Friday, July 12, 2013

Golf Ugh!

Hole 10, Augusta National Golf Club
Golf is a time consuming “sport,” although it hardly looks like a sport since inertial force is not employed for the purpose of speed or strength. The closest sport to golf is probably baseball, though the difference is that the long languorous moments when nothing seems to happen in baseball are counterbalanced by spurts of action when a player tags up or steals a base or slides into home. Golf is a truly peripatetic sport and if it had been around during the time of Plato and Socrates one wonders if they would have cottoned to it as a place to create their dialogues. However, today because of the expense of the land and infrastructure most golf courses require, golf caters to conversations of a distinctly non-philosophically disinterested nature. It’s no accident that golf is the sport of the elite since it’s a wonderful place to do business. It’s a business lunch on wheels that provides the distraction of play. One could say that philosophers or common folk could also avail themselves of the traps and greens and runways for talk about life (and there are a relatively small number of overcrowded public courses that serve just this function), but you won’t find too many golf courses in ghetto neighborhoods. Golf may not have been created for the sake of exclusivity, but the particular kind of real estate it requires and life style that it fosters (Bermuda shorts, pink shirts, white pants and shoes with cleats) make it a past time of the rich. The matter of Who’s Who and golf has been epitomized by the Augusta National Golf Club, which up until recently didn’t allow for women members  (Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, its first two female members, were only admitted this August).The Augusta National has a truly august following of national leaders and the fact that there was an ancien regime still eager to keep anyone out became a public disgrace. But who knows how many less publically known golf clubs still maintain admissions policies that discriminate on the base of race and gender? Thus golf is more a club than a sport though the club which is the equivalent of the baseball bat is still capable of creating quite a racquet. In plain terms, golf sucks. When America goes through its version of China’s Cultural Revolution, golf clubs (both the institutions and the implements) will be the first to go.

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