IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS I’ve given great thought to the game of golf and realized it’s so much more than just hitting a small ball from one area to another. Golf is rich in history and crosses so many cultural, economic, geographic, political, and community areas, to name a few. To get a handle on this idea, I started a Golf Manifesto. This prose is still a work in progress but I’ll share some of the highlights I have so far. I greatly welcome suggestions for new areas, comments on how different topics impact you, or discussions on the relevancy of any item. With that said, here we go.
Golf is played by people from all walks of life.
From little children with hand me down and ill-fitting clubs to the most powerful leaders in the world.
It is enjoyed by young, old, male, female, Christians, atheists, rich and poor.
Each one thinking the same thought and having the same dream to move a small spherical object into a round hole in the ground a few hundred yards away.
Golf is global and is being played around the world.
There is no language barrier when playing golf. Despite speaking different tongues you can understand and appreciate a well-played shot and receive praise for it. Golf takes us to all parts of the globe and allows us to play in different climates and environments.
Golf gives to others.
A community is enriched by golf. Golf courses employ individuals, which strengthens the economy, it can provide a natural area for outdoor enjoyment, and it provides a method by which a charity event can raise money for the poor, homeless, mental or physical illness, educational opportunities, and so much more.
Golf is challenging, whether you are playing alone against yourself and the course, with a small group of close friends, a large number of people bound by a cause, a few co-workers, some neighbors, or a field of strangers.
Golf brings people together.
There are many golf themed events used as the catalyst to congregate individuals. A bachelor party, a retirement kickoff, some quiet time after a funeral, a job interview, a first date, a school reunion, a good-buy party, and annual get-a-ways with old friends are some examples.
Golf strengthens relationships like the couple that golfs together or the family that only enjoys each other’s company while on the course.
Golf is good for your health, as evidenced by the many physicians that suggest non-golfers take up the game in order to stay mobile, increase strength, and decrease other illnesses, and to those experiencing mental difficulties whereby they can relax their minds for a few hours.
Golf can provide growth in maturity, as seen in a child that is allowed to spend the day on his own or with friends at a golf course while practicing his game, his manners, his social interactions, and his independence.
Golf is empowering as proven by a smaller and weaker individual defeating a much larger and more physically stronger player.
Golf is sharing of a person’s time, their mentoring, and experiences.
Everyone has a story about them related to golf and most love to tell others about it or enjoy hearing others’ tales.
It’s many of these stories from others that helped me to publish Short Stories from the Long Links, a collection of golf related tales. As I continue to talk with more golfers this series of ebooks will continue to grow. If you have a unique, funny, exciting, motivating, or emotional story please send it to me.
Golf is life! Golf teaches you how to deal with victory and failures, unplanned events, and provides the opportunity to interact with friendly or unsociable people. Golf mimics life and thus is a wonderful teacher in a safe environment.
The next time you say to someone that you play golf and are met with a look of disapproval or condescension, remember what an amazing activity this simple game can be and when you next contemplate ‘golf’, remember the many areas the game touches and take pride in being ‘a golfer’.
Richard Todd is the author of The Golf Rules, an entertaining and educational series of books on stroke play, match play, and golf etiquette, as well as Short Stories from the Long Links. He is a lifelong golfer, has been trained on the rules of golf by the USGA and the PGA, has been interviewed on the PGA Tour radio station, and seen in multiple print and electronic media. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and YouTube, and visit www.TheGolfRules.com for more information and to purchase his works.