Golf is a four letter word that means many things. It also leads to other four letter words, most of which I refrain from using... on this blog. It is also a great source of income for some equipment manufacturers, clothing makers, and a lot of Hucksters. It is a sport that almost anyone can play and that requires no teamwork or coordination with others. It is just the player and the course... and the course has all the advantages.
Its attraction is difficult to explain to those who have never played it or have played it and don't like it. A character, Dr. Raymond Langston, on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation compared it to cocaine addiction. He was pretty much on the mark. Once you have hit the ball just as it is supposed to be hit, endorphins are undoubtedly released into the pleasure centers of the brain, the feeling is indescribable. And you then chase the little white ball hoping to regain the singular feeling. And mostly fail.
The average golfer takes solace in the fact that even the pros make mistakes. The difference between the professional golfer and the average player can be seen in the absolute reversal of the ratios of good shots to bad shots of each. The pro may make 4 or 5 bad putts in a round, the average golfer will only make that many good putts.
The equipment makers sell you the dream. As if it is only a matter of the right clubs... or balls... or even shoes. People will pay upwards of $400 for a single club which might promise 10 more yards off the tee. And then leave it in the garage to gather dust and cobwebs because it failed to deliver. The average golfer will have at least two full sets of golf clubs, a number of miscellaneous individual specialty clubs (i.e. "wedges") and at least 4 putters.
I first hit a golf ball when I was maybe 8 years old. I used to hang out at a golf club near my home. But it didn't take. Maybe I didn't hit it just right to get that feeling. I ignored it until I was 26 and a neighbor talked me into playing on a par 3 course in San Diego. I was hooked. For about 13 years. And then life intruded and the addiction receded into the background. The clubs collected dust and rust in the garages of the houses I moved into and out of. I didn't miss it. The urge just wasn't there.
Until I approached retirement. I would need a hobby for that retirement. One day, after some 15 years, I decided that I might want to take up the game again. I took my old clubs out of the garage, went to the nearest golf course, bought a bucket of balls, and headed over to the range. To my complete and utter surprise, it was like I had never given it up. I was still just as bad at it.
Maybe I was a little worse from lack of practice. But I was close to hooked again. It would take only one round of golf to return fully to the addiction.
My name is Douglas and I play (at) golf.
A Night Unremembered
2 years ago