“A Good Walk Spoiled” Golf……The Agony and The Ecstasy

“A Good Walk Spoiled” Golf……The Agony and The Ecstasy

Why do we do it? We miserable few, we sporting masochists, why?

I recently read a wonderful story about a competition between some friends had to decide who had played the worst round of golf ever.

The winner, a previously happy fellow, recounted his remarkable round of 120 which he played whilst on holiday in Spain. This impressive score included a spectacular bogey sixteen on the par three seventeenth hole largely due to some issues with two bunkers on opposite sides of the green.

The round had started well with him hitting an early birdie on the par-5 sixth hole, after this triumph however the poor chap had been unable to hit his own backside with a proverbial banjo, culminating with the utter humiliation on the aforementioned par-three seventeenth.

It was at this point that he snapped his putter in two and threw his golf bag into a nearby lake, which gave him some initial grim satisfaction until, only seconds later, he realised that he had left his car keys, mobile phone, and several travellers checks inside the bag. What followed can only be described as an ill judged attempt to retrieve the bag from the lake….for, despite being a non-swimmer, he had dived into the water and slipped a disc in his back whilst struggling to the surface, finally, on the way to hospital he suffered a minor stroke in the back of the Spanish ambulance he was travelling in. Now I have had some frustrating rounds of golf myself but none that compare with this one

So then why do we do it? is the question.

I personally compare playing golf to attempting second marriages, in so far as they both seem like a good idea at the time and also represent the triumph of hope over experience!
Yet we continue to turn up on the first tee tingling with anticipation and full of hopeful but unrealistic expectations…
On a more serious note, playing the game of golf may indicate a very positive aspect of the human condition which is often reflected in encouraging statements like
“if at first you don’t succeed try try and try again”
“Never give up “
“Quitters never win and winners never quit “…etc etc.

As a career special ed teacher I have often encouraged disgruntled children to
“Just have another go”
and herein lies the answer…I think it is the indomitable spirit of man (and woman) that drives us to book that next tee off time and ultimately, some three and a half hours later, we stand as a sad figure on the eighteenth green and look to the heavens and howl in an anguished voice,
“Why me ?”
The answer invariably comes back from the heavens…
“why not?”

Perhaps it is just sheer determination or the delusional belief that playing badly will not upset you or maybe it is just fun to watch others suffer (they do say that misery loves company) or the dream of a ‘birdie’ or even the fantasy of an ‘eagle’ Whatever it may be I think on balance, I share the opinion of Mark Twain who famously said,

“Golf…is a good walk spoiled!”

By Tim Fox

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