Angler Golfers in The New York Times


For those of you who may have missed it, Chris Santella recently wrote this interesting piece for The New York Times, in which he highlighted how fly fishing is a hobby of many of the world’s top golfers.  Santella has been on this golf-fly fishing synergy angle for some time now; he’s the author of the “Fifty Places” series of books that include both fly fishing and golf.

And, let’s face it, golf and fly fishing share a similar core demographic because they’re both leisure hobbies/sports for the type of person who wants to think as they play.  Both are sometimes frustrating.  Both reward planning.  Neither the golf swing nor the fly cast is about power and strength, rather timing and tempo.  In the end, both sports are about problem solving.  To the golfer, that challenge is how to put a little white ball into a small cup that’s 400 yards away, with as few strokes as possible.  For the angler, the challenge is how to put a fake fly into the mouth of a fish.  The fly angler can relax in knowing that nobody is keeping score; while the golfer can take solace in knowing the cup isn’t alive and moving.

Here’s the point—and the opportunity—for fly shops.  Given the synergies between the two sports, make a point to go to a local country club and/or municipal golf course, and offer to do a clinic on the synergies between golf and fly fishing… maybe a little casting clinic.  You never know where this will lead.  I recently did a similar small event (a couple hours, a couple months ago), and as a result, I prompted two duffers into taking up fly fishing lessons.

I would be very interested to hear any golf-fly fishing crossover stories, successes and failures, from AT readers, as we are exploring a deeper print feature on this topic.



1 Comment

  1. In 20 years of fly fishing retail experience, I can attest to the real connection between fly fishing and golf. The sports have a lot in common and share many of the same customers. The connection and instruction is so similar that we always started our fly casting lessons by asking the student if he or she plays golf, this way we could use analogies that would help and be relevant. Many of our products in clothing, outerwear and footwear are great for both sports. We are spoiled with some of the best designed and made products in the world designed for fly fishing and many times they ironically industry leaders in golf as well. Here are a few top cross-marketed products that sell great in fly shops for golf as well as fishing…
    – Simms RipRap Shoe & Streamtread Sandal – Streamtread Vibram soles are allowed on all golf courses and offer incredible traction on all golf courses…especially when wet.
    –Simms GORE-TEX Paclite Jacket and Pants – full GORE protection with low bulk, narrow arms and full range of motion for fly casting make this one of the best golf rain suits money can buy.
    –Simms Superlight Pants and Shorts – simple, clean looks with the lightest weight material make this a summertime favorite with many golfers. Clean looks allow them to be worn at even the finest of country clubs.

    These are just a few of the products you can market directly to your golfing anglers. There are many other apparel pieces that would also apply, so remember this when doing your newsletters and advertising.

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