courses are shorter versions of the game where people can just pay and play.

Driving ranges where you can borrow clubs are accessible to anyone, pay for a bucket of balls and away you go. Embracing the entertainment side has also helped with places like Top Golf, taking driving ranges to a new level, with climate-controlled bays, bars and restaurant facilities. Venues like London-based Pitch have sprung up so you can now play virtual golf indoors, bringing golf away from the suburbs and into the city. They embrace technology and showcase that you don’t need a bank of cash and acres of space to play, practice and come together to participate in the sport.

Fusing the vintage traditions with performance and style, brands are helping connect the heritage of the sport with new people and driving a thriving culture and community.

Olly Webster, Lead 3D Creative, Syn

At the forefront of this evolution is women's golf, which has been a huge contributing factor to driving a wider appeal of the sport in recent years. It still has a way to go to gain parity with the men’s sport for sure, but it’s clear to see how far the women's game has come to help break through those traditional barriers and make the sport more attractive, more inclusive and community diverse! No longer is it seen as a sport to enjoy when you are retired, wrinkly and uncool.

A driver of culture and fashion

The social and fashion side of the game has also been fully embraced and is a huge part of Golf’s growing resurgence. Social media and influencers have been key to helping drive a new energy and identity to the game, and brands like adidas have further helped blur the lines, showing a new generation just how cool and fun the game can be. Amplifying diverse talent, embracing individuality, documenting personal journeys and coaching techniques have all helped to shatter the bigoted views of the game.

Building on the those who inspired them in the past, today's modern golfers are strong, powerful and athletic, and each are forging their own path when it comes to the future of the sport and where it’s going. Fashion is playing a huge part in this, it’s no longer as straight-laced, people are bringing their own style to the game. Inspired by the traditions but not confined by them, golf wear is now just as much at home on the course as it is in the city. Fusing the vintage traditions with performance and style, brands are helping connect the heritage of the sport with new people and driving a thriving culture and community.

As a creative agency it’s exciting to be working closely with our clients at adidas on brand activations and events such as the Women’s Open 2023 & 2024. Championing the women's game and allowing creativity to influence the sport and attract a new generation of golfers. We are also proud to have been involved in the 2023 Black British Golfers event with adidas, where we celebrated the coming together of families and people to raise awareness and increase participation in golf of underrepresented communities.

There’s something incredibly powerful about people coming together to form communities. Welcoming all and instilling confidence into the minds that traditionally non-inclusive sports like golf, are there for everyone to enjoy. It won’t disappear into extinction as society moves on, clubs modernise offerings and the sport itself breaks its own barriers.

Guest Author

Olly Webster

Lead 3D Creative Syn


With over 20 years in the Interior Design and 3D realm, Olly has cultivated his skills to be a versatile member of the Syn team. His creative passion has led him to work across the architectural, marketing industries, working with global brands including, Audi, Jaguar and Landrover, Life Fitness, Hackett and adidas. With a people first approach to everything he is involved with, Olly balances his time as a Creative Lead specialising in Interior, retail and brand experience projects. As well as this he also heads up the 3D department, getting stuck in with his team helping lead and create high end visuals and animations for all archviz, retail and product-based projects.

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