I Like Golf (sorry)
Sup? I’m Dom, and I’m here to write a sports column. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to start with “sup,” but just like anything non-Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian, this is no ordinary column. I’m sorry for that ancient Greek architecture joke, I just feel that I need to set the tone from the jump, or we will not get each other. “We” being you, the reader, and me, The Tar Pit’s resident sports expert. And just like when it comes to the weather or gambling, “expert” is a relative term (meteorology is a scam). I don’t know that much about sports. I know a little bit about them, a little bit about jokes, and a lotta bit about satirical fitness Instagrams (shameless plug). I’m going to try to make this column a fun way for everybody to talk about sports, and I’d like it to be different. So let’s start off with a take that most of you will disagree with me on: I like golf.
I think my easiest defense is to refute some (very valid) critiques of golf. Here is a fact:
Golf is really boring.
Everybody knows that. For every second spent actually golfing, there are many more seconds spent sitting around, watching, and doing nothing. But let’s get something straight: boring =/= bad. TONS of boring things are amazing. Have you ever knitted, or played Animal Crossing: New Horizons? There’s nothing better than an activity that doesn’t require a ton of stimuli. Sometimes, boring things are the best. They’re relaxing, not too physically straining, and if you do it right, you end up with a sweater.
I get that the first one is a jacket and not a sweater.
What comes next is something that will inevitably happen countless times over the course of this column: I’m going to contradict myself. Here is another fact:
Golf is really fun.
I won’t lie, golf can be really frustrating. There are a lot of little details that can go wrong. That’s life. In both cases, with the right attitude (and sometimes alcohol), you can have a great time. Golf is an inherently fun thing. If you get the chance in the near future, swing a golf club. Seriously, just swing it, as hard or as soft as you’d like. Without any scientific explanation, it’s just kinda fun. It becomes even more fun when you learn more about swinging, which clubs to swing, and how to make fun of your friends for swinging poorly while you yourself are just as bad (this is my favorite part). And the process of learning can be a fun time too. Hitting the driving range or practicing chips in a park is a great way to spend time outside with friends while staying active, and you can drink during it. Or smoke. Hell, you can probably snort during it, though I don’t recommend that.
How I feel at the range after a long day
Whether or not you use it to enjoy your other vices, the process of learning to golf and becoming better is both a rewarding and fun experience. It’s something that really anyone can enjoy. When it comes to gameplay, golf is a game for everyone. The obvious problem is that it’s about more than just gameplay, it’s about opportunity. Here’s another fact:
Golf is not accessible.
For most people, when they think golf, they think rich old white dudes. And that makes complete sense: according to the PGA of America, the percentage of minority golfers is only 18%. That’s ridiculous. Golf is a game that anybody can excel at, yet there’s a huge disparity in who gets the chance to. Golf is far too expensive and far too elitist. Those things need to change, because everyone deserves an opportunity to play this sport.
There are already some fantastic things being done. Programs like Craig Kirby’s Golf. My Future. My Game provide golf camps, clinics, internships, and more to kids who would not normally have access. Golf teams like The Drew Charter School in Atlanta have led by example on the course, winning championships and inspiring others to get involved. Still, there needs to be more. Just like with anything else, more money and more resources means more opportunity for all. More opportunity means more access, which leads to more people getting to enjoy this incredible, boring game.
The Drew Carter Boy’s Golf Team, 2018 Georgia State Champions
Like I said before, I’m not an expert. It doesn’t take an expert to notice this problem though, and it doesn’t take an expert to do something about it. Check out some resources. Donate old clubs. Invite your friends to a driving range. And if you’re reading this, and you want to try out golf, hit me up. I’ll be at my local park struggling to hit a chip shot correctly (and probably eating a bag of Doritos).