i play golf. it's true. you might have to know me fairly well to know this--or not. but that's the funny thing about it. golf is such a strange and unique hobby, activity, sport, recreation, passion. it's almost as if it's unlike anything else. and the strange thing about it is that if you don't play, then you won't understand easily, and i'm not sure how to put it into words.
i grew up going to play at a fancy high-end private club in kc. the kids and women were/are snotty. the older guys aren't so bad mostly though. it's an elitist society. i can't stand it. but the sport gives me great memories, and it's something i share with my dad. it's weird to think that most the people at that club make way more in a day than i make in a month. ha. and they let me in...
but really, what other sport or activity is so sequestered? people make these private clubs for giant plots of land with finely shaped grass, sand, and water. topped with a giant clubhouse where people treat you as they are servants in your own mansion, so long as you're wearing the proper attire.
every now and then i look at a certain activity, something that a group of humans are engaging in, and i think to myself, "what in the world would someone who had no cultural context for this (like an alien or something) think if they saw us doing this?" they would think we are so weird. case in point: the circus.
the game itself though has a strange aura around it. there is something in it that draws people out to keep playing. it is a ferocious mind battle, the focus it requires. one slight alteration in your swing will change the flight of the ball drastically. there is so much to think about: how you hold your hands, where to place the ball in your stance, the wind, where the trouble is, where to miss, taking the back-swing right, turning the hands, keeping the hips still, holding the shoulder closed, etc. and it changes with every shot. it's all in your head. and yet you are around 3 other people who are all going through the same process over and over.
the thing about golf is, you can go out with someone and spend 4-5 hours, hardly talking all that much, and walk off the course knowing them quite well. golf brings out a lot about a person's character. you can tell so much about a person by the way they respond to a bad shot, the way they practice before taking a shot, the way they respond to other's shots.
another thing about golf is that it affords so much sucking. you can be just about worse at it than anything else in your life, but of your 118 strokes that day you hit one that was just high and beautiful and right down the middle. and you'll be coming back for more.
i have no idea if this is interesting to any of you. i can't really convey it very well--especially the comedy behind it all. surrounded by mansions, hitting a little white ball ($4 a pop with high-tech cores to fly far and land soft) with highly forged pieces of iron and tungsten and whoever knows what other metals. you're disconnected from the world for those few hours, and it might seem like you're spending them in nature if it all wasn't so weird with everything around you so artificial.
still, i love it for whatever reason. oh and the guy we played on thursday gave me a cigar from a certain country that makes great cigars...shhh! dont' tell!