Golf is truly a game that requires a certain mental fortitude. It involves suffering and frustration, but also pastime and leisure. We love golf because of the smell of a freshly manicured green on a warm morning before work, or the feeling of satisfaction after hitting a 250 yard drive down the middle of the fairway. There is comfort in knowing that you are so far in the woods that it could not get any worse, but eventually your ball will find the hole. This is golf, and it is exciting.
Golf is a game that was developed over time. One of those developments came from a Scotsman with an affinity for Scotch (go figure). A round of golf is 18 holes because, as was pointed out during a membership board meeting at St. Andrews in the mid-1800s, it takes about 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. That’s right: one shot per hole was decided reasonable. We think this is exciting.
Golf is great because each player’s pay-scale correlates directly with their performance on the course. There are no contract disputes between players, their agents, and clubs. You simply play the game–no need for an advanced sports management degree. Golf is a more exciting sport because there are no referees or umpires to stop play (or make bad calls). Furthermore, a ticket to the Superbowl is going to cost thousands. It only costs $25 to watch the best golfers in the world, and you can do so from closer than any other spectator sport out there. Golf is also exciting because it is an international sport. People from all over the world can meet on common ground and compete. That is exciting.
The beauty and excitement of golf revolves around the fact that one can always be better. Even the pro’s have an off day. In some ways then, golf serves as a sports equalizer based on one’s effort, mental focus, and practice rather than one’s innate athletic ability. The difference between a professional and an amatuer is both a wide chasm or better execution of on the back nine. This phenomenon fosters the sense of humility and respect for the game that golfers possess. Despite our best efforts, we may have a game in which nothing went right. But, before you know it (and without feeling like you did anything substantially different), your drives will take favorable bounces and your putts will start to rattle home. This is why golf is exciting.
Another reason we love golf is the decorum, attitude, and conduct that goes hand in hand with PGA play. Golfers are not in jail every other week. Golfers do not spit or fight with the fans or try to inflict a sports injury on their competition. In fact, professional golfers are expected and held to a higher standard than any other professional athlete. Golf is exciting because it is a noble game that harkens back to a time where etiquette was a universal language accepted and appreciated by everyone. That is exciting.
Golf’s reputation as a boring sport is entirely misguided and comes from those who do care to understand the game. There are only so many times that we golf enthusiasts can ask the haters if they have ever played a round or upon what they base their opinion on–oh well. Let golf be cherished and loved by those who know what they are doing (or at least can visualize what they need to be doing!). As such, next time you head out to play a round, make sure to remember why you love the game so much and enjoy yourself. Do not forget how exciting golf really is!