The Passion For Golf

A recent THP forum topic named “Is playing poorly fun?” really got me thinking about how enthusiastically passionate some of us are about the game of golf. Read through some of the posts sometime, the question seems blatantly obvious to me, of course it’s not fun, it’s agonizingly painful to go through if you ask me. Then why do we do it to the degree that we do? Our forum at The Hackers Paradise has almost 500 members, of those there are probably a solid 100 or more that regularly post and hang out in the forum talking anything and everything golf. These people are absolutely obsessed with the game, we literally spend countless hours per week talking, reading, practicing, and playing the game that we love. We spend insane amounts of money on equipment, accessories, tee times, lessons, and yes even clothing. We’re not going to earn that money back, but so what, that’s not the point.

I’ve made a lot of real good friends who share the passion that I have for the game of golf, some more accomplished players than others, but none are anywhere close to being able to actually make their living at it. For us winning a couple legs of a $2 nassau is as close as we’ll ever get to making some serious cash off our golf game. So here we are, spending hundreds or in some cases thousands of dollars a year for a hobby that in the end gives us back little more than a stiff back and the occasional sand in the eye. So why in the world do we subject ourselves to the misery of playing bad and back pain if we know full well that we’re never going to live our dream of joining the big boys on the PGA Tour?

Sure we have all had those days on the course where it just seems that we’re lost out there, everything from our new driver we just forked over $400 for to our new belly putter we saw Vijay win with has turned on us and we can’t break double bogey if we were on a putt-putt course. We drag ourselves through it and hopefully haven’t broken too many clubs on the way around. We turn in the card and storm off to the car, just physically and emotionally spent from the labor of the 115 we just shot. “I hate this game, I’m done and that’s it.” We get home and the kids are happy to see us, completely oblivious to the carnage that just took place. Eventually that helps you get your mind off the bad round and things pretty much go back to normal.

Saturday morning comes and it is just gorgeous outside, the sun is up, the wind is low, the temp is going to warm up to mid 70’s by noon and guess what’s the best thing about it all? Yep, that 9 A.M. tee time baby! Wait a minute, you just got done telling yourself you were quitting the game forever, remember that? Remember that smooth 115 you just shot on Men’s day at the club? How in the world can you be even remotely serious about getting back out there on Saturday morning, just a couple of short days after you about sold your clubs on the spot?! You’ve got to be kidding me, right?

That’s the thing about golf and those of us passionate about the game. You just can’t explain it, all the heartache from last time out is gone and all we can think about is how great it’s going to be out there with our buddies for another spin around the golf course. Things will likely be better than that last showing, there’s no way it can be that bad again and hopefully we learned something from last time so that in the event of a bad shot here or there, we can get ourselves back on track. That’s one of the things I love about the game, that ever elusive effort to get my golf game as good as I can. There are always bumps in the road, even Tiger Woods has called himself a hack and feels like his game is horrible at times.

The game of golf for me is the greatest sport in the history of the world, I am absolutely obsessed and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. Sitting in my office at work I have pictures on the wall of famous golf holes, old scorecards of my great rounds, a couple of trophies from various tournaments, everywhere I look there is a constant reminder of my love affair with this sport. Of all the things I can see from my desk chair, by far the biggest distraction for a golf junkie like me is the big window that runs eye level to ceiling, a way to keep a constant look at the conditions of the day. There is nothing more difficult than getting me to focus on work on a sunny summer day, especially when I look across the yard and see that the flag is barely moving indicating low winds and further fueling the fire to get out and play golf!

Your answer to the question of whether or not playing poorly is fun might be different than mine, but I’m guessing that if you were to poll fellow obsessed golfers like me they’d tell you that just being out there playing the game we love so dearly is the most fun we’ll have all day. You can’t explain it, you either get it or you don’t. Golf is not easy, you never see someone pick up a club and immediately experience greatness. It takes a lot of practice, and a heck of a lot of patience. Golf is not a game for everyone, but this much I know….it is a game for me and it is a game that I love whether I like it or not.

Here is to keeping it in the short grass

Jason K.

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15 Comments

  • Great article. I share this passion and love the game. Well written.

  • Very true. There’s nothing else in the world that I love and hate as much as I do golf. Very good article.

  • That one great drive or the long, winding putt you make at the end keeps you coming back no matter what your score is. Coming to the forum really helps keep the passion up too. I love this stupid game! hehehe

  • Great article Jason. What other game can you play most of your life and have a great time playing by yourself, with your spouse, with a group of great friends, or three total strangers. There is just something special about this game that just can’t be described. That’s why you can quit one day and be back on the course the next!

  • WOW, great article Jason. Sums up what we all go through playing this great game of golf.

  • Well written, as always. Thanks, Jason.

  • Great job bud! I truly enjoyed this article. Keep up the great reading material!

  • Wonderful review! Golf is such a wonderful game and once you start you are hooked for life.

    Golfer Gal

  • Excellent write-up Jason. You captured my thoughts perfectly.

  • You nailed it. Very nice read. Thanks

  • Everything you wrote is so true, I ask myself nearly every round why do I keep coming back. I’m a hopeless addict is the only answer.

  • Just last Wednesday, amid a horrifying round, I said to my buddies, “This is not fun; why am I doing this?”.

    Three days later I bought a new set of TaylorMade 09 irons.

    Great article. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one riding the highs and lows.

  • You are absolutetly right about “you either get it, or you dont'” — had a conversation at lunch with a woman who doesn’t play. She said she just can’t imagine taking 4 or 5 hours out of her day just to play golf. I told her I can’t imagine not being able to spend 4 or 5 hours outdoors in beautiful surroundings away from phones and distractions!

  • Great essay. I agree; golf is a cruel addiction from which I hope to never free myself. I’ve sworn it off several times, but all it takes is a single sound strike of the ball on the sweet spot of the clubhead and I am sucked back down the vortex again.

  • That was a great read Jason.

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