A very tiny proportion of golfers play for lots of prize money and accrue lucrative sponsorships to boot. This is the reward in a highly materialistic society, where elite sportspeople and sales people earn huge amounts of money. Golf: A rich and rewarding game for those at the pointy end of tournament golf. Manufacturers and associated businesses can also reap good returns on their investments within the game and industry. The rewards for the vast majority of golfers, however, is within the actual game itself. The playing of golf as a recreational pursuit delivers a highly engaging experience for millions around the world.
Golf’s Dominion Grips Us
The challenging and at times frustrating nature of golf hooks a certain type of individual. We are gripped, good and proper, by the demands of the game itself upon our abilities and mental fortitude. The enormous arena upon which golf is played makes for an enigma-like multitude of possibilities. The fact that we employ 14 different clubs to play a small, dimpled ball provides further opportunities for triumph and disaster. The golfer is hardly ever bored by the proceedings, as he or she wends their way around the course. The rewards are both awesome and awful.
Golf Consumers or Conquistadors?
Most of us reside in urban settings within substantial metropolises and are part of a populous army of consumers. We consume the adventures of our golfing heroes and the gear they sport. Some of us dream of occasionally playing golf at a rarefied level in the shadow of these superstars. The reality of chunked and duffed shots is far more graceless and prosaic. Despite this we tread the links in search of golfing glory amid our hum drum lives. To swing with gay abandon and find the fairway, some fair way down, is a pretty, bloody, good feeling. This happens all too infrequently for the majority of us. If golf was easy a great many of us would not bother. Think of Seve, when you ask the question of yourself – golf consumer or conquistador?
Remember to savour the good moments out on the course, as they can dissipate all too quickly. Take a brief respite from the grinding demands of keeping score every now and then. Let yourself smile at a well-executed stroke on the way around the course. Enjoy a few deep breaths of clean air amid mother nature’s greenkeeper tended enclave. Smell the roses, as they say. See the beauty of your golfing realm to put things in perspective and to lift your head above the trenches. We can do these things and play good golf.
If you always focus on your score, you will be a miserable bastard. Nobody wants to play golf with these fellow travellers, as the ambience is less than ideal. Four plus hours in a microcosm with three other golfers deserves a little light and shade. A few laughs and smiles makes the temporal investment a much richer experience no matter the result. The technical requirements of the golf swing can be a dry affair. The repetitive nature of the game can do with some spicing up on occasion. The madness of golf’s introspective journey can be alleviated by good company and the camaraderie between players.
Golf: A rich and rewarding game, measured not in dollars but in sense. Good sense for the workings of the human body descended from apes. Swing our monkey bodies and get off of your arse. Walk the course if you can. Breath fresh air and take in your sweet surroundings. Gary Player always said never sit down during a competitive round of golf. Stand up and fight it out until the very end and that last putt falls.
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of The Golf Book: Green Cathedral Dreams.