Pretty self explanatory I think.
I just do. My dad had me swinging a club when I was a baby. We spent the majority of our time outside golfing together. All of my best friends happen to golf. Nothing beats a day playing with 4/8/12 of your friends and ending up having a few drinks after. Those days that leave everyone with the “we need to do this a lot more often” feelings.
It’s the hardest game in the world to get right. Even at your best, you’re never going to get it right. The pursuit of perfection, which you are well aware is unattainable. What you put in is what you get out. It’s a very good metaphore for life in general.
There are few things that feel better in your hands than a well struck golf shot.
I love golf because:
It can be played alone or with others.
It requires strategy, imagination, luck, and skill.
It requires different shots.
It allows people of any skill level to play the same venue as the pros.
You get to buy equipment.
You get to hang out on the Refuge when you should be working.
A couple things for me…
The variety of the courses. It’s not like other sports which are played on the same dimensions, just at a different venue. Even playing the same course can be dramatically different if the weather dictates it so.
The individual competition. Unless of course it’s team golf, but for the most part, all the pressure falls on your shoulders and you can’t blame anyone else for your failures. Team sports can suck if your teammates and/or coaches are idiots.
The impossible pursuit of perfection. Unless you are a North Korean dictator, it’s impossible to have a perfect round of golf. You can get a little better each time but you always “left a couple shots out there.”
That feeling of hitting a shot exactly the way you planned it. Impact was butter smooth, the ball goes on the perfect line and lands exactly where you wanted it, then rolls out the perfect amount. Yeah, hook that into my veins. I’ll keep coming back for more.
because any round could be the best round of my life
Competition. Camaraderie. Club twirls. Cold beer.
The vernacular (“punch,” “drill,” “flighted it,” “blocked it,” “knock down,” “hold it off,” etc., and “work, ball!,” “be good,” “it opens up from there.”)
Rusting your wedges before a tournament.
Getting 9 in right before dark.
The variety. The variety of course, of company, of shots, everything. It’s great to go out and play 18 holes with buddies, and maybe have a good round, maybe have a crappy round, and then follow that up with 9 holes at an executive course with my 11 year old and always enjoy it no matter what. There just aren’t any other sports at my age, and my skill level that offer that opportunity.
I’m not sure. I did not grow up with golf nor do I have any friends that would fit in the stereotypical golf demographic. I’m the first person in my family to even consider the sport, and it’s only been about 2 years. I’m guessing the majority of folks listening to the NLU have deeper golf roots.
Golf is aspirational and takes me out of my comfort zone. I have a similar relationship with golf that I have with my career. I’m a self-loathing introvert, which is why I went to law school. I want to be an extrovert. Somehow it worked out all right. I drag myself out of bed and have to get into adversarial situations. On balance, I ultimately feel pretty good about it.
I find that people who play good golf tend to have confidence in their abilities. That’s my goal but it’s not easy, I’ve never played a sport before so natural athleticism and good hand-eye coordination are not there. I have to convince myself that I’m a lot better than I really am. Some days it works, but other days I step on the first tee and that leads to 6 hours of pain when I get in my own head. Paralysis by analysis. I live in NY so I do this on busy public tracks where there is nowhere to hide. It takes a lot of energy for me to drive myself to a golf course, but I keep managing to do it.
TLDR: I’m all about the struggle.
Honestly I don’t know. The first time I played, my buddy’s dad took us out, we were maybe 11-12 years old and I had no idea what I was doing but I f*cking loved it, I’d never done anything like it. That love has only grown deeper with time.
It’s honestly a spiritual experience for me (whatever that really means). It’s so deep and incomparable to anything else I’m at a loss for words on how to truly describe my love for it.
I’ve had a somewhat up and down relationship with golf. I got into it through my uncle and him forcing me to watch the ’95 US Am, the second of Tiger’s wins, but I didn’t actually start golfing for another 2-3 years after that though. At that point, my dad, who had golfed when he was younger, got back into the game and we started golfing every weekend. I ended up loving the game and worked grounds crew at a local course through high school and college, playing as much as possible. After college my interest started to wane a bit as I was working, living in the city, and most of my friends did not golf at all. After a couple years, I finally got back into the game and rekindled my feelings about golf. I’ve never been able to get back to my level of play from when I was younger, which is outrageously frustrating at times, but it hasn’t diminished my love of the game.
