Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tin cup


Up until a few weeks ago, I had gone an entire lifetime without stepping foot on a golf course. I never much saw the point of the game, frankly. Whacking a little ball around just didn't seem like a worthwhile way to burn five or so hours of my life.

So when the opportunity to hit the links came up, I wasn't sure what to do. After chatting it through with my wife, we concluded it would be a neat way to spend the day.

It was a corporate event. I had a late interview at the office, so I had to join my foursome in progress (please, no jokes.) I arrived at the course, and quickly found a golf cart. I drove around in the heat and humidity for about a half hour before I found the other three members of my foursome. (Those carts can really fly, BTW.)

The day was a hoot. Most of my shots sucked. Big time. But I had a couple of good drives and putts - admittely more from luck than anything else - and in the process was able to understand why people enjoy the game in the first place. I don't think I'll become a golf addict. But I now know enough about the game that I look forward to my next outing.

More important than the game, though, was the fact that I got to spend an afternoon with three really intriguing and fun colleagues. Something tells me the whole intent of the game of golf has precious little to do with the actual game of golf. Or at least that's the way it should be.

Oh, and I took my camera with me and got some neat pictures. Like this one.

Your turn: Do you golf? Why? Do you not golf? Why? Why does this game seem to generate such obsession in some folks.

29 comments:

Mellie Helen said...

I golfed a bit in my college days (only because the person I was dating was interested in golf), and I did okay at it...until I took golf lessons. From that time on, I became lousy at the game and soon dropped it entirely. Luckily, that didn't bother me much at all, because I never did enjoy it. Like you, I couldn't see what the thrill was about golf -- which is why I tried it in the first place ("my boyfriend really liked it; others like it; let's see if I like it" -- the answer was "no").

Now, mini-golf, particularly with the kids? THAT's some precious time well spent on the faux astroturf.

Shan said...

I like miniature golf. Everything is more fun when it's mini.

Tia said...

I don't golf. I have a distinct aversion to activities that seem to be about status and money more so than the activity itself. I also have a huge problem with the environmental impact of golf courses and the practices used to keep the lawns green and weed free no matter what kind of trout the rest of the world is experiencing. I am getting ready to move from Florida and if I never see another golf course again it will be too soon.

That said, I don't doubt there are people who love the game for the game's sake (although I must say every golfer I've ever met seems to always be talking about tossing their golf bag in that little pond). It's just not for me.

Tia said...

Sorry to sound so harsh and negative in my comment... I am glad you had a great time!... Can you tell I *really* dislike golf?.... =)

mar said...

I have never played golf. It is (very)elitist in Europe... Now I tend to get a tennis arm without playing tennis, so I guess I won't ever try golf!

mar said...

PS: I guess it is called tennis elbow...ooops!

Karen said...

I'd like to try golfing a little, but courses get so crowded and I get nervous about holding people up who are behind me. (And yes I know all about "playing through," but middle-aged golf-obsessed men are still not that patient with beginners!) Now that my nest is emptying out, I may take it up soon. Meanwhile, tennis is my addiction.

By the way, Carmi, I'm expecting to see one of your quotes in a national story soon with the Dell recall and such. Gosh, you have kept us all so ahead of the information curve!

Stopping by to say hi!

kenju said...

I don't golf, Carmi, and the only reason I would ever go to a golf course is if they let me drive the cart! I love those things. Mr. kenju tried it back when he was first starting out in the corporate world. He didn't like it because too many men are so competitive as to make it not fun for those who aren't. It's odd he said that, because he is as competitive as they come!

I love miniature golf, though.

Plain Jane said...

I don't golf, but I absolutely ADORE going to the driving range and killing a bucket of balls. After doing this for a year... I am actually considering a go on the course...

srp said...

I putt-putt golf occasionally with my daughter. In high school our town had a pitch and put... all holes were a par three. After making a 15 on the first hole, it was downhill from there. Perhaps I've never played with anyone who cared enough to teach. Maybe someday.

Cyndy said...

I do not golf. I do not understand the obsession. I have been told that it involves the social outing, drinking and gambling on holes. Perhaps that's the draw?

On the other hand, I like mini golf!

KaraMia said...

Ugh, tell me you havn't gone over to the dark side!! Everyone I work with Golf's. Of course I work in a local politician's office...sigh...
I hate golf, unless i'm drinking..and possibly driving a cart...of course then I'm not really golfing, i'm playing chicken...

Rhodent said...

I grew up with a father who loved to play golf. I used to sit and listen to his play-by-play of his games. WE belonged to a golf club that had a swimming pool with a life guard. The parents would hit the course and the kids would jump in the pool. Sometimes I would ride around the course with my fahter during his game. Afterwards I always got treated to a black cow in the club or a special lunch somewhere.

Then I married the grandson of a golf pro. Golf was such an obsession for his entire family that the overkill led to my aversion to the game. In recent years, there have been time that I have enjoyed watching Tiger Woods play on TV, but I am doubtful that I will ever seriously take up the game.

