Football, they say, is the sport of the poor – of course not based on the astronomical rewards of superstar footballers, but simply because a ball, a team and an alley are enough to play – even if it is in a dirt alley. Of course, this saying also refers to something also obvious: that certain sports are for the few and the rich.
Αs with the poor, so with the super-rich some sports cater to them. This is happening not just because of their joy of sports, but because sports open doors and help to make acquaintances. That’s why they pay generous memberships to clubs, which is a great way to expand their network, as members of the elite, who among other things like to show off their wealth. But let’s discover the three sports that are made for expensive tastes:
Golf: business on the grass
It may not take extravagant money to play golf, but if you want to become a member of a prominent club, the cost can be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A fairly significant percentage of the 10% of the rich declare themselves to be fans of the sport of golf.
The subscription to a serious golf club ranges e.g. from £ 8,600 at the Scottish Archerfield Links – home to a Nike-built golf centre – to £ 295,000 at the Liberty National in New Jersey, where the President’s Cup tournament took place in 2017.
Elsewhere, the most expensive golf courses are now concentrated in Europe – mainly in the Mediterranean – in the Middle East and South Africa, where lux golf tourism is booming as a new form of entrepreneurship.
For the rest of us “common-mortals”, there are definitely cheaper options, such as mini-golf. Mini golf obviously has similarities to regular golf; your only goal is to score the lowest number of points to win. Mini golf is played in particular areas that usually do not have the vast expanses of a regular golf course, but they are definitely more fun. The placement of various artificial barriers and surfaces makes the game of mini golf even more exciting and definitely adds this “crazy” element that entices younger ages. Definitely, a casual and fun game at the same time, aimed at all social groups. If you’re in the London area, Plonk Golf has four venues throughout the city, where you can enjoy your day playing mini-golf with your friend, without worrying about being accepted into a high-class elite golf club.
Skiing: slalom in luxury
Every member of the self-respecting elite should have in their personal “collection” of real estate at least one chalet in one of the famous winter resorts around the world. Today, however, this privilege is enjoyed by only 12% of the super-rich, who are passionate about skiing.
The rest occasionally choose a luxury resort, where the overnight stay costs thousands of dollars. A popular choice, for example, is “The Lodge”, a nine-room chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, owned by Virgin’s Richard Branson.
For the rest, the cost of the sport is supplemented by the equipment and everything related, as well as the transportation, which includes expensive private jets, privately owned or rented by the rich.
Sailing: competition and relaxation
Perhaps the most famous sport in the wealthy class, sailing attracts the interest of 38% of this category. The reasons are many. The main thing is that it has to do with the competition between them, in matters of wealth and prestige.
The medium itself first and foremost dictates the luxury of the sport: a lux sailing boat can cost from £ 37,000 to several tens of millions, depending on its length and construction material.
Then there’s the boat crew: a sailing boat like the one we see in America’s Cup needs about 20 people of staff. The cost is also inflated by club subscriptions, boat maintenance and supplies. At the same time, participation in sailing races is also done by paying a not-insignificant amount of money.