Why Do I Love Golf?

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.

Pres­tige

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.

Men­tal acu­ity

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.

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