21 Things We Miss And Don't Miss About Golf
Golfshake's Derek Clements shares what he misses and doesn't miss about golf. See how many you agree with!
IT HASN’T been terribly long, but millions of us will already be missing the game that we love so much. These are extraordinary times in which we are currently living. Who would ever have thought that our golf courses would be closed and that we would all be ordered to remain at home, twiddling our thumbs and wondering when this will ever come to an end?
I don’t know about you, but I am not ashamed to admit that I am going stir crazy. You can only watch so many reruns of The Open and the Ryder Cup - and believe me, I have - before you look out the window and start to long to be back out on the fairway. It hasn’t helped that the sun has been shining and there hasn’t been a cloud in the sky. Or that the clocks have now gone forward and we are starting to enjoy longer days. And this is early days yet.
We are all attracted to golf for different reasons, but I got to thinking about the things that I am missing the most, and here they are:
Comradeship - we all play golf for different reasons but surely the one thing that we all have in common is that we enjoy the company of others. Yes, golf can be a solitary game, but we all have our favourite people to play with, those who bring out the best in us, who encourage us when it all goes wrong, who make us laugh.
Banter - there is something about the game of golf that brings out the best in us. Maybe it’s because we are all out there doing something we enjoy. Maybe it’s because we are with like-minded people. Whatever it is, there is nothing to beat the banter that goes on in most Saturday fourballs, on and off the course.
The Masters - can you believe that there will be no Masters in April? It is the event that truly signals the start of the golf season. It is many golfers’ favourite major. Augusta National is a masterpiece. It always looks sensational and it is a course that provides gut-wrenching drama and excitement every single year. Who will ever forget Tiger Woods’ extraordinary comeback victory in 2019? If you had written it beforehand nobody would have believed you.
The smell of freshly-cut grass - there is nothing to beat the smell in the air when the greenkeepers have just cut the fairways.
Temper tantrums - we all know grown-up club golfers who throw clubs, stamp their feet and bemoan their luck when they return to the clubhouse. They are frustrating to play with, but they are also very funny. If only they knew it. And who isn’t missing watching the likes of Tyrrell Hatton blaming everybody but himself when he hits a poor shot?
Fashion disasters - we all know that some of the outfits worn by tour professionals really are crimes against fashion but we also all play with club golfers who perpetrate abominations every time they step onto the course. They wear trousers and tops in which they wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere else. We love pulling their legs - and they revel in having their legs pulled.
Waterproofs - this one may seem a little odd but, right now, I actually wouldn’t mind having to ferret around in my golf bag to pull out my waterproofs because it would mean that I was out there playing. That reminds me - it might actually be time to dig them out and wash them.
Competition - we all love our friendly four balls. We do, don’t we? But surely one of the reasons we play golf is to pit our wits against the course and against our fellow competitors. And then to scratch our heads in astonishment when we go to the board and realise that our handicap has been cut yet again for no good reason.
Patrick Reed - the American polarises opinion. You either love him or you hate him (I am a fan) but you surely have to admire the way he shrugs off all the drama, all the controversy and just gets on with the job. And the greater the controversy, the better he seems to play.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy - whether they are at the peak of their powers or struggling, it is impossible to take your eyes off this pair, and they will be sorely missed.
Excuses - it’s never your fault, is it?
New equipment - there is always somebody at the club who has succumbed to the latest marketing ploy. It may be a new driver, a new wedge, a fresh set of irons or a putter that looks like it belongs in your toolbox. It is going to give him an extra 10 yards off the tee. It is going to make him more consistent. He is going to hole more putts. Except that none of that ever actually happens.
Mixed competitions - sadly, there remains a hard-core of male golfers who wouldn’t be seen dead in a mixed competition. Quite frankly, they haven’t a clue what they are missing. Look and learn. I don’t know a single woman golfer who isn’t a great putter. And they are always good company. Always.
So we have looked at things that keep us hooked on golf, the things we are starting to yearn for as we are all stuck indoors. But let’s not pretend that everything is perfect about the game of golf. Here are the things I really don’t miss:
Five-hour rounds - boy, do I not miss this.
Lack of etiquette - I am talking about the slowcoaches who don’t let you play through, who don’t replace divots, who don’t rake bunkers and don’t repair pitchmarks.
Cheats - nothing more needs to be said.
The handicap system - does anybody out there really understand the handicap system? If you do, would you be good enough to jot down some notes and send them to me please.
The know-it-all - every golf club has one. He is the person who knows the rules inside out. He is also the guy who has all the rumours, most of which turn out to be totally incorrect.
Bryson DeChambeau - he plays the game his own way and you cannot argue with the truth that he knows what he is doing. But I would rather watch paint dry than follow DeChambeau for 72 holes. Why can’t he just pull out a club, stand over the ball and hit it?
Car parks - why is it that so many golf clubs spend so much money on course maintenance but provide their members and visitors with car parks that resemble the surface of the moon? Why does it seem to be so difficult to fill in potholes? Worse than that are the clubs that provide perfect car parks for their members and a separate one for visitors that essentially tells those visitors they are not welcome.
The post-round bore - you have played 18 holes with him and have watched every shot he hit. You even marked his card for goodness sake. However, when you get back to the clubhouse and sit down to enjoy a pint and a sandwich he insists on going through his round shot by shot. Your eyes glaze over. Everybody’s eyes glaze over. But he just doesn’t notice.
Let us know what you are most missing about the game, but also those things that you can do without anyway!
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