What is Golf?
Of all the games ever invented by man, golf, in my opinion, is by far the greatest. Golf is different than other games. Golf challenges the mind, body, and soul.
Golf is not a game that is meant to be played against other people or even against the course. It is a game that challenges the individual. It forces a person to make decisions that can lead to a feeling of great accomplishment or to a feeling of hopelessness and despair. To the average person golf may be just a game, but to millions of golfers worldwide, it is more than just a game, it is a way of life.
It is something that is lived and breathed, it is royal and ancient, and it is the greatest game ever invented. Golf as we know it today originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife during the 15th century. Players would hit a pebble around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs and tracks using a stick or primitive club. Golf is the greatest game ever played because of its history, difficulty, and views. Golf as we know it today originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland.
Golf is one of oldest sports that we play here in America. The history of golf impacts how we play it today greatly. Golf is a game of integrity, honesty, and tradition. It is the only sport where you have to give yourself a penalty, even if no one saw it. we do this because golf is a game of gentleman and we are upholding the integrity of the game. Today’s golf courses consist of 18 holes or a front nine and a back nine. However, prior to 1764 this was not the case. The Old Course at St. Andrews is the oldest known, and most likely the first course ever constructed. It consisted of 12 holes, 11 of which were played. The course started at the center of St. Andrews and followed the lay of the land out to the town of River Eden. After reaching the 11th hole, the players would turn around and play 11 holes back using the same greens and holes. Thus, a full round consisted of 22 holes and only 11 greens. In 1764, the Royal and Ancient rules committee cut four holes out of the course which reduced the amount of holes on a course to today’s common 18.
As more courses were built, course architects began to construct 18 separate greens to add both character and safety to the courses. A common joke is that the reason we have 18 holes is because there is 18 shots of whiskey in a bottle. Golf’s history is one reason why this game is so great, because we still try to play the game the same way our ancestors did. You would think since golf is so difficult that less people would play it. Well the reason people do play golf is because they want the challenge.
A beginning golfer can go to the range and hit 300 hundred terrible golf shots and hate the game. As soon as he hits that one perfect shot he gets hooked again, because there is nothing better than seeing that golf ball soar through the air. Golf is the only game that an average person can do the same thing that a tour pro can do. In what other game, in what other walk of life, can you perform something that in that moment is as good as it can be?
The average person cannot go to a major league ballpark and hit a grand slam to win a game, but when the average person makes a hole in one, it is a shot that no one, not Phil Mickelson and not Jack Nicklaus in his prime, could have done better at that moment in that place. The chance of, and quest for, perfection is what keeps golfers coming back. What makes this game so difficult is because we do it once and believe that we should be able to do it every time. This is what separates the average person from a tour pro. I have hit shots that tiger woods would be satisfied with, the only difference is that he does it much more often than I do.
Golf is the most difficult game in the world but that is what makes it so satisfying and fun. Golf has some of the most amazing views in the world. Some baseball stadiums have good views of city skyscrapers. The rare college football stadium will glimpse a beautiful campus. Our indoor arenas increasingly all look alike and now they are louder than an airport runway. If you fish, hike, surf or ski, maybe you have an argument on this subject, but compared with all the mainstream sports, golf has no equal in terms of the setting.
There are hundreds of golf courses that jut into the ocean, hundreds more that wind through forests, hundreds more with majestic mountain views and hundreds more that flow through parkland valleys. Stand on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, a few feet from the Pacific Ocean with the spray from the waves landing softly on your shoulders, and you will never again wax poetic about the Citgo sign behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Ask any golf architect that a golf course isn’t just a golf course it’s a canvas where some of the greatest pictures have ever been painted.
Golf isn’t just another game to a golfer, it is a way of life. There is no other sport that can frustrate you so much one shot but then you can be the happiest person in the world the next. There are many things that make golf great, but its history, difficulty, and the views you see are what make the game the greatest ever. No other sport compares and it’s a shame that many people wont give this great game a try because they think it’s an old man sport. They are missing out on one of the greatest experiences of their life.