I know I've said it millions of times before but man, how I love the game of golf. This may not come as a shock to many of you, after all, my partner and I devote hundreds of hours to a golf website that we get no monetary compensation for but it goes beyond that.
It usually happens about this time of year that us folks in the colder climates start to get what we call "the itch". That uncontrollable urge that just makes us stop in the middle of whatever we may be doing and take a one handed practice swing in thin air. Then we pause for a few seconds and watch that ball fly down the center of the imaginary fairway. Of course it's always down the center because it's our fantasy; that's also why there are beer carts on every hole with different beer cart girls at each one. Most people watch with a confused look on their face and a little smirk knowing that someday we will be doing the very same thing in an institution, but any serious golfer knows exactly what I am talking about.
Except that for me that itch started up right about November this year. It probably had something to do with the site getting into full-swing and also the fact that my golf partner and I won our last match of the year in about 32 degree, sleeting, weather with birdies on the closing three holes to win a free lunch. Nevertheless, I can't think about anything but golf. Add to that the frustration that my arm is now in a sling and I can't even take imaginary practice swings or hit practice putts on the carpet, and the fact that the PGA Tour is off to an unbelievable start, and winter is pretty much unbearable.
So I started to think about what it is about this game that makes it so irresistible to me and I came up with a huge list. You may agree with some, you may disagree with others, but these are the reasons I am hooked.
Golf is one of the most far-reaching sports in the world. People of all ages, sexes, and abilities can play. It's not like football or basketball where you are washed up by the time you are 25 unless you play pro. In golf there are no age restrictions. Players at any age can get out and enjoy the game. There are always ways to improve and new goals to set.
What a great excuse to be outdoors. Although I love to be outside I am finding it harder and harder in today's world. Work is getting busier all the time, life in general is getting busier, and we don't walk anywhere anymore, now we drive. Instead of camping we stay in luxury hotels. Golf is a great way to spend 4 ½ hours outside and get some fresh air. Sure the tanlines look funny but I want to spend as much time outside during our eight weeks of summer as I can and golf gives me an excuse to do that.
There are always new challenges. Golf is the only sport I can think of where your biggest challenges are yourself and the course you are playing. It is a constant battle to beat your own best scores and then when you do, it makes you want to come back even more.
New golf equipment always interests me. I love learning about all the new technologies and what they will do to improve the game. Sometimes I wish we could go back to the days of persimmon heads and wound golf balls but at the same time I am always anxious to see what the latest and greatest products are and to try them out.
The camaraderie is probably the biggest reason I love the game. There are not many opportunities nowadays to spend four hours with friends or family. Once again golf provides the excuse to do so. I have met more friends through golf than any other way. We take the game seriously but at the same time are able to talk and joke around and enjoy our time on the course.
There are more reasons but with only one free hand it would take me until next weekend to type them all. The next time I start to get angry on the golf course because someone is playing slow or I am about to throw a club because I dumped a shot in the water, I am going to make it a point to think about some of these reasons. Hopefully they will help me remember that the real reason I am out there has very little to do with how well I score and whether I break par or not!