Golf is a Silly, Silly Game

And so are you for playing it. Don’t try to deny it, because you know it’s true. And if you are here, reading this . . . well, I’m sorry to inform you that you are sillier than most. People of a less silly persuasion are content to play a round of golf every now and again. But not you. Oh no. You think about golf constantly. You think about the courses, the scores, the TV tournaments, and the endless supply of equipment (mmmmmm . . . putters.)

You, my dear faithful reader . . . oh, I know you. You swear at your body when it fails to contort into a perfectly wound spring of muscular madness on the driving range. You think endlessly about whether the latest stand bag has a fourteen-way top with full length dividers. You debate the merits of a two-piece vs. a three-piece ball. You my friend, upon seeing a hula hoop, think of an optimal swing plane instead of a fun toy. (You know, for the kids.). And most disturbing of all, when you hear the words “balls”, “shaft”, “head”, and “stroke” used in the same sentence, your first instinct is to listen intently instead of bursting into laughter like a 14-year old boy watching the Ex-Lax scene in “Dumb and Dumber” for the first time.

So, reader, you may ask yourself what makes me so confident in my assessment of your profound silliness? Simple, if you are reading this, it means that you are sitting in front of a computer screen capable of accessing a multinational digital network filled with information on a dizzying array of topics ranging from art, philosophy, and literature to science, politics, and law. (And I’m pretty sure that the combination to my old high school locker from senior year is in there somewhere. I never could get that damn thing open.)

But instead of reading about the secrets of the universe, you are here . . . reading the ramblings of a simpleton (moi) about a game that requires you to lug a variety of oddly shaped bent metal sticks around on your back through a perfectly manicured park while you swipe chunks out of the grass in a neverending attempt to chase a little plastic white ball into a tiny hole. And you are probably doing that reading while at work. (For Peter’s sake, don’t forget to put a cover sheet on that T.P.S. report!)

You sir or madam, are silly. And so am I.

But here’s the thing. With rare exceptions such as marrying the love of your life or the birth of a child (both of which I still maintain are filled with their own unique brand of silliness), it’s not the “serious” things that make life worth living, it’s the silly ones. My father, a man I admire immensely for his work ethic, once told me “Harry, on their death bed, no one says I wish I had been at the office more. It’s not your career that you will remember at the end, it’s your family and the fun you had.”

And though I have lived only half the life that my father has, I already recognize his wisdom. Looking back, the things I remember most fondly are the silly ones: building a ramp from bricks and plywood and jumping my bike over more bricks; eating a bowl of homemade ice cream with my brother and getting the most wicked ice-cream headache ever, but not stopping because it was so good; and sliding fast down a snow covered hill on a waxed plank of wood called a snowboard for the first time and feeling the surge of adrenaline, freedom, and a fear so strong I thought I would wet myself (okay, in all fairness, that last feeling might have been the result of the three beers I had at lunch.)

And I remember golf. The smell of the grass, the feel of wood tees, and the surprise when a shanked tee shot on a par three rebounded off the red tee marker in front of me, nearly taking out my buddy on its way to a watery grave at a location exactly 180 degrees from the pin where I had aimed my ball. But I don’t have to tell you my silly stories, do I? Because you have your own, and you know exactly what I mean. That’s why you are here. Welcome to The Hacker’s Paradise. We’re silly too.

Harry Longshanks is a regular contributor to The Hacker’s Paradise and aspires to one day have the literary and cycling prowess of David Feherty.

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