The game of golf was invented several hundred years ago in Scotland. When you think about it, the northern part of Great Britain is not the ideal place to play an outdoor sport. While on the links in that part of the world, I’ve been rained on, snowed on, baked in the sun and blown around the course by 40 mile per hour winds.
But golf also has some strange traditions. Here are 11 unusual aspects of the game.
If you want to be a proficient golfer, you have to practice and take lessons with a professional. At $100 a pop, or more, it is easy to break the bank. Unfortunately, the best teaching pros work at country clubs, which can cost $100,000 to join.
Golfers are obsessed with the etiquette of the game. Specifically, talking or moving about are not allowed when a golfer is addressing the ball, fixing ball marks on the greens is imperative, raking traps is a must, yelling “fore” when you hit a crappy shot is expected, you must tee off in the correct order (lowest score from previous hole goes first), never give anyone golf tips unless you are a 10 or less, absolutely no social media gadgets are permitted, do not wear a hat in the dining room, short shorts are unwelcomed and so much more.
There is an entire book of rules governing the game. Only ten are relevant; the others are arcane and/or esoteric. Some golfers are so serious about all this stuff that they never seem to have a good time. They are perennially concerned that the golf gods will smite them for violating a golf commandment.
If you are playing a match or gambling, you must never cheat. But, if you are playing alone or with some friends and you are behind a tree, such that you may be injured, move the damn ball and avoid unnecessary medical expenses. I promise not to report you the golf police.
5. Ladies on the Ccourse:
Historically, golf ishas been a chauvinistic sport. For years, women were not permitted to play, which is really a dumb rule. In any case, so long as women (or men for that matter) play quickly, I have no issues regardless of their handicaps. Here are some tips for all high handicappers: if you cannot hit out of a sand trap, pick up and move on; do not practice while playing on the course; when you reach three over par, pick up your ball and go to the next tee; golf is not a coffee klatch, discussions about life, health, children, sex, politics, etc. should take place after the round is over.
6. Golf Eelitism:
Joining a golf club is like buying a coop apartment; you must be approved by a tribunal, so be on your best behavior. This process is degrading while you are being subjected to it, but after you are admitted into the club, it keeps out the riffraff, most of the time. However, there is not a legitimate reason to exclude people because of race, religion, color, sex or sexual preference.
7. Golf Ffashion:
This is an oxymoron. Who designs these clothes, anyway? See Loudmouth clothes (http://us.loudmouthgolf.com/). It is permissible and desirable to look like a dork or a clown on the course. I would never wherewore any golf clothes on the street. And, you must have the club’s logo on everything including your hat, your belt, your shirt, your golf bag, your golf balls and your underwear.
8. Speed of Pplay:
When men play golf, they cannot wait to be finished. Rush, rush, rush. It is a sacrilege to spend more than four hours on the course. You are supposed to be having fun while playing, so why be in such a hurry to get home? To mow the lawn or do work?
9. Golf Aarrogance:
If you suck at golf, some people will not play with you and think less of you as a person; they are arrogant jerks. As if a low handicap makes you a superior person. Some great golfers act like they are God’s gift to the world. They hit a little white ball around a course with 18 holes on it. There are no Nobel prizes for golf.
Most golfers, not me, want to bet when they play golf. The challenge of the game is enough to keep me interested. I do not need any incentives to play harder. And besides, I lose all the time, and it pisses me off to give someone cash.
Caddies are a strange lot. Their job is to find your ball when you hit it into the woods, read greens, say you are a great person and listen to all your whining and bitching. They do this to make a large tip.