Tee-ed off: Golf named the most boring sport by the British public
The smell of freshly cut fairways and greens is a reason why many rise at the crack of dawn to enjoy 18 holes and four hours of camaraderie with their playing partners.
But the slow pace of play isn't everyone's cup of tea - particularly when it comes to spectating. As many golfers head to the first tee this morning, they might be alarmed to hear that their sport was named the most boring to watch by the British public.
Despite the country boasting 2 million regular golfers, 70 per cent of people in the UK who had watched the sport reported that it was "boring", including 52 per cent who described it as "very boring."
The phenomenon of 'golf widows' - where women complain they have lost their partner to the course - may have played a part in the result, as 78 per cent of women reported finding the sport boring compared with 63 per cent of men.
Less surprising perhaps is that American Football was considered boring by 59 per cent of those polled, but it was closely followed by cricket with 58 per cent - despite it being traditionally seen as a national favourite.
The result was rejected by some in golf. Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Totally disagree and our fan engagement in 2017 would also suggest otherwise. Last year, the European Tour saw large TV ratings increases, while our social engagement increased by 35 per cent.
“All sports need to modernise, and we are leading the transformation of global golf with our players being some of the world’s largest sports personalities. If the poll was accurate, we would not be as successful and able to grow our business as we are doing today.”
The results also proved divisive on social media, with one golf fan remarking that "we need to stop letting British people vote."
Another posted on Twitter: "Golf is definitely not boring. My personal choice for most boring has to be cricket."
However, others were more sympathetic to the result, with one golfer commenting: "I can understand why people would find golf boring to watch. But it’s the most addictive sport to play!"
Replying to @YouGov
I can understand why people would find golf boring to watch. But it’s the most addictive sport to play!
11:06 PM - Jan 10, 2018
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Golf is definitely not boring. My personal choice for most boring has to be Cricket.
12:33 AM - Jan 11, 2018
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See Kerry #BollocksToBrexit.'s other Tweets
Nick Pink, the Chief Executive of England Golf, suggested that those who weren't sold golf might prefer watching shorter clips, or coverage of amateur players.
He told The Telegraph: "This report could be a wake-up call to the industry to change the way it depicts the sport. We know that golf is in great shape in England, with a huge audience of around 2m people who play twice a month.
"They’ve got a great appetite for viewing and enjoying golf, but not necessarily in traditional ways. The European Tour proves that with their enormously successful, short video productions, such as the 9th birthday treat conjured up by Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson.
"Social media also shows us that golfers enjoy short clips covering all aspects of the game and this report could be the spur to encouraging more diversity in programming. It could, for example, be an opportunity to share more of the great stories from the amateur game, featuring the players who will be the professional stars of the future, the brilliant work of volunteers who share the pleasures of golf, the exciting initiatives to encourage more people to play and the many health benefits of the game."
The YouGov survey seems to suggest that Britons do not enjoy watching sport in general, as out of the 17 sports included in the poll, only five were classed as 'exciting' rather than 'boring'.
The most exciting sport to watch was found to be athletics, with 47 per cent finding it exciting and 28 per cent finding it boring.
The poll also boded better for this year's World Cup and Wimbledon viewing figures than The Open - with football and tennis tying for second most exciting with 43 per cent each.
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