The sport isn’t always fun, says the Angry Club Golfer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If only ‘woke’ social media would get the message
“You OK, hun?” Golf’s gone so wet these days it’s a question I’m forced to ask every time a partner suffers a slight misfortune on the course.
A missed tiddler would once be the subject of rightful derision among pals. Now you have to offer the victim a support group, lest they’re no longer ‘having fun’.
I’ve got no time for social media. This may be a surprise to many of you, given it’s essentially made up of millions of people forever insulting each other. You’d think I’d feel right at home.
But away from the general malevolence, there’s a darker side to the online world.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the never-ending supply of pictures, and memes, all lecturing us on the need to be enjoying ourselves out there.
The usual scenario – golf club invents sign containing any number of truisms and commandments to be happy – is accompanied by the poster gushing “Am I right?” followed by half a dozen emojis. It’s a cynical attempt to get likes. But too many are lured in like moths to the flame.
Fun? If all I wanted to do was have fun, I’d spend every day in bed, with a never-ending supply of pizza and beer and a lifetime subscription to Br… err, Netflix.
I love golf because it’s hard. Because it makes me scream sometimes. Because I play so badly on occasions, I physically can’t stop myself from getting back to the course as quickly as possible to right the wrongs.
But people equate fun with easy – that to be relaxed and as smiley as that late 80s acid symbol you somehow need access to unlimited mulligans, formats that simply disguise the fact you’re not that good at the game, and friends who offer a moment of respectful silence, rather than five minutes of guffawing, when you whiff one off the tee.
If golf was easy and merely fun, I wouldn’t bother. I enjoy it because it’s a challenge. It’s what makes me strive and work to get better.
This feckless fun attitude is encapsulated in another social media pearl of wisdom: Play by your own rules.
No, just play by the rules. I don’t get the boots on for a casual 5-a-side and pick up the ball in the centre circle to dribble it basketball-style into the net.
It is rules that bring order to chaos. When did it become a crime to admit that golf is hard – that it’s a sport that tests your patience and your spirit to its very limit? That, sometimes, it isn’t always fun.
It’s the endeavour, though, that makes it worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s just hitting a little ball around a big field. And after all, in the larger scheme of life, what really is the point of that?
Off his head or right on the money? What do you think about the Angry Club Golfer’s latest rant? Give him both barrels in the comments, or tweet him.
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