Skip to content

Why I Play Golf

July 9, 2018

1560496_10152465110154131_858162053722912089_n

One of the funniest comedy routines I have ever heard is Robin Williams explaining the origins of golf.  If you have never listened to it, take a moment and do, then come back. Even the name Golf is funny. Legend says that originally it meant, Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. Some believe it came about because all the other four-letter words were taken. If you have ever played, you can relate. The actual origin is a bit more complex and likely came from a word meaning “club”. In any event, to play golf, you need a sense of humor.

There is a story about JC Penney, that when he would interview prospective managers, he would do so over lunch. If they salted their food before tasting it, he would not hire them. If I were to be in a position to hire someone, I would play a round of golf with them. I can think of nothing better as a test of one’s temperament. If you have ever watched the pros play, you have heard four-letter words even from them.

A few years back a friend and I played and being only two they put us with another player. When we got to the third hole, a long par four, it was backed up because someone had a heart attack about halfway down the fairway. The medics were there already. The guy with us starting cussing and telling the people ahead of us to go ahead and tee off, they could just play around the medics. At that point, my friend and I excused ourselves and said we would play another time. Golf can bring out the best or the worst in people.

969070_10151720270399131_1279878903_nGolf requires patience, concentration, honesty, and above all else it is humbling. Over the years I have been lucky enough to have two holes in one, but I have also caught two of my drives off the tee. The first hole in one was the first hole at Sunnyvale Gardens, a par 3, 155 yards. The second at Deep Cliff in Cupertino, a par three, 120 yards. The first drive that I caught was when the ball hit a tree and came straight back, the second hit a fence rail and came back. The point of me telling you this is golf can be rewarding and extremely frustrating.

What I like most about it, is it is an individual sport. Anyone can play it, it is a leveler of differences in age, athletic ability, and gender. People who are good at other sports can either be good or bad at golf. Like any sport, it does take practice, but even then most of us are mediocre at best. Just when you think you have mastered it, you watch your ball disappear into water, or grass so high you will never find it.

Playing eighteen holes usually takes about four hours. That is four hours of being out in fresh air, getting some exercise, and spending time with your spouse and friends. Some people think that golf is expensive. This is only partially true. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on equipment and courses like Pebble Beach, but you can also spend less than say a ski trip to the mountains. And best of all, in California at least, you can play pretty much year round.

The game is a metaphor for life. You do your best, the results are not always good, but no matter where the ball lands, you have the potential of what the next shot will bring. They say golf is eighty percent mental and twenty percent skill. Golf and life are more about one’s attitude than anything else. Both require a positive mindset if you are going to enjoy either.

I started this with Robin Williams and to end, I offer another hilarious view of golf.  The majority of us will never be at the level of Tiger Woods or any of the professional golfers, so all we can do is hope to play bad golf well. Leslie Nielsen made a film about just that.

So keep your head down, count all your strokes, and enjoy life, even if you never play the game of golf.

 

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: