Welcome to my series of posts about the game of golf.
I’m the Golf Gadfly.
According to Wikipedia… “A gadfly is a person who interferes with the status quo by posing novel, potently upsetting questions, usually directed at authorities.”
Wikipedia goes on to say “The term is originally associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, in his defense when on trial for his life.”
You see, Socrates liked to stir the pot back in the day in Athens. He was so effective in asking uncomfortable questions that the people in power didn’t like that we wound up being arrested and put on trial. A loss would have meant the death penalty. Socrates survived by his wits, and among his arguments was that dissent, like the gadfly (the real insect that buzzes around horses and annoys the bejeezus out of them), was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be high: “If you kill a man like me”, Socrates supposedly said, “you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me”, because his role was “to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth”.
Thank you, Wikipedia, for the history lesson, and if you use Wikipedia anywhere near as much as I do in your research activities please throw them an occasional donation to keep that amazing service around.
But I digress… the topic of the day here is golf and what we can do to make it more fun, more convenient and more affordable so that millions more people will take up the game and so those of us who already play will get out on the course more often.
I doubt that anyone will want to put me on trial for my life, but I do intend to be a little pesky.
Why would I bother?
IMHO, golf is the greatest game ever invented… the hours of camaraderie and laughs with friends… the infinite variety of course design… the fresh air, sunshine and exercise… the cigars, booze and hot dogs … the incredible view from an elevated tee box or tunneling through a fairway lined with majestic oaks… the ability to enjoy the game at any age… the delicious irony that a 140 pound high school kid can have a more powerful swing than a 250 pound construction worker… the inches that can separate a brilliant result from a disastrous one… the fact that on any given hole an average hacker can beat the best player in the world… the satisfaction of a well-struck shot or a long putt into the center of the cup… the hilariously bad results of your worst shots… the seconds of anticipation as you’re wondering if your towering iron shot is going to clear that yawning bunker and cuddle up close to the pin or bury deep in the sand… the competitive juices that flow even during a dollar Nassau… the never-ending opportunity for improvement… the stories that will last a lifetime… we could go on and on and on… and so could you.
Let me leave you today with this ‘potently upsetting question’… think it over and I’ll be back soon to discuss it with you:
“The number of golfers and number of rounds of golf played per year has been slowly but steadily declining over the last decade. If golf is the greatest game ever invented, why isn’t the game growing at a healthy pace?”