The Golfer-American is far more interested in golf than other Americans are interested in their favorite activities. Golf is a passion...but: Golfer-Americans drink twice as much liquor as other Americans, they gamble significantly more, and they eat more steak, listen to more rock-and-roll and watch more sports and dramatic series on TV, and go see more action films. Also, the Golfer-American is richer than other Americans (probably no surprise) and thinks he's healthier (even though he knows he's not working at it). This poses the obvious question: Is it better to booze it up, snarf down T-bones and ride around in a cart and think you're just fine, or should you do all the really careful things but still worry?
On the other hand Golfer-Americans are not as artistically creative as other people, are less interested in church and movies, are less intense about volunteer work and eschew spending time helping the needy or, for that matter, participating in self-improvement activities.
Basically, when not obliged to perform everyday vocational and animal functions, Golfer-Americans play golf. Hey, let's hit another bucket, and then we'll have a brewski.
Golfer-Americans and other Americans do have a few things in common. These include listening to classical music (14% of golfers and 13% of others cite this as "a favorite leisure activity"), not getting involved in politics (only 8% of golfers and 7% of others consider politics "important"), liking their jobs (40% for golfers, 39% for others) and being satisfied with their sex lives (29% for golfers, 32% for others).
But—are you ready for this? I mean really ready?—47% of Golfer-Americans' spouses (which is essentially wives, since 98% of the spouses polled turned out to be women) think their husbands are better lovers because they play golf. Let's restate that: Virtually half of all golfers' wives think golf improves their mates' sexual performance. Why does any linksman even bother to stop at the 19th hole? (For purposes of comparison, a mere 15% of wives think that playing golf leaves their husbands "so wasted that they're useless.")
Probably the most fascinating revelation of the poll is that all those stupid golf-widow jokes are wrong. Golfer-Americans feel they have significantly better family relations—both with their wives and their children—than other citizens feel they have. Why, more than two thirds of Golfer-Americans rate their marriages as either "almost perfect" or "very good."
Not only that, but the wives themselves endorse their husbands' golf—and not only for its sexual bounty. Ninety-nine percent of golf wives think "it's great that my husband gets a chance to play a sport." Have 99% of any sample of wives ever agreed on anything? And despite all the jokes, only 24% think that golf "takes time away" from activities the couple could do together. The poll shows conclusively that Golfer-Americans are much more inclined to do things with their wives than are other American husbands with their wives. Even when it comes to activities that Golfer-Americans participate in less often than other men-stuff like going to a museum or a concert—the golfers are more likely to participate with their wives. By an incredible margin, Golfer-American husbands are more likely than other married men to go on a vacation with their wives. Eighty-five percent of golfers vacation with their spouses, while only 59% of nongolfers with similar incomes do.
What are the only three things that non-golfer husbands do more of with their wives? Work in the yard, go buy groceries and help clean the house. Hey, let's play another 18!
While, with our sitcom mentality, we have always blithely concluded that wives resent their husbands for going off to the course with the guys (the bad influences), evidently another sentiment rules. Golfer-Americans' wives understand that their husbands love the sport and that it makes them happier...and better to have around when they get back home. Don't fight it: It's bigger than both of us. Meanwhile, the husbands feel so guilty that they're getting away from yardwork and the Stop & Shop to do something they love that they devote what free time is left to making the little women happy. (Of course, it probably helps that Golfer-Americans are richer than other citizens and feel so healthy.)
Golfer-Americans who work for a living have approximately the same amount of free time as their employed nongolfing brethren, but a surprisingly large number of the golfers—41%—take time off from the work-week to get in a game. (How many doctors were included in the sample wasn't revealed.) Obviously this leaves more time on the weekends for couples to do things together away from the links. As self-indulgent as Golfer-Americans are, they appear to possess more of a wife-and family-centered side than do those husbands who don't play golf. Marriage counselors, please note. Of course, it's only fair to report that golf is a source of stress in 20% of marriages. The family that plays together stays together.