I think what initially drew me to the game was being able to spend some time outdoors with my dad, but the whole experience of a round has drawn me back in. The different shots you can be confronted with, the variety among courses, and really just being out with some buddies drinking a couple beers and trying to hit that one perfect shot. Finding sites like NLU and The Fried Egg have been a complete bonus to the experience
I think this speech by David Forgan frames the game beautifully.
When I was young, I would play a handful of times a year tops. Always liked it but never got too much into it. In Iowa, golf and football are at the same time so I didn’t play in high school.
I played baseball in college so I never played a lot because I always had the “golf will mess up my baseball swing” thinking… (it was a bad thinking)
After college I was looking for jobs and coaching and I would go to the range or the practice facility at a local course and chip and putt for a couple of hours 4-5 days a week. I started working retail hours and would go to the course in the morning before going to work. I went from shooting around low 90’s to consistently breaking 80. I was completely addicted to golf. I loved practicing, playing, trying different types of shots. Now I love watching, listening and reading about golf.
Now with kids and regular job I play less and practice even less. Golf is crazy frustrating but the challenge of it is what keeps me coming back. It never fails that I will go double- double and finish with a birdie to keep me from wanting to quit forever.
To me, hitting a baseball and playing “good” golf are the hardest things to do in sports. That is why I love both sports. In baseball you have the pitcher throwing different pitches at different speeds to make it challenging and golf has so many variables on every shot. You can always get better, but even the best in the world are humbled at times.
It’s never the same.
Same course can play different. Your own game can play different.
You can always work on something to get better.
I’m new here. I love golf because my Grandfather would take me to the range and teach me how to hit the rock. I didn’t love it at first, I loved him more than golf, which made me care. Over the years I developed a passion. I love the sport, it truly is an amazing passtime. Worth the hardship and trouble, like all good things in life.
It’s my competitive outlet. Played college baseball and felt like I had a void when it was over. About 12 years ago I moved to Columbus OH and didn’t know anybody. A guy invited me to play with his group of friends in regular weekend games and I fell in love with the competition.
I really love that when I am out on the course, it has my full attention. No worrying about work or other crap going on. It’s peaceful, even though most of my thoughts are about how to make fun of my playing partner’s mistakes.
I’m also obsessed with getting better. I have slowly gotten to be a decent player and I am always chasing “better”. Last summer, I got my handicap down to a 3 for a month or so and now I am doing everything I can to get back there. It’s a fun pursuit.
I attempted to answer this very question for my children last night. They are both starting PGA Junior League and they wanted to know why I loved the game so much.
No two things in my life have given me more frustration and joy at the same time, playing music and attempting to play golf. There is nothing like finally mastering a lick on guitar or the feeling you get when you flush a (insert club) with true balance. It has taught me how to deal with everything from idiots, to the cocksure like no other. It’s humbled me and it’s brought me elation. It’s an escape from the daily issues that come up, either in my career or personal life. It gets me out doing something, rather than sitting on my ass. I have met true friends on the course, and a few jackasses. My biggest regret I have is not picking the game up sooner. I’m always chasing a better game, and that is what keeps me coming back.
I guess it’s mostly the endless challenge. No matter how great you are, you always want to be better. Conversely, even when you’re a beginner or you kind of suck, sometimes you’ll hit shots or do things that make you feel kind of good.
Either way, after you hit a shot or finish a hole, everything re-sets. It’s a new chance to make good contact, get it close, sink the putt, whatever.
The variety of courses really plays into that. One of the things that makes golf great is that you could play on a football field and it would still be different every time, but what makes it outstanding is that you get the chance to play different courses under different conditions with different holes every time out. A truly unique experience every time.
Finally, there’s a connection to my dad. He’s the one who taught me the game and most of my best golf memories involve him.
So so many reasons, but to keep it to 5:
- The mental side of the game
- The comparison of the sport to life and life situations - you can truly learn so much about yourself
- Strategy vs Risk and Reward
- Achievements (low rounds, milestones, etc)
- The golf community - a lot of really good people who just “get it”