Before I moved to Florida I was a ski instructor at a popular Vermont resort and a diehard powder hound. I learned how to ski in Colorado when I was 6, and was instantly hooked for life. I only became a golfer in my teens, so it’s safe to say skiing is my first love. Golf has, however, dominated my life since moving to Florida in 1997 to pursue a career in the game.
Normally when I think about skiing and golf coming together, I think of Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods. This time, it’s about
this traitor our good buddy Tony from hookedongolfblog.com who recently posted an article (on a golf website!?) that lists ten reasons why skiing is better than golf. In defense of golf, we’re now listing ten reasons why golf is better than skiing!
- No ankle-biters! Ankle-biters are small dogs that tend to be tough, feisty little pains in the ass. However, in the skiing world an ankle-biter is a small child wearing a helmet that goes flying straight down the mountain using the “100-mph snowplow” technique and tends to cause havoc with other skiers.
- No frostbite/hypothermia – Unlike skiing, Golf is normally played in warm weather. It’s very unlikely that golfers will get frostbite or hypothermia on the golf course. Unless you are playing winter golf on a frozen lake…
- No lift lines or ice covered ski lifts – Slow play is a big issue in golf, but at least you aren’t freezing while you wait for those jerks in the group ahead to line up their fourth putt. Ski lift lines are a breeding ground for frostbite, jerks stepping over your skis and the flu virus. In golf you never have to sit on a hard, frozen seat for a long, slow trip up the mountain in sub-zero temperatures on chair suspended by a cable just high enough to expose you to the bitter wind.
- Golf is safer – Sure, golfers can get injured. The most common injuries for golfers are back problems, wrist and elbow tendonitis and ailments related to prolonged walking like plantar fasciitis. Any time you participate in a sport that has people hurling down icy slopes at speeds normally observed in automobiles, all while having to avoid trees, cliffs, rocks, man-made obstacles and other skiers, there is the potential for grave bodily harm. What kind of injuries are common to skiers you ask? Torn knee ligaments, dislocated shoulders and fingers, broken bones, concussions and sometimes death. And I didn’t even mention avalanches yet! So yeah… Golf is safer.
- Golf has no snowboarders – Skiers generally tolerate snowboarders, but most disapprove of the whole snowboard culture. This “two planker” vs. “knuckledragger” civil war has been going on for decades. Many skiers accuse snowboarders of plowing the good snow off the slopes, leading to icy conditions. Many resorts have created terrain parks in an effort to corral the snowboarders to certain areas of the mountain, and a few have banned snowboarding outright, prompting lawsuits. While golfers don’t have to share their golf courses with snowboarders, the advent of foot golf is a little worrisome. Fortunately, foot golf organizations and their ridiculous dress code are beginning to build their own courses, leaving real golfers alone. We can’t say that about snowboarders.
- Golf can be played more often – I can get up in the morning at 6:30, tee off at 7:00, play nine holes and be at the office by 8:30 to start work. Every day. Skiers usually have to wait until 8:30 or 9:00 to ride the first lift, and the lifts usually close at 4:30. You’ll have to play hooky from work to go skiing mid-week. In the summer time I can play golf after work. Every Day. In fact, I play in several after work leagues during the week. You can’t go skiing after work. Golf wins.
- Golf is cheaper – When you add up the cost of golf clubs, golf balls & greens fees, golf is cheaper to play. A good set of skis, poles, bindings and boots is priced similarly to a custom fit set of golf clubs, but it’s hard to get around the high price of lift tickets and season passes. Ski lift tickets at major resorts are close to or over $100 per day. With the introduction of Golf Now, golfers can snag green fees at local golf courses for a fraction of the regular price. I’ve played top notch courses in Orlando like Grand Cypress Resort for as little as $39.
- Golf has more options – While there are fewer than 500 ski resorts in the United States, there are over 1100 golf courses in Florida alone! It’s estimated that there are over 15,000 golf courses in the USA, most of which are public. Golfers have way more places to play than skiers. In most of the southern US, the golf season goes year round. With the exception of a few remote mountain ranges in Alaska and Mount Hood in Oregon, the ski season only lasts 6 to 8 months.
- Golf is better for the economy – Golf 20/20, a group of organizations representing all segments of the US golf industry, just reported that golf’s economic impact in Florida alone was $8.2 Billion in 2013. The sheer size of Florida’s golf economy is larger than other industries like theme parks ($5.4 billion) and medical equipment manufacturing ($6.5 billion). When you add indirect and induced economic activity driven by the golf sector to those numbers, the total economic impact of golf in Florida increases to $11 billion. That’s Billion, with a B.
- No ill-fitting ski boots – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from a day of skiing with sore feet. Unless you spend extra to get a custom molded pair, the old saying goes that your ski boots can either be comfortable and warm, or perform well. You seldom get both. If you want high performance, the fit will be very tight and your feet will get cold. If you want comfort, you’ll sacrifice feel and responsiveness. Golfers don’t have this problem. My Ecco golf shoes not only perform well on the course, but they are some of the most comfortable shoes I own. Golf wins. Again.