Why I Play Golf
By Kickntrue on 8/16/10
I'm on vacation this week, but I'd never just leave you hanging (or in the sole custody of Nathan). Whether you're new or old to oob- I hope you'll enjoy some posts from our past! Some of them are still relevant today, others, will sound ridiculous (you'll know when you get there). At any rate- they are what they are- and we put good time into them "back in the day" so now that we're a lot bigger we figure we'll re-share. Thanks and I'll be back for all of oob's ridiculousness next Monday!

By Andrew Brown, oobgolf hack
Originally posted 11/13/2007

The thing about golf is... I hate it. Every time I go out and play I can always think of five things I'd rather be doing with my time. Nevertheless, I always go out and torture myself over and over.

Many of the people on this site are good golfers. I understand why you continually go out and play the game. I'd give up 5 years of my life to break eighty, just once. I'd give up 20 to do it every time out. Unfortunately my average score still sits in the upper 90s- it seems no matter how many times I go out. The fact is- I'm a terrible golfer and while hitting 500 balls a day would be a way to play more golf, I just don't have the resources to make that happen. So why do I keep doing it?

I'd give up 5 years of my life to break eighty, just once. I'd give up 20 to do it every time out.
The best I can figure is that there is something altered in your body's chemistry when you play golf. Not when it's just three times a year or with a company outing... I'm talking about when you play golf. You become a changed person. You find something inside of you that can only be satisfied with a moment of perfection. I'd imagine it similar to the fix an addict needs when looking for that next hit. It's like a throbbing pain that can only be soothed by intense pressure.

The last time I was out I played poorly. The course was in great shape but as the fall season fell upon it so did the leaves. It was impossible to find a ball even 5 yards off the fairway because the tree-lined course was painted with perfectly crisp multi-colored maple leaves. My 32.8 % driving accuracy didn't appreciate it though aesthetically it was one of the more beautiful moments of my month. My playing partner and I were racing the night's darkness and played the last three holes in record speed in an effort to get to the 19th hole. I lost my 5th ball of the day to the right on my eighteenth hole of the day. I actually crushed the ball, but with daylight waning I wanted to finish so I dropped a ball just off the fairway for my shot into the green.

I was sitting 180 yards out looking over a wildlife preserved ravine onto a large oval green. Just before the shot my buddy pointed out a small herd of 4 deer, a mother and 3 fawn. That was the third time that Sunday we'd seen deer on the course. We also had the pleasure of seeing a fox bound quickly behind brush on another tee box. I stood over the ball feeling confident with my 6-iron loosely. I turned and took one last glance at the green and then exhaled.

I started to bend down and place my ball and then thought better of it.
The beauty of taking 99 shots when you play golf is that 1) you get more for your money, at least per shot, and 2) it gives you more chances to hit the best shot of your life. As I slowly pulled the club back I wasn't thinking about anything, a welcome change for me. I'm usually thinking about my hand position and my elbows and my speed and whatever new fix I heard the previous week on the Golf Channel. As I exploded through the ball a shiver swelled through my body; the pleasure that can only be felt from a perfect strike. A small divot flipped yards in front of me as the ball lifted off. It started just right of the target and whistled through the soundscape of my partner sitting in the cart a couple yards in front of me.

The draw was perfect. The distance even better. The real beauty of the shot was that I knew it felt awesome, but through the dusk of night I never saw the ball after losing it in the horizon. I knew it was well struck but after that really had no clue. I was satisfied. I walked to the green holding my putter with eyes scanning my surrounding. I looked towards the pin and saw a small white dot sitting inches from the hole. I glanced at my partner, double-checking that it wasn't his orb. I smiled while reaching down and marking my ball. I looked over and realized my partner didn't have his ball. Lost in the ever nearing darkness. He shrugged and said he didn't care. I started to bend down and place my ball and then thought better of it.

I looked at my buddy and then reached down for my ball mark. While a two footer could certainly be considered a gimmie I try to putt everything out- especially since using oobgolf, but why even bother? I'd much rather end my golf 2007 year with that shot. I have a feeling I'll be telling the story of hitting my 6 iron within two feet all winter- and why shouldn't I? After all, it's the reason I play golf.

retro week image source

[ comments ]
Dixon Golf says:
The perfect shot, one of life's simple pleasures. Well said.
birdieXris says:
It's that tuning fork, Tin Cup. A well-struck golf shot is one of life's greatest pleasures IMO
rmumph1 says:
That's what keeps me coming back, if I can do it once per round then I know its in me to do it more often.
Kurt the Knife says:
Buncha things.
My wife and I work in medicine and see an increasing aged population. Many advances in medical science has made this possible. It is the variable life quality of increased age that concerns us. Quality varies with degrees of physical and mental health. The most powerful contributors, in our estimation, is a history of regular physical and mental exercise. So we decided to examine different activities that we can participate in now and through our later years.
My first love is the sport of soaring (sailplanes or gliders) which is a highly mental exercise but I'm mostly sitting in a tiny cockpit by myself for many hours not moving around much. And it is a very selfish endeavor. Equipment is expensive and there aren't a lot of airports that have facilities to support sailplane operations.
Tennis looked good but an old knee injury quickly flared up again for me. Same with racquetball. (cont’d)…
Kurt the Knife says:
My wife loves walking but it bores me to death and requires little cerebral effort.
Javelin, Greco-Roman wrestling, and Pole-vaulting were quickly ruled out.
Golf turns out to be a pretty good option for us. Offers the physical element that can be varied according to how you get around and the degree of terrain we can throw in to endless variety. Golf courses can be beatifully sculpted and/or situated in some of the most beautiful places on earth. And as I play more, I feel course management tickles my brain a little bit.
A while ago I heard a young pro golfer mention to an interviewer, "When you consider all the elements that must come together to make an effective golf shot, It is nothing short of a minor miracle."
And IF I can perform a few minor miracles in a round, holding my wife's hand, smiling in the sun. That's kinda fun.
wrhall02 says:
Nice retro-blog, I can completely relate.

Thanks for putting into words "that special feeling" golfers of every skill level crave!
rmumph1 says:
Nice Kurt, I want my wife to enjoy what I do on the course, she thinks I'm too competetive but I would love to be to do something we her that we could learn and grow together.
Kurt the Knife says:
There's always the Society for Creative Anachronism.

TravisMiller says:
This is one of my posts from the forums:
I play because I love the game, not just playing but everything about it. But i really love the game based off the shot that got me hooked.

I was on the driving range when I first started. I was swinging a free set of hand-me-down Shamrock blades. I wasn't striking the ball well but I wanted to get better at it and all of a sudden, swinging the 2 iron, I hit the perfect straight shot, 235 yards or so. All said and done I was hooked.

Even after an 8 year hiatus, i still remember the feeling of that shot and I still want to recreate it all the time.
falcon50driver says:
Then there's the nearly forgotten sport of Javelin CATCHING.
legitimatebeef says:
Nice post, but U R a chump for not putting that ball. Act like a man and hit the friggin putt.
Banker85 says:
i think this is why all hack play. for that moment of greatness. I like baseball but can never crush a 95mph fastball 400feet or slam dunk a basketball. But i can hit a wedge from 100 yards to a couple feet ever now and then. Golf allows regular joes to feel the excitement and thrill of executing the perfect golf shot.
kyfrydan says:
As a fellow hack 16 handicapper, I understand where you are coming from. My thing is that feeling you get at every par 3 thinking "this is the day I'm getting my first hole-in-one".
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