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Why Golf?

July 16, 2010

Featured Article, Words

I will be shooting video at the upcoming PGA Greenbrier Classic for the Charleston Gazette, my first visit to the Greenbrier v2.0 since Jim Justice, bless his millionaire Mountain State soul, rescued the place from insolvency. I must admit to having no special feelings for golf perhaps because I have only ever successfully thwacked a golf ball a half-dozen times so that it went any appreciable distance. (‘Thwacked,’ by the way is perhaps the most splendid onomatopoeiac golf adjective ever).

I don’t believe natural selection or God, should she exist, ever intended for the human animal to take a rigid, thin reed and attempt to bat an object the size of a walnut vast distances into a hole you can’t even see. Makes no sense. It’s no wonder Tiger Woods carried such stress around with him that he needed a cavalcade of bimbos just to cope.

But my feelings re: golf are nothing in comparison to this ravishing raking of golf from a bog post titled “Why Does the World Contain Golf?” by Glen Newey, which is a good question:

Why does the world contain golf? The question is strictly analogous to asking why it contains evil. Like chess or darts, golf is clearly not a real sport, which I define as an activity that you can only be any good at with a BMI of less than 35. At school, golf was offered to us as a ‘games’ option in the sixth form. Then, as now, I had no interest in bashing a dimpled pill towards a tiny and distant hole. But it looked less nasty than waddling through sludge in frozen mist after a leather ball, or getting the club-end of a hockey stick in the nuts. I was beguiled by the golfing scenes, in TV soaps as much as sportscasts, where the players were conveyed between strokes in electric buggies, alighting only to swoosh a lazy approach shot to the green. Reality bit when I found that I had to lug the bag of clubs myself, blasted by wind and rain, for a nominal five miles – a purely theoretical figure, bloated by the constant need to divagate onto the beach or into tussocks of marram to track down my wayward ball. It was with relief that I switched the year after to another non-sport, snooker, where you could at least stay in the warm and get a drink.

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