The Game of Golf

An Appreciation

Why do we play Golf?  The game of Golf provides the greatest competition in all of sports-it pits the players against themselves. Its challenge is a challenge of perfection on every shot and every shot creates a memory against which to compare the next shot.  Our brain retains every effort, every success, and every failure only to recall them whenever a new challenge occurs.

Why do golfers love the game?  The game entices the beginner with small successes and gives hope of perfection on every shot.  It plays on short term memory of both success and failure as one successful shot cradles us like a warm blanket and failures are easily blamed on other elements such as Mother Nature.

Why do golfers hate the game?  Patience is the evil doer, the game requires it. If you are not patient, this game tortures you. It requires focus and waiting, it requires calmness and calculation. Emotional reaction is your enemy and your friend.

What does the game teach us?  The game is complete with standards and rules, it requires etiquette and discipline.  The history of the game dictates appropriate dress and style.  Certain behavior is scrutinized and honesty is expected.  The rules are self-monitored and self-enforced.  Honor is attained and glory achieved, not only by the success we might have, but most importantly, by how we respond to failure.

Why do some golfers become expert and other settle for mediocrity? Golf is a game of all ages, abilities, and desires.  It is fierce competition for some and escapism for others.  It provides social interaction, yet breathes competition at every instance.  Its rewards are set to meet whatever goals each individual player sets for him or her self.  In other words, achievement is a target and the target moves to meet the desire of every player.

Finally, Golf ignites the senses! Our eyes view the courses that we play within nature’s beauty and our mind visualizes the perfect shot over and over again. Our ears hear natures sounds, but focus is drawn to the sound of a well struck shot or the fear from a shout of “FORE” from an opposite fairway.  Our bodies feel the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the wind, but remember the vibration of a perfectly struck shot!

So, what is this game of Golf? Golf is a game that flexes to meet the desires of its players and offers rewards at every attempt to reach perfection.

Mark Norman, Tournament Director, The Lyndon Rains Memorial Golf Tournament