When you’re fabulously wealthy, you don’t slum it on the basketball court or the baseball diamond; sports involving balls made from animal hides are for poor people.No matter how silly or how expensive the sport is, there will be a line of rich people longer than a private-jet runway queuing up to show that they’re well-off enough to get in on the action.
While some of the sports may seem silly or, at the very least, financially irresponsible, sports of the wealthy hold a certain allure that many of us will never get to experience.
Golf has long been known as a favourite pastime of the wealthy. The fees are high, the clubs are pricey, and skill comes only with practice and/or professional lessons which can cost you an arm and a leg.
Crew is an expensive sport, despite appearances. Those boats and oars ain’t cheap, but beyond that, you need boathouses, which means you actually need to buy real estate on an urban river, you need an arsenal of training equipment, and you need a school-sponsored program, which generally are assumed to belong to Ivy League schools, though the Midwest and Northern California have some killer ones as well.
Skiing has recently overtaken heart disease as the number one killer of rich people. That’s not true at all, but it certainly seems that way with perennial celebrity deaths occurring every winter. While most people would consider skiing more of a hobby than a sport, it certainly requires more physical exertion than golf, which is widely regarded as a sport, so it stays on the list. The best skiers in the world are definitely not rich people, but the majority of recreational skiers are, unless they have made the decision to live in a ski town.
If you want to play golf but you’re too lazy to get off the cart and walk, polo is the sport for you. Basically golf meets hockey on horseback, polo has been nicknamed “The Sport of Kings” and is considered to be one of the oldest team sports in history.
Rich people love showing off their boats, and there’s no better way to do it then to partake in the sport of sailing. To sail, first you will of course need to drop some money on a boat which can run you a few hundred thousand dollars for a decent barge. Then you need somewhere to moor the boat, like a yacht club which you can get into for the low price of up to $4 million plus annual dues.
“Riding” means riding horses. Why, how and where do you ride them? The answers are, respectively, “because I can,” “English style, you charlatan,” and “at the club.” If you are ever in doubt as to where a rich person does a rich-person activity, just guess “at the club” and you’ll probably be right. They have clubs for everything. Strangely enough, riding is just one in a long list of rich person sports that’s actually quite dangerous.
These sports require certain courts that, for a very long time, could only be found at places called “racquet clubs” which are essentially urban country clubs that old businessmen went to after work to play their racquet sports. Then they sit around in leather chairs and drink brown liquors from over-sized glasses while discussing the Hang Seng index.