Golf is Changing, According to Steve Malbon

Steve Malbon has seen this all before. 

As the head of Malbon Golf, one of the more forward-thinking golf apparel companies, Malbon has a keen eye on the landscape of the growing sport. But perhaps more interestingly, he is taking notice of the shifting tone of golf.

Steve Malbon

Dude, this is just like skiers and snowboarders in the 80’s and 90’s. There is no difference between now and then.

Malbon suspects that is happening with golf. Over the last two decades, the tone of golf has changed. Yes, a good portion of golf is still dedicated to the upper-class country club members (skiers). There is an expectation of rules to be enforced amongst this demographic of golfers. They frown upon the usage of speakers on the golf course.

That is all changing. Just as it did with skiers and snowboarders.

Skiiers wanted their culture to stay the same. Snowboarders had other ideas, and now three decades later, you see the blend of both of them in snow mountain culture.

And when Covid hit, the change in culture BOOMED.

“Dude, golf is so hard.”

Amen, Steve. Amen.

“Too many people focus on their score at the end of the round. They spend the entirety of their 18 holes, just like bitching about their scores. I always just tell people to try and hit as many ‘good’ golf shots as they can. THAT is how to play. Instead of counting up scores at the end of the round, just count up how many good golf shots you had.”

But Malbon’s ability to see into the future of golf doesn’t end with fashion. He sees the ever-changing culture of the sport to also benefit from the expanding wonders of Web 3.0 and NFTs. 

As I wrote those few little letters, “NFTs,” I could hear the eye rolls of all of the readers. 

But hopefully, some of you who may not be as familiar with NFTs use this opportunity as a chance to learn something. Because the usage of NFTs in golf is one of the most simplistic ways of understanding the technology. 

Malbon started the Buckets Club, an NFT group focused on the wonderful game of golf. Members of this club (AKA holders of this NFT) are given access to group tournaments throughout the year, that feature cool sponsors and wicked parties. 

During Super Bowl Weekend, the group had its first members-only tournament in Arizona. From the looks of it, the Bucket Club had a riot.

The group then had their second members-only tournament the day before Coachella in California. Which featured the likes of Chandler Parsons, JR Smith, Victor Cruz, and others.

I don’t have a ton of money to be diving into the world of NFTs. But how can you not be excited about joining something like this?

Speakers playing music, joints being passed around, flavorful apparel, and a killer day on the course… yeah, sign me up. I think this is dope.

Most of the conversation I had with Malbon was very casual. But we saw eye to eye on a lot of different topics and trends as they pertain to golf.

“Yeah, man. You get it. You see it. When you go to the golf course now, things are different. People are dressing differently. They are acting differently. The game of golf needs to realize this and adapt.”

The game is changing. It has certainly grown. Steve is excited about those things happening.

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