I think golf is ultimately more of a man’s game because where else can you be in someone’s presence for 4 hours or more and not have to talk? I’m surprised more couples don’t play together.
One could make the argument that I’m not that into golf because I stink. And yes, that is a huge part of it. I swing hard, it just goes even faster into the woods. I try to keep my head down and end up missing the ball. I think you get the picture of what a round of golf with me is like.
Golf is similar to shuffleboard in that anyone can do it who isn’t confined to a wheelchair. If you’re 300 pounds overweight, your swing will be different than the 90 year old woman suffering from osteoporosis, but you can both be accomplished golfers. Somewhere along the line, golf acquired more street cred than shuffleboard, and I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. I think it has something to do with greens fees.
Which brings me to my next point: golf is ridiculously expensive. While I’m all for preserving expansive areas of undeveloped land, I don’t think you should have to pay out the wazoo to walk a piece of land with a club. Between the membership fees, the cart fees and then what it costs to get a bag of clubs together, I could have built my own tennis court and redone my kitchen. And, if I want to spend my time with painful people, I already have plenty of occasions, and I certainly don’t need to pay money for more.
But golf also takes up time, and by time, I mean, eons. And I don’t have four hours of free time to spend chasing a ball on a regular basis, which would be required in order for me to enjoy playing without my current level of frustration. If I want a work out, I run, hike or go for a bike ride. If I want to play a game, I play tennis, corn hole or volleyball. All of those can be accomplished in around an hour, maybe a little more.
It made sense that my grandfather was into golf. About all he could do was walk and it gave the poor guy something to do during the day since he wasn’t working and his wife had died. And his passion for the sport, well, I chalked that up to having literally nothing else to do other than offer us grand kids twenty five cents for drinking our milk. Then my dad got into it, but he was also getting up there and it made sense for the most competitive person I’ve ever known to attempt domination of a new activity when his fitness level was less and less impressive and he was approaching his golden years. Once he couldn’t put his kids to shame athletically, he said he took up a game requiring more skill than athletic ability.
I’ve wondered whether he did it to get away from life for four hours. If being out on the golf course was kind of like going on a high mileage run in that your mind is able to free itself from the minutia of your daily grind. For four hours, he wasn’t an employee or boss or father or husband or brother or son. Or maybe it doesn’t get that deep at all. Maybe it really is just about getting a ball in a hole.