Golfer Identity, Sport Citizenship, and Self-Presentation

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Not everyone who plays golf thinks of themselves as golfers but those who do, have a golfer identity. The first goal of this study was to create a measure of golfer identity by borrowing constructs from popular athletic and organizational identity scales. The second goal was to integrate into the new identity measure, items that reflect place identity and the extended-self. The third goal of the study was to test whether scores on the new identity measure were related to participation, ability, self-presentation, and sport citizenship. Over 3,700 golfers completed the identity survey and Vallerand’s obsessive passion scale. They also responded to items assessing participation in golf and golf ability. The new golfer identity measure was reliable and had a consistent factor structure across a variety of demographic groups. As predicted, scores on the scale were related to self-presentation, sport citizenship, golf ability, and golf frequency. The identity scale was a better pre- dictor of participation than was obsessive passion. Golfers, people who define themselves by playing golf, were much more likely to participate in a wide variety of golf-related activities than people who play golf but do not define themselves as golfers. The study includes recommendations for changing popular identity measures and for growing golf.



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International Journal of Golf Science