Or so many of us who have never taken cocaine would think.
It has been debated for years, since the inception of this peculiar game of chopping down acres of pristine forests and beautiful woodlands to make a course where the only purpose is to put a ball in a hole using a stick. In the medieval times, the king of Scotland banned the game because archers were skipping practice to defend themselves against England, to play this wretched game. It has become so prevalent and despised by non-golfers that the term ‘golf widow’ has been incorporated into the Oxford dictionary.
In the history of sports, two games stand above the rest: Football (I mean the real Football, not the American kind) evokes passion. Golf evokes addiction. The difference between golf and football is simple. Football is a spectator sport. 99% of those jokers you hear talking about their Liverpools, Juventus, Manchester Uniteds and what-not like they are the club’s ambassadors–they don’t PLAY football. Or they can’t. Due to their retarded kicking ability, or their asthmatic disposition or just the fact that their leg-eye coordination resembles an African gibbon trying to hump a black mamba. I’m including myself in those categories, so please don’t get too upset. If you are crazy about the premier league, chances are you play football as well as I do: on the playstation. And that too against my terrier, who can’t hold the gamepad and who is constantly concerned with his bollocks.
Golf is another matter. The whole problem with golf is that it’s not a spectator sport at all. And that’s why I think it’s a huge mistake to include golf into the 2016 Olympics. I mean, it’s such a BORING sport to watch, seriously. Except for Tiger, no one else is worth our time, and you’re better off growing petunias in the backyard to pass time. Golf is a player sport. I.e anyone can pick it up. There’s no barriers to entry at all. There used to be, such as expensive green fees and expensive golf clubs. Anyone that uses those excuses are obviously anti-golf activitists who deserves to be strung up at the 100 meter marker at your driving range. Golf is getting cheaper and cheaper, and with that, everyone, from your asthmatic cousin to the African gibbon humping a black mamba, can pick it up. They might still suck at it, but they know they are probably in the majority of golfers out there, who whiff, duff, top, dig their way to a 120 score.
And golf is a lot more addictive. Non-golfers will never see it because it’s not something that hooks you in by the passion or by the watching, like football. It’s by the playing. It’s like the proverbial skeptic, criticising golf while whiffing, digging and duffing his 7-iron on the range, and suddenly hits a pure shot and is immediately hooked because of two simple words: I CAN.
The concept of I CAN is the key to golf’s addiction. I know hundreds of articles have been written to explain why golf is so addictive. Business, challenge, competition blah blah blah. But nothing matters more than the I CAN philosophy. This is an all encompassing obsession that is within the human mind since the beginning of time, the promise of possibilities. For beginners shooting 120, they remember that pure 8 iron into the green on a the par 3 to set up their only Birdie amidst a trail of destruction of sextuple bogeys. For intermediate hackers, they recall the miracle 3 wood fade from 200 meters that lands soft onto an elevated index 1 green. For the experts, it could be the snaking 40 foot putt across a contoured green. And they live for those moments. And they come back again and again to get that high: from a birdie putt, a 250 meter drive,a perfect 5-iron, a bunker shot into the hole: the exhiliaration is simply unexplainable. And unlike other sport, it’s available to every lay man who plays golf…fat, thin, short, tall, famous, criminals etc. It is the only sport that has the ability to replace other addictions like coke, alcohol,drugs etc. Ask Alice Cooper. You can learn more about the intricacies of addiction through courses available from online universities.
Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting piece here.
Golf addicts find themselves thinking about the previous game and the next game, they spend hours practicing like zombies on the range. History Channel attributed the golf swing as the closest in form and practice to the ancient samurai swordplay, inbuing muscle memories with moves and the mental state of the swordsman: swinging a sword to lop of the head of your enemy in some ways represent the same mental process as bashing your ball 230m down the fairway with your driver.
We are the future generation of samurais, my friends.
Happy Hacking for what’s left of 2011!