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Q: Why golf? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Why golf?
Category: Sports and Recreation
Asked by: yreka-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 25 Jul 2002 10:21 PDT
Expires: 24 Aug 2002 10:21 PDT
Question ID: 45043
My husband is a golf fanatic, yet being the strong silent type is
unable to explain to me what it "does for" him.  I took lessons once,
hoping for an "aha!" moment, but never got one.  I still don't get it,
though I respect the fact that a round of golf does for him what a
hike in the mountains does for me.

Can you locate any books/quotes/whatever that capture the essence of
the appeal of this game?  I suppose literate golfers might have
collections of these already, so maybe it won't take too much digging.

Many thanks!
Subject: Re: Why golf?
Answered By: bethc-ga on 25 Jul 2002 12:26 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi yreka,

Well, I thought you might wait a long time for a “literate golfer” to
come along and answer your question. (Please, no hate mail from my
fellow researchers who may be golfers!). I also thought that maybe we
could discover the lure of the game together. So, put on your funny
shoes, but, please, not the lime green outfit ….


“According to the USGA, handicaps of recreational golfers have
remained unchanged in the last 25 years. Maybe that doesn't surprise
you, but consider the changes in the golf industry in recent decades.
Equipment is so high-tech now; golf clubs practically swing

“What an amazing testimonial to the mystery and allure of golf. In
spite of evidence to the contrary, we continue to immerse ourselves in
the hope of beating this marvelous and crazy game.”

From this we might discern that there is some continual striving to
master the game, hence its ability to remain interesting to members of
the zealous for a lifetime.

Happiness in Golf
Melissa Whitmire


Two men were playing a round of golf one day. Just as they were about
to start one of the holes, a funeral procession went by on the road
beside the course. One of the golfers, Clyde, takes off his cap and
stands with his cap to his chest, and waits for the entire procession
to go by. He then puts his cap back on and proceeds to tee off.

"Gee Clyde, that was a very nice gesture on your part. It was very
thoughtful and respectful of you to do that," his friend said.

"Well," Clyde replied, "I was married to her for 30 years, it was the
least that I could do."

From this we can deduce that, over the course of a lifetime, golf
might outlast a spouse, something in the nature of a faithful

The Humor Vault
Golf Jokes


“The man who takes up golf to get his mind off his work soon takes up
work to get his mind off golf.”
(Is it in the nature of an obsession? An addiction? That would explain
a lot.)

The Humor Vault
Golf Jokes

"Indeed, the highest pleasure of golf may be that on the fairways and
far from all the pressures of commerce and rationality, we can feel
immortal for a few hours." -Colman McCarthy
(Immortality? That can be a very powerful lure.)

"I'd give up golf if I didn't have so many sweaters." -Bob Hope
(Golf for the wardrobe? That was a surprise!)

"He enjoys that perfect peace, that peace beyond all understanding,
which comes at its maximum only to the man who has given up golf."
-P.G. Wodehouse
(Because it feels so good when you quit? I always thought P.G.
Wodehouse was a man of great insight.)

More quotes can be found at:
Golf Quotes


Here is a review I found of a book called, “Golf Gave Me Something to
Love” by Bob Thomas.

"Is golf an apt metaphor for life off the course? Do the lessons
learned -- or not learned -- hold any value beyond 18 holes? Can a
game transform a soul? If you say, "Yes," you'll love this story." If
you say "No," you need to read it . . . before it's too late."

Transform a soul? Heady stuff, that. Maybe the answer is to be found
in this book.

Review from Kiel Christensen,

Then I searched on Google Groups, to get some insight. Here are a few
quotes from the faithful:

“Again, it's just part of the allure of the sport for me.  Not just
the act itself.  Golf offers such an all encompassing experience
compared to other sports I played in the past.  And the people who
play the game are characters to the Nth degree.  You gotta love it.”

From: ChiliDipper
Subject: Re: "R&B"
Date: 2002-02-17 21:25:03 PST

“To each his own, but I'm firmly in the camp that the allure of golf
is multi-layered. The competiton, the quest, the self-discipline, the
walking down the fairway, and more. All of these things combine to
create the complex compassion that we call golfing.”

From: Jack Hodgson (jghiii@NETCOM.COM)
Subject: Re: Carts
View: Complete Thread (88 articles) | Original Format
Date: 1996/05/01

And then there is the philosophical:
“I will be more specific.  The secret to and the allure of golf lie in
the struggle between god-like effort and self restraint.  You see,
with sufficient practice and dedication it turns out that practically
any person with resolve can play one hole of golf as well as almost
anyone else in the world.”

