This is a guest post by Scott McCormick. I believe it does a great job of highlighting why we remain dedicated to this crazy game! Scott McCormick is a freelance writer for Golf Now Dallas. For more of McCormick’s golf commentary, see his recent post analyzing the swing of Masters winner Adam Scott.
Are you ever on the golf course and things aren’t going well, and you ask yourself … what am I even doing out here with this stick in my hand and a little white ball in the weeds?
Why do I even bother playing this dumb game?
What am I trying to accomplish with this round?
What the hell is the point?
I feel like that sometimes, but it usually goes away pretty quickly (as soon as I make a good swing, everything wrong with the world seems to be erased). Other times, I do wonder why I devote so much of my life to a silly game, but I’ve gotten pretty good at rationalizing my devotion and philosophizing about the inherent values the game has imprinted on my psyche.
Here are some of the things I’ve come up with to explain my love and dedication to the sport of golf:
Dignity and Pride
I look back to when I first started playing golf as a child and I couldn’t even hit the ball most of the time. I knew nothing about the game. Even after several years of playing, I was still horrible. Pathetic. My swing mechanics were atrocious. I had absolutely no shot-making skills whatsoever. I could barely drive the ball 150 yards, and when I did they were usually shanks or slices.
But year upon year, hour after hour, I got better. I remember my first birdie and those irreplaceable feelings of hitting a really good shot. I remember the first time I broke 100, and later 90. Aside from the joy of getting married and having children, I can’t think of any feelings that have come close to matching the best feelings I have felt on the golf course. I have felt more proud of a golf swing than I have about most of my professional work, which hasn’t been insignificant. There’s just something about golf that makes me feel good, so good that it makes up for the times when golf makes me feel like shit.
Golf is rich and tradition and has historically been associated with the upper crust of society. Now I have always been decidedly middle class, maybe even lower-middle class, but I get a kick out of the sensation I get when I’m on the golf course that makes me feel that I am at the top of the social ladder. It’s not that I have a desire to get all hoity-toity or holier-than-thou, it’s just that golf gives me a sense of self-esteem, that I am connected to something bigger and deeper than myself.
I’ve noticed that my love of golf has caused me to develop a focus and a mental fortitude that has carried over into other areas of my life. At the risk of sounding tacky, I wholeheartedly believe that the game has improved my all around mental stamina, cerebral wellbeing, and my entire outlook on life has been enhanced by this silly little game.
It’s always a bit silly when people try to make their little games or sports as a metaphor for this, that or the other thing, but I don’t care. Call me silly. The ups and downs that every golfer faces are not unlike the ups and downs that everyone faces in life. By learning to persevere through the down times on the course, I am able to do that in other areas of my life.
Fun and Enjoyment
Everyone needs diversions. While some people prefer television or movies as their distraction, I snub my nose at those people and haughtily assert that my hobbies and interests are inherently better than others. I recognize the irrationality of that stance, but at the end of the day we all do that a little bit.
The bottom line is, for me, golf is really damn fun. I enjoy it. Even when I’m cursing the game and wishing I had never picked up a club, I’m having a good time. Really. I may not realize it at the time while I’m hooting and hollering about a missed putt, but I love it all the same.