Golf: For the Brave

Golf is an extremely unique sport. Every day I see the same parade of devoted students, ranging in ages from eighteen to eighty. I've also observed that many golfers do exactly as well at eighty as they did at eighteen. (Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes it is merely comical.) As Arnold Palmer said, "Golf is not, on the whole, a game for realists."

One of the golfers at the course had a near-fatal struggle with cancer last year. I remember the buzz generated when a tournament was hosted to help raise funds. At some point, despite all odds, fate took a charitable hand and she is now, thankfully, cancer-free. This charming, indomitable woman jokingly complained that she would now have to improve her golf game, as she is no longer terminal. Not one person was ashamed of the happy tears cried in the Pro Shop today - not even the men.

I find it interesting that people are so open here. There is a community in golf which gives to each other in a reciprocating fashion. Everyone is constantly giving, rarely is anyone asking. Yet, somehow, almost everyone seems happy. (Except the golfer who had a club miraculously "slip" into the center of the pond after a few bad strokes. It seems their gloves suffered from purposeful trajectory syndrome.)

The golf community, on the whole, is a group of people willing to place themselves in a position to fail, publicly, in front of a group, while maintaining a positive mental attitude. There is a special mental fortitude required of the individual willing to step up to a tee and attempt to hit a tiny ball with a rather small surface, at a hole in the ground which is so far away that it cannot be seen. It is a far greater feat to do this with an audience. Golf is a game played with determination, optimism, and faith.


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