Why We’re Thankful for Golf

Why We’re Thankful for Golf

 

With our annual foray into the gluttonous expansion of our waistlines Thursday, we thought we’d give a few reasons why we’re thankful for golf. The game can be infuriating, thrilling, hilarious and confounding, often all in the same round. As the English poet William Blake said, “The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest,” so read on, fellow golfer, and while you’re uncomfortably assimilating that third helping of potato gratin, take a moment to reflect on what this fascinating game means to you.

You can get whatever you want out of it:

Breaking news: 99.99% of us aren’t going to make our living playing golf (more below). So why do we spend so much of our valuable time with a club in our hands? The answer’s different for everyone. Golf has its gamblers, range rats, social strollers, tank-top-wearing muni regulars, 70 year-old beginners, aspiring professionals and everything in between. You can compete in high-pressure tournaments or only play alone. There are a lot of possibilities, but at some point you’ll want to ask yourself why YOU play. There’s no wrong answer, and that’s the beauty of it. Maybe you just like to try to hit the range picker. Good for you. If you’re respectful of the courses you play and other golfers, you can make the game whatever you want.

You can make your own rules:

In my opinion, there are only four things every golfer should abide when playing:

  1. Keep pace and let faster groups play through
  2. Respect other players (i.e. turn down the music if another group is near, yell FORE if needed, etc.)
  3. Leave the course in better shape than you found it
  4. Never cheat if you’re playing against anyone for anything (of course, you and your playing partners can agree on your own special rules)

Other than that, have at it. Here’s a good list of rules you can try for your next casual round, but feel free to get creative.

The PGA/LPGA/European Tour:

I’ve often said golf is the most difficult sport to make a living strictly playing, with the possible exception of basketball (read this). The talent at the highest levels of the sport is absolutely ridiculous .  While it’s true that there are more avenues to playing in a professional golf tournament than taking the court with Lebron James, take a look at this infographic on 2016-2017 PGA Tour Monday Qualifying:

If you’re a scratch golfer on a course similar to Hart Ranch, you’d have to get an average of 9 shots better per round to even get close to the PGA Tour (probably not happening). That’s what makes watching the best in the world so fun, especially under immense pressure at majors. It’s unreal to me that players like Justin Thomas or Lexi Thompson can have the seasons they had, sustaining excellent results throughout the year with the talent level that exists at the upper echelons of the sport. Tour-level golf is in a really good place, especially if Tiger can actually compete again.

It’s funny:

Golf inherently lends itself to hilarity. If you play long enough, you’ll fall down laughing at least once. Guaranteed.

Anyone can play at any age:

Sure, like learning an instrument or a language, you’ll probably be better if you grow up playing, but that’s not always the case. Toddlers play golf, as do the elderly, disabled people, wounded warriors and many others. If you’re interested, there’s no reason you can’t play.

The settings are remarkable:

Of course, we’re partial to the sunsets at Hart Ranch, but there are plenty of jaw-dropping vistas throughout the golfing world. Get out and see them.

It’s difficult, but we’re all in this together:

I know it’s tough to be grateful when you shank two balls into the pond on 12 and finally tap in for a 9, but hear me out. Golf is rewarding because it’s impossible to master, and there’s always room for improvement. The nice part is, every avid golfer has been there with you, even if they’re really good. Everyone who plays has hit terrible shots, and will again.

The golfing powers that be are addressing this issue, and equipment is better than ever at correcting errant shots. Taking lessons and getting fit for clubs can help immensely. Just remember, golf isn’t always about your score. Getting outside and having a good time with friends and family is far more important than shooting a number.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Of course, there are many more reasons we’re thankful for this game, but this post is long-winded as it is. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and since it looks like we’re going to have some awesome weather (we’re closed Thursday and Friday, but will open back up at 9am Saturday) this weekend, swing out to Hart Ranch and golf off that extra piece of pie. Happy golfing!