CLEMSON: The Unusual Relationship Between Football & Golf


Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney is a member at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, and for the second consecutive year the golf club is showing the Tigers their support in their quest for the National Championship. The maintenance team has transformed the Great Lawn into a half-sized football field featuring a tiger paw. The paw was painted using the same stencil as in Death Valley at Memorial Stadium. Many Reserve residents are Clemson Alumni, and the Reserve wanted to create something their members could enjoy, such as a friendly game of flag football. The golf course plays host to Swinney’s annual media day outing, and will once again be the site of the Clemson Invitational next spring.


The Clemson football team is not the only team who had a great year. The men’s golf team is proud to be the ACC Team Champions for 2016. This is not surprising, because the Tigers are know to be one of the best teams among the ACC and in the nation. They have won several ACC titles and regularly qualify for the NCAA Tournament.


By winning the National Championship, Clemson will see a number of rewards. Financial benefits include Championship logo licensing rights for merchandise. Last year, Alabama made more than $100 million in revenue from National Championship fan gear. Universities are able to distribute the money throughout the school benefiting many different departments, including: athletics, academics, and scholarship funds. Because the team receives national media coverage, schools often see an increase in enrollment as well, which can be a boon for the golf teams.


Clemson isn’t done yet; they are gearing up for future seasons. Later this year they are opening a $55 million complex that is designed for luxury and fun for the Clemson football players. Apparently administrators see golf and football going hand in hand, because the building will include an indoor mini-golf course and golf simulator. The 9-hole course was seen as an inexpensive addition to the complex because it will provide a recruiting edge when appealing to 18-year old perspective student athletes. With the expected increase in enrollment following a victory such as the National Championship, the football complex couldn’t come at a better time.


Does it seem strange that families would want to play flag football at their local golf course and college football players want to play mini golf at their complex? Two NFL players recently commented on the similarities and differences between football and golf. Redskins’ kicker Justin Medlock not only plays golf, but caddies for his girlfriend, LPGA golfer Hannah Jun. He says golf and football are similar because you have to forget about your last kick or shot quickly and concentrate on the next one. The difference is that kicks are twenty minutes apart whereas shots are two minutes. Ryan Longwell of the Vikings shared a personal experience when he described how he doesn’t use a kicking coach, which has so far worked well for him, but when it comes to golf he requires instruction. Evidently, the audiences that enjoy these sports overlap.

Maybe it is the green grass, but there’s a link between golf and football in the town of Clemson. Commemorate Clemson’s 2016 National Championship victory with collectible golf gear from LinksWalker featuring the officially licensed Championship logo. Clemson University receives a portion of the proceeds.