Until the recent years of the Tiger, I was never a big golf fan. To quote my great grandmother yet again, it always seemed like too much sugar for a cent.
It's the only sport I can think of where a really good player is someone who can hit the ball less and that's considered a good thing. What's the point in that?
In tennis and volleyball, a good rally means you hit the ball more often. A typical tennis game doesn't usually take more than two or three minutes. But during that time you can experience the great pleasure of head to head competition. That is primarily what sports has always been about for me -- hitting the snot out of a softball, volleyball, or tennis ball -- at someone else.
Even waiting my turn to bat wasn't enough for me in softball. In the field I pitched so I could challenge each player on the other team on every play.
For my needs, there was so much more satisfaction, more of a defining moment, competing directly against someone, giving them your best shot and taking theirs, trying to make them miss or dominating them with power, or, less often in my case, finesse.
Golf is too oblique for me. The game leaves you too much time for thinking instead of reacting. Plus, you play together in parallel universes which never intersect until you compare your scores at the end.
There are also too many pointless hours of walking in golf, most of them spent chasing after the ball before you get to hit it again. And what's with all those clubs? If you only hit the ball 80 to 100 times, why do you need so many different sticks just for swinging at it?
I could hit a tennis ball almost twenty times in a single two minute rally and I never needed to change rackets. In golf you need one club to hit the ball down the middle of the fairway, another club to hit the ball out of the rough, another for the sand, another one toget onto the green and a final one to get into the hole. In tennis, I just changed my grip on the racket depending on what kind of spin I wanted to put on the ball. Ground strokes, volleys, serves, drop shots -- one racket, different strokes. Is that so hard?
The clothes may have been the real killer. Compared to almost every other sport, golf garb is cheesy. And the shoes are supremely unattractive.
Perhaps golf couldn't do it for me because I have always been partial to immediate gratification. Sports is always about continuous motion, which tennis, volleyball and softball seemed to satisfy better. Cycling was good too because you could push yourself faster and faster, leading a peloton or racing against another person, or just beating your old time.
And, finally, I was raised during an era when women were restricted to the worst times and the most inconvenient days they could play on the course, so that pretty much queered the deal for me upfront.
The point of this little rant is to give you the back story of my golf experience during my vacation, which will be in the next entry.