Why I Love Golf

Yep, that’s me, Dufnering at the home course.

I played golf yesterday with some of my co-workers. It was a beautiful day.

It’s difficult to explain to people who’ve never played golf why it’s so much fun, and I suspect that even people who play golf do it for different reasons. Of course, golf is a sport, so there’s the athletic component. But on the other hand, most people who play golf can’t really be considered athletes, and most golfers never come close to mastering it as an athletic endeavor.

Also, it is somewhat expensive, what with the equipment and the fees to play a round. It is also time consuming. My round yesterday clocked in at a little over five hours, not counting the two post round beers and pre-round warm-up on the driving range.

So why play? Why subject yourself to the occasional psychological melt-downs and humiliation in front of your foursome? Why drag yourself out of bed at six in the morning on a weekend? For me, it comes down to the special moments that can only occur in the context of that particular sport, and often those moments happen when you’re not swinging your clubs.

For example, I was playing a round with friends a couple of years ago when suddenly a large white owl flew overhead, seemingly escorted on either side by large black crows. It looked like something out of a story about spirit animals. Two of my friends saw it, so I know I wasn’t hallucinating. Then there’s the fact that while no two golf courses are alike, the game itself is unchanging, and most all golf courses are park-like and beautiful. You can play by the ocean, or in the mountains, or in the desert. It’s a game that is consistent with recreational travel.

Also, golf, more than probably any other sport, with the possible exception of bowling, is a social activity. Did I say a round of golf takes a while to play? The plus side is that you are spending time with people, talking about most anything, including, of course, golf. Every now and then you’ll play with someone you don’t know, and five hours later you’ve have a new friend.

Finally, there are moments when even the most unskilled golfer hits a perfect tee shot, or holes out with an iron from the fairway, or sinks a sixty foot putt. When those moments happen, all the bad shots sink into the background and you know why you keep coming back, again and again, trying to shoot a lower score next time.