Have you ever thought about it? Really thought about it? Why do you love playing golf? For me, it’s not one or two big-but-vague reasons such as “It’s great exercise,” or “It’s challenging.” It’s a lot of little things that make golf the world’s greatest game. Here are 22 of my little reasons:
- It’s fun trying to hit something hard.
- Medal play and match play are two very different games. I like them both
- It engages your imagination. See the shot before taking the shot.
- A 21-handicapper can compete against and enjoy a round with a scratch player. The handicap system works.
- You learn something new about your game every round.
- Guy Golf trips – the planning, the betting, the playing, the joking & ribbing, the drinking & eating.
- Putting is a game unto itself. (*See Ben Hogan quote below.)
- The well-timed, but good-natured needle. For example: “That’s the best shot you’ve hit all day,” and “You’ve gotten really good at punching out.”
- Your game changes each and every round. The game you have today won’t be the same as the one you will have tomorrow.
- You don’t have to be a low handicapper to keep up a good pace of play.
- Bounces – good and bad.
- “The man who can putt is a match for anyone.” -- Scottish pro and course architect Willie Park Jr (1864 –1925), winner of two British Opens in 1887 & 1889.
- It’s not uncommon to see two and three generations playing together.
- You’re never too old to take lessons, which can lead to more winning bets.
- Mother Nature – green grass, towering trees, blue skies, April showers, biting wind, Midwest humidity, 50-degree days in January, the four seasons, thunderstorms, gorgeous sunsets …
- Golf buddies can grow old together. Many forever friendships are based on the love of golf.
- The post-round drinks, bet-settling, round reviewing and how-to-save-the-world conversations in the Men’s Grill.
- A new club or set of clubs can change your life.
- I always appreciate a kind word from a partner or opponent such as “Good swing,” “Nice up & down,” “What a two putt.”
- Some of love it. Some dread it. But there is no denying that there is no substitute for it. As Sam Snead said, “Practice puts your brains in your muscles.”
- For better or for worse, every stroke counts.
- So Many Great Memories. For example, On April 9, 2004, I had my first hole-in-one on No. 12 with Chuck Hunter, Jim Whitaker and Michael Watson watching. What made it extra, extra special was that I made it with the As-Seen-On-TV Perfect Club, which my mother-in-law, Mimi Newell, had given me for Christmas. Confession: I called Mimi as I walked to the green, breaking our cell phone rule. I just couldn’t wait to tell her!
*“Hitting a golf ball and putting have nothing in common. They’re two different games. You work all your life to perfect a repeating swing that will get you to the greens, and then you have to try to do something that is totally unrelated. There’s shouldn’t be any cups, just flagsticks. And the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.”
What are your little reasons for playing this great game?