Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with implements singularly ill-designed for the purpose.
- Winston Churchill
It was not until I was in my late twenties that Golf caught my fancy. It appeared to be one hell of a boring game, tailor-made for the old and lazy…. not at all an appropriate sport for the young, healthy, agile and athletic.
A walk around one of the Golf courses, which happened to be located right beside the grass tennis courts where I was a regular, changed a little bit of that perception. The lush tree lined fairways, manicured greens, water bodies, chirping birds, flora and fauna .……… was a sight that would make most urbanites salivate. Sights and sounds that are seldom to be seen by non Golfers living in concrete jungles called cities.
I finally picked up the game in my mid thirties …… and have wondered ever since, why I did not start earlier.
On the face of it, there could be nothing simpler than hitting a Golf ball. Unlike most other games where one tries to make contact with a moving ball, the golf ball just sits idle on the turf asking to be hit ………. but to the agony and chagrin of most people one can seldom get it right. Yes, not even Tiger Woods can get it right all the time.
Here is why I think golf is such a great game:
- Golf is unique, in that it has a handicap system that levels the playing field. It is you and your handicap versus the other guy and his handicap. On this basis you can theoretically beat the best player in the world. How’s that?
- Your progress in the game is measureable and quantifiable (unlike almost any other game) in terms of number of strokes you take to finish a round. Handicap is a measure of a Golfer’s proficiency(lower the better)
- Unlike other games where you play against opponents, Golf can be played alone and against oneself. In fact the physical part of Golf is played not against opponents but against the golf course and the elements.
- It is played in the open air on some of the best real estate in the world. There is nothing quite so beautiful as walking the fairways of a well manicured golf course. Can you imagine playing at Augusta or at St. Andrews? An experience of a lifetime I would think. I have not had that experience yet!
- There are rules - very strict rules - but no umpires or referees and normally you are expected to be your own referee.
- You seldom meet a not so nice person on the golf course.
- There is no such thing as a perfect round. It is the most challenging game I have played with a great round one day and an absolute disaster the next. This alone is one of the main reasons why golf is so popular - the continual drive to improve.
- Life long friends are made in golf.
- It is quite simply the best game in the world and if you aren't one of us it is time you started living!
- Most importantly, it’s the ideal game to be taken into retirement. Age is hardly an issue.
I suppose I could go on and on as to why golf is so popular but I am sure I would just bore you, so here is my suggestion: grab yourself a set of clubs (beg borrow or steal) and get someone to take you out and have a hit around.
The exhilarating feeling you get when you make solid connection with a golf ball while walking around in the fresh air with good friends cannot be described. You simply have to experience it!
My bet is it won't be long before you too are hooked.
However, there is a flip side too. Wait for it in the next post.
To begin on a lighter note here is a video, Happy Golfing :