I will write a more thoughtful discussion of why I’ve become interested (dare I say obsessed) with the game of golf, but I did want to let any of my regular readers know that I will be posting quite a bit about this, mostly for the sake of my own recollections.
The short version of “Why Golf” is as follows:
1. I am limited due to some joint issues to sports and fitness activities that don’t involve running or jumping, so that pretty much leaves me with bicycling (which I love), bowling (not great at, but I do have fun with it), shooting sports, and . . . golf.
2. Until recently had given golf much of a try because I saw it as elitist, expensive, ecologically unsound and boring, but I’ve come to see that:
a. Golf has at times and is becoming again a game of ordinary working class people, especially people of color.
b. Golf can be played cheaply if you are willing to use second-hand clubs and shop around for cheap or free playing opportunities.
c. Golf courses do pose some ecological issues (mostly due to water and pesticide use, as well as the carbon cost of mowing), however, they also preserve big chunks of open space and wildlife habitat in many areas, especially suburbia, that would otherwise be more big box stores or boring housing subdivisions. And I’ve seen first hand an amazing amount of wildlife at our local golf courses — dozens of species of birds, turtles, snakes, insects, fish (in the ponds), … as well as rabbits, squirrels and the tracks of coyotes and deer.
d. Golf is only boring if you don’t know how to play it and/or haven’t been able to geek out on it.
3. In May my wife came across her long-lost set of golf clubs that had been in storage at her parent’s house for 10+ years, so I urged our family (she and our son) and my in-laws to go to a local course and try out the clubs. Her dad was already a fairly decent amateur golfer, so it wasn’t hard to talk into this and we had a blast — first doing putting and chipping practice and then going to the driving range. After two hours had passed, I was hooked and immediately started looking for golf clubs at local pawnshops, etc.
4. And so in June I decided to plunge head-first into learning to play golf, and I’ve ended up going to either a driving range, a golf course, or a vacant lot by our house almost every day since then, having hit more than 5000 balls since the start of June.