My thoughts on why many Asians pursue Golf
Typically Asian and Asian Americans are portrayed as weak, feeble, and sidebench types of athletes. Often times potentially great Asian athletes may not get the playing time they deserve to display the whole spectrum of their talents due to these assumptions. Golf on the other hand is an individual sport in which this subjectivity never comes into play. All players begin on the first hole at the same level and do not have to depend on anyone else to achieve success. They have the chance to openly display their abilities and victories are solely based on objective scores.
Due to the typically smaller stature of people of Asian descent, golf may also be compatible because size, power and brute force are not necessary to perform at a high level, unlike many other sports. Golf does not discriminate based on size and strength, but is based on the formation of a solid swing. Some of the smallest people I know are also the longest hitters I know. And, the key to playing great golf really is not about distance or power but more about acurracy and a precise short game, something that anyone can perfect regardless of size.
There are also some other more superficial reasons why I believe many Asian and Asian American parents push their children to pursue golf. It is a respectable and controlled game in which there is no real fear of dangerous injuries. That was definitely one of the reasons my parents wanted to me play golf. I had also wanted to play lacrosse in high school but they strongly objected due to how dangerous it can be. It is also something that can be played throughout a lifetime, not just during youth, which is for some reason an advantage. And in general it is a game that is usually associated with success and higher social standing.
Christina Kim describes perfectly the fate that many Asian and Asian American girls face. Many Asian and Asian American parents give their children their first golf club with the expectation that they're going to enjoy it and hopefully become very good at it. Certainly many girls, like Christina Kim, do in fact enjoy it when they first begin, but many other girls, like me, only continue to do it because of the pressure from her parents. It is obvious that Christina's father thoughtfully calculated how he would introduce golf to her, by first making her swing the club for a while without a ball. Then, when he thought the time was right, he let her start hitting balls and got lucky that she enjoyed it. Many parents believe, "How could my child not enjoy this?" In reality, it is really comes down to luck in whether or not a child will enjoy playing golf.