Why do rich people like to play golf?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
The barrier to entry is high: In golf, your competitive advantages are technique and experience -- things that rich people can get. If you've paid for lessons, equipment, and many rounds on the course, a young athletic challenger with less experience is unlikely to be better than you.
It's safe: Unlike biking and skiing (other sports that rich people are into), the probability of getting injured while playing golf is extremely low.
You compete against yourself: Rich people tend to be super competitive, and they hate losing. In golf, no one is directly trying to prevent you from doing what you want to do.
Occasional great shots: A normal person will never throw a 100 mph fastball or dunk a basketball, but a barely-athletic 60-year-old can make a hole-in-one that he can tell all his rich friends about.
Legitimacy: Rich people care about doing things that are high-quality and legitimate - they don't care about excelling in something that doesn't matter. A sport that's covered on ESPN's front page, sponsored by Rolex, features multi-million dollar athletes, and involves major athletic brands (Nike, Adidas) is legitimate sport. There aren't many other sporting options available to rich people that are legitimate sports, while offering safety, bragging rights, and a chance to excel.
It's challenging: Many rich people became rich because they accomplished the impossible for their entire careers. With golf, the set of considerations (risk/reward, swing mechanics, personal tendencies) makes it challenging strategically, physically, and emotionally.
It's convenient to practice: Rich people have busy schedules, but with golf, you don't need to coordinate with a friend, you don't need to drive far, and you can practice pretty much anytime your local driving range is open - even if it's dark.
- Your best days are still ahead: Few rich people are in their physical prime. Fortunately for them, golf is a test of feel and skill more than physical fitness, so one can still achieve a personal best in their 50s and 60s.