I do rather enjoy miniature golf... it is less expensive, less competetive, and takes up less time!

Wordnerd said...

When my husband and I were first dating, he was a golfing fanatic. So much, in fact, that he even found a golf course back home that allowed night golf. He tried to convince me to try it, but I only wanted to drive the cart. Years later? I still just wanna drive the cart. I just don't see the appeal. And then when I hear about the exorbitant greens fees and other associated costs? I'm thinking no.

guppyman said...

I used to golf. It was a great way to get out and away. But now, i like the woman I'm married to, so no real reason to have an escape like that anymore. ;)

Shephard said...

I don't. Altho any game that lets you wear funky mismatched clothes and scream "FORE!" can't be all bad. I lived in FL for 14 years... and it was a chance to see Natural Selection at work. We were always hearing about people who golf in Thunderstorms, and end up in the hospital. I since tend to avoid wildly swinging metal things around outdoors.

And don't worry... the shots you missed on the green are more than made up for with the shots you get on your camera.

~S

ChaCha said...

golfing is not interesting, much like curling I see no purpose for it.

Hockey on the other hand...

Tabor said...

I don't golf and I while I say "to each his own" some golfers are a bit tedious and most golf coursew are not environmentally friendly.---as I just noticed that one of your bloggers agrees with me!

Diva said...

Golf is something I would like to try someday, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to hit the course. I have been to a driving range a few times and enjoyed that immensely (although golf does not appear to be one of my natural talents).

Steph said...

Oh, I love to golf! And you're so right...a great day at golf has nothing to do with the actual game. It's about a day in the sun, with people you like, driving the little cart around just for fun and seeing if you can be smarter than the ball. It's strangely relaxing and frustrating at the same time. I stink at it and I still love it! :)

Morah Mommy said...

I love playing mini-golf...does that count?

Sandy said...

I used to golf. I got engaged on a golf course - ring was in the cup at the 7th hole.

I have never been good at golf. In fact, I stink. It is admittedly because I don't play often enough to get good, but that doesn't remove the frustration for a highly competitive person. I get so aggitated with myself that it stops being fun after a while.

Of course, betting to play golf in Scotland - now THAT was fun.

Shane said...

I guess the mantra for this tin cup would be something like "buddy, can you spare a birdie?"

Prego said...

I'm sure the golfers behind you appreciated you trotting around the green, snapping away like Ansel Adams - particularly after watching you duff your way around the hole.

I golfed a few years back... Mostly because my friend at the time took it up and carted me along. It was enjoyable, but not the best way to spend five hours on a weekend morning. My wife/newborn saw an end to it, but I don't miss it.

I think the obsession stems from the fact that, as my friend eloquently put it, "It's the only sport you can still suck at after twenty years."

Getting a few shots right keeps bringing you back, thinking that you might actually get the hang of it. For the casual golfer, usually you don't.

p

here via michele again

persia said...

Hmmm... lots of "don't like it" responses above, guess I'll have to respond in order to balance out the answers. I do like golf (gasp!). It gets me out of the house (helps balance out the working at home), gets me exercise (walk, no cart for me), and yes adds some social time to my schedule.

vanx said...

The only time I’ve hit a golf ball it was through a windmill or clown’s mouth (i.e. miniature). I have long considered my non golfer status a distinction of honor. But I’ve learned there is a Zen to it. That it isn’t all wanker competitiveness and deal cutting with the big boys. The real players are communing with whatever they fill in on the “God” line.

There are no atheists in fox holes, my friend, and the atheists on the golf course are there with ulterior motives.~,:^)

h&b said...

Normally, I wouldn't care two hoots about it, but it so happens this game pays our bills and puts food on the table ;)

Therefore: golf's alright by me.

Nikki-ann said...

I've never played golf, unless you include a computer game (which I was pretty good at!).

Mark said...

I grew up with a grandfather who loved golf and did everything he could to get my brother and me into it. It "stuck" with my brother, but not me. Sure, I was okay at it, but I find myself wanting to keep watching or listening to an interesting bird or bullfrog more than I want to tee off on the next hole.

Also, and this is going to sound elitist, I don't like that every Tom, Dick, and Harry plays golf now. Golf is about quiet and respect and not talking when someone else is hitting, and not walking across someone's putting path before they putt. Much of that has been lost to this new redneck style of golf that I see. It's more about gawking at the drink-cart girls than playing a classy sport.

In just my short 40-ish years, those with natural athletic ability have taken the game over from the less athletically inclined who had to really work to get a smooth, coordinated swing. Like one commentor higher in this thread, many of those who were getting a decent score do worse after taking lessons because they have removed their own natural feel and flow.

My personal aversions to golf are numerous. The main one is that I can't prevent myself from thinking of how many other things I could spend that amount of money on and get MUCH more enjoyment.

To the person who mentioned the use of water, please consider that many courses use non-potable water and/or well water, not the municipal water supply. They're still a huge killer of the environment, but some courses at least try.