Why Play the Game of Golf

Why Play the Game of Golf
I received an email sent from my son Russ as another son Bill had sent it to him. This is a true summary of why they play golf and most of it is why I still love and play golf. These two have been playing golf together since young boys and still play together in tournaments or whenever they can get together. Since one lives in Chicago and the other in Fort Worth their golf games are whenever they can arrange them. They just completed a golf tournament at Bill’s golf course the Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois this past weekend. Here are their feelings about golf:

It's the way the first tee feels, alive with possibility.

It's that feeling, out of nowhere, that comes as you're lining up a putt, letting you know that all you have to do is, get the ball rolling and the hole will get in the way.

It's the thump of a well-played bunker shot.

Its nine holes late in the day, when the sun is sinking and the shadows are stretching, showing every bump and roll in a golden light that makes you stop and look around.

It's calling your shot and pulling it off.

It's your Saturday morning game, with a little money on the line and no haggling about the teams.

It's the guys who look like they can't play a lick then spend their days around par, not needing swing coaches, just having a knack for getting the ball in the hole.

It's calling your own penalties.

It's a kid with his bag slung over his shoulder, cap pulled down low, hoofing it down a fairway.

It's nipping a wedge just right, having it bounce once and cozy up to the hole.

It's a bowl of peanuts and a cold beer at the end of the day, when stories can be embellished, if only a little.

It's the warm feel of a turtleneck in December, the first greening of the grass in March, the thrill of hitting it a club longer in July and greens as fast as the kitchen floor in October.

It's the suntan marks left by your golf socks and shoes.

It's having the sun behind you and catching a tee shot square, having a moment to admire it as it's framed against the sky.

It's the small but sudden thrill of finding a new Titleist, even if you already have a bagful.

It's the clutch in your throat the first time you see St. Andrews and the never-ending thrill of Amen Corner.

It's the belief that the magic you've found in a new driver will last forever.

It's the scent of salt air, the faint taste of pine pollen on your lips and the glimpse of a gator in a low country lagoon.

It's standing over a 5-footer that doesn't matter to anyone but you and being thankful for the feeling.

It's Mickelson with a wedge in his hand, and Nicklaus on the property.

It's the little places with pickups in the parking lot, ragged grass, bumpy greens, worn-out golf carts, yellow range balls, and a spirit all its own.

It's the way you practice your swing in the elevator riding down, the way you put an overlapping grip on the rake, and the way you see golf holes where others just see fields along the highway.

It's the way tournament golf feels, even if it's just a little club event.

It's the feel of new grips and the shine of new irons.

It's playing with your father, your brother, your son.

It's listening to David Feherty, Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo explain the game as only they can.

It's the gentle creak of aging muscles in the evening, a good tired.

It's winning the press at the 18th.

It's going for a par-5 in two, trying to cut a corner, and that instant when you wonder if the shot is as good as it looks.

It's golf. And it's why we play the game.

Yes they both have been to St Andrews and watch the Masters at Amen Corner and golf is the tie that keeps them together as brothers. The picture below is of the two of them after they won the Exmoor Golf Tournament in 2003. They wrote a review of their win in our family book we published called “It’s All About the Games” stories of family members accomplishments in sports. The title of their chapter is “From Corn to High Cotton” reviewing their growth in golf from the Lake City, Iowa nine hole golf course to the distinguish old Golf Course in Highland Park, Illinois called Exmoor Country Club.

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