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There are a lot of reasons why golf is the greatest game and some of them may be uniquely personal. However, there are, also, many shared experiences which determine why the game of golf captures our hearts and souls. In this brief foray I hope to identify a few of the major candidates for golf’s possession of our favour. I always think back to my early outings on a golf course to discover the original sin. Yes, some would say that golf is a failing or, even, a disease.

Considerations for the Obsessive Appeal of Golf

King James II in Scotland banned the playing of golf by men on Sundays in 1457. This was ostensibly because it was felt that golf interfered with military training, as football was, also, outlawed at this time. Golf can feel like an obsession, as we endeavour to play often in the hope of getting better at the game. We return again and again to the course, despite repeated failures on the scoreboard, determined to win out in the end.

There must be something inherent within the game of golf, which attracts us like moths to the flame. Perhaps, it is the combination of mental focus and the majestic size of the playing field.

Robert Sudha Hamilton

Reasons Why the Great Game of Golf is Loved

Have you ever asked yourself why you love this game? Why golf is the greatest game, even, in light of regular stinging defeats. Is it the very act of swinging that club and watching ball fly vast distances down the fairway? A fairway so aesthetically appealing to some part of your heart or soul. Is it the combination of green grass and vast skies above? All that space in which to go about the demanding business of playing golf. The game of golf is played upon an arena made for giants and gods in its majestic dimensions. I call it the green cathedral.

These Titans of the game bestrode golf courses like Giants and demigods.

Golfing folklore places names like Old Tom Morris, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods in legendary awe. These Titans of the game bestrode golf courses like giants and demigods. They swung clubs made of wood and iron on links located on misty shores in faraway places. They did battle with each other and a host of competing forces to win cups and titles of immense importance to the game of golf. We honour these names still to this day. Every great narrative must have its heroes and challenges they overcame to find glory.

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Why turn your back on invaluable knowledge?

Golf is expanding its reach with more women playing the game and greater recognition being accorded to those ladies who tamed the links in their day. Names like Mickey Wright, Babe Zaharias, Kathy Whitworth, Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Karrie Webb, and Laura Davies. Golf is undergoing a tremendous transformation led by the current crop of top female golfers. Golf is a great game for human beings full stop.

Golf has broken out of the economic and racial constraints it was once held in for much of its life. It was the past time of rich, white men who could afford to fund the real estate that courses were built on. Names like Charlie Sifford, Jim Thorpe, Ann Gregory, Jim Dent, Pete Brown, and Lee Elder paved the way as trailblazers in a racially divided world. Today golf is played around the globe with tours in Asia, Latin America, Japan, China, India, and a host of other racially inclusive professional golf tours. The game of golf is richer for this expansion.

You can play golf whatever your shape, colour, ethnicity, gender, or ability!

Golf is a game loved by human beings around the world. There are movements within the game taking it to those economically disadvantaged sectors of the community in a number of countries. However, there is much more to do in this space. There is golf for all abilities growing globally, where golfers who may be blind or have some physical or mental challenge play golf. You can play golf whatever your shape, colour, ethnicity, gender, or ability may be.

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of The Golf Book: Green Cathedral Dreams


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