Golf Obsession in Korea and Screen Golf!
We’ve mentioned about Inbee Park in our Top 5 Sportswomen in Korea, but not so much about the culture and how much Koreans love golf as well. They do respect the sport quite heavily as well, as it is normally seen as a sport played by the upper class, i.e. a sport associated or reserved for the rich.
While baseball may be popular in South Korea especially amongst the younger crowds, office workers and a fair number of women are absolutely crazy about golf. In fact, SBS even has a Golf Channel! It’s dedicated to teaching the sport, news and even interviews.
Due to land constraints in Korea, Golf Courses are few and expensive but are of high quality. For those who aren’t able to spend hundreds of dollars to experience this, there are many other ways to play the sport.
Golf ranges and screen golf in normal shops can be found nearly everywhere in the city.
Golf Ranges are normally multi-leveled but fairly small. However, they charge you by the hour, not bucket. So swing away!
Screen Golfs can appear in regular shop lots or even inside malls. They don’t really take up much space so they are practically littered around the city.
Now before you ask ‘What is Screen Golf?’ and start scratching your head, allow me to explain. Screen Golf is somewhat akin to a video game. You hold a real club and a real golf ball, and you whack it like you normally do in a range or course. However, you don’t need to move about, nor does the ball fly any real distance. A computer calculates the necessary data and a virtual ball flies across the screen in a virtual landscape on a screen. It’s a bit like Wii Sports, but more professional.
The best thing about Screen Golf is that you can walk and play along any golf course in the world at a cheap price (₩30,000 ($25.30 USD)), without reservation nor the hassle of travel. Nonetheless, MANY people in Korea still prefer to play in golf courses, which is a problem especially since there isn’t a lot to begin with.
Screen Golf is famous in the corporate world. Working men love to frequent these golf shops as part of their outing with co-workers. As a result, these places are relatively packed during the evening and lunch breaks.
Golf Accessories are really popular as well! Here are some examples of how well designed they are.
And for your reference, here’s a small list of brands you might want to take a look into 😉
Image Sources: Golfzon, Tistory, Daum Blog, CIO, LocalView, S-Golf, Daum, AjuNews, Bean Pole’s Wikipedia Page, The North Face’s Google Plus, DAK’s Wikipedia Page, Mid Valley, Nike’s Google Plus, Fila’s Wikipedia Page.