From: E. Zundel (
Subject: On the art of writing; floating in the Fourth Dimension -
Newsgroups:, alt.revisionism, rec.humor
Date: 1996/04/24

And the very modest:
“I like golf because I don't have to be fast, tall and strong to be a
decent player.”

From: Scott Newell (
Subject: Re: Golfnhead
Date: 1999/09/09

Lastly, I called my father, who has been a lifelong golfer. He plays
at least four days a week, and whenever I am stuck for a Christmas or
Father’s Day gift idea, I look for something golf related, confident
that it will please. The only problem is that he now owns almost every
golf-themed mug or book or desk accessory that there is—I’m running
out of ideas.

I asked him if he could explain the lifelong lure of the game, a
philosophical discussion that we had not had up to this point. He said
that, as he got older, he stopped playing most of the other sports
that he had enjoyed (and there were many). Golf was the only one left
that didn’t hurt his knees.

So, yreka, I don’t know about you, but this is almost more that I ever
wanted to know about golf. It was all very interesting, but, you will
probably still only have that “aha!” moment while hiking in the
mountains. Because, as Mark Twain said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”



Search Criteria:
On Google and on Google Groups
golf  quotations OR stories OR sayings OR funny
quotations OR stories OR sayings OR funny "allure of golf"

Clarification of Answer by bethc-ga on 25 Jul 2002 20:26 PDT
Thanks, yreka, for the compliment and nice rating. I'm glad my answer
amused. I had fun researching it for you.

yreka-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks, bethc, for coming up with an entertaining and informative
answer to my question.  It seems clear that there is something
addictive about the pursuit of excellence in the game, but that there
are as many practical reasons as "spiritual" ones for people to play
it.  This item from the Golfquotes page comes closest to capturing the
appeal in language that makes sense to me: "Golf is twenty  percent
mechanics and technique. The other eighty percent is philosophy,
humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie,
cussedness, and conversation." -Grantland Rice   Thanks again!

And zeno...When I told hubby I wanted to go on a thirty mile
backpacking trip last summer, he said, "If I'm going to walk 30 miles,
I'll do it on a golf course, thank you."  Your comments are
helpful...Thanks, Y

Subject: Re: Why golf?
From: zeno-ga on 25 Jul 2002 14:26 PDT
More comments - for what it's worth.

I've played many sports over the years and though I played and even
accelled at team sports (football, soccer, baseball), I always
prefered the individual sports or activities. You live or die on your
own ability. So though golf is slow, contains no risk for death (and
therefore doesn't fit Hemmingway's definition of sport) or even injury
really, requires little physical conditioning, has a big
equipment-fetish, and so on, I am somehow strangely attracted to it
myself because of the competitive nature. One tries to do better than
the last time out, and this keeps my interest. It looks like a very
simple game, and in many ways it is. Nearly anyone can swing well
enough to get a par now and then or even strike it lucky and
hole-in-one on a par3. But being consistent over the course of a round
is quite difficult.

In many areas, a golf course is also the only place where one can walk
on grass, surrounded by trees and water, seeing no buildings or cars
and hearing none of the hustle and bustle of the city. It is an escape
from the daily grind. Golf doesn't serve this purpose for me since I
get that from the ocean (I'm a regular surfer - an activity about as
far removed from golf as one can get), but I must admit that I've been
known to play in teva sandals in the summer so that I can sneak them
off and walk barefoot on the good grass when no one is looking, ha!

Unlike Twain, I've never been much interested in walks. So what I'll
say is: Golf makes the walk less boring.
Subject: Re: Why golf?
From: thx1138-ga on 25 Jul 2002 15:39 PDT
Mark Twain
“golf is a terrible way to ruin a good walk.”

George Bernard Shaw 
'Playing golf is a good way to ruin a nice walk'

Sir Winston Churchill 
"A diabotical way to ruin what would otherwise be a walk in pleasant surroundings"

James  Raisbeck (Who?)
"Golfing is a good way to spoil an otherwise excellent walk in a beautiful park."

So who REALLY said it first ?
Subject: Re: Why golf?
From: yreka-ga on 25 Jul 2002 15:46 PDT
I guess there are a lot of us out here who just don't get it!

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