Friday, 17 May 2013

Playing around

Ah, the great game of golf! In equal terms it is enlightening and frustrating, especially for a 'hacker' like me. I took up golf last September and have been trying to learn the game through lessons with my local club pro and getting out on the course as often as possible. The weather has not been kind however, with torrential rain falling on a regular basis washing out most of last season and the beginning of this.

One benefit, no matter how badly one actually plays, is the exercise as the average round takes three and a half to four hours to complete and involves a good walk of around three to four miles, depending on the lie of the ball and how many shots one takes at each hole. Mark Twain famously described golf as '...a good walk spoiled' and perhaps non-golfers would agree with his statement however the game can tale the player from the height of ecstasy when playing a great shot to the depths of despair when the shot goes horribly wrong.

Golf is, to some extent, an enigma; a healthy and satisfying game but with ancient and sometimes confusing rules that are quite easy to fall foul of and lead to the disqualification of the player from the club competition. Like any sport, golf has to have rules, and a myriad of them there are; standard rules and local rules all have to be taken into account especially during club competitions where the difference between victory and defeat is a fine line indeed. Behaviour in the clubhouse is also taken seriously although to new members this is a mysterious and unknown area usually highlighted when said member falls foul of said rules quite innocently, cue older and long-standing members to snort derisively or even to take said member to task over said
rule breach. More enlightened clubs will hold an induction session to help new members understand some of the unwritten rules, particularly related to behaviour in the clubhouse along with an introduction to the rules one needs to follow out on the course, however this is no means standard across all golf clubs.

Despite the frustrations of the golf, and the sometimes anal rules one has to follow off the course, it is a very enjoyable and testing game which when it goes well gives the player a boost of confidence and well-being - the best type surely of 'playing a round'.