Re: In Defense of Golf

1

It keeps cretinous people off the streets on weekends?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 1:57 AM
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I've never played golf, but don't feel any particular outrage toward it. (*The* most fascinating comment ever? Maybe!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 2:44 AM
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The whole ecological catastrophe thing is really too bad, but other than that it can be fun. You're walking around outside, doing a kind of fiddly task that also involves hitting things. Not so bad!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 4:25 AM
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4

Also golf made many laudable, if indirect, contributions to the humor of P.G. Wodehouse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 4:57 AM
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5

Also, mashie niblick.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 5:04 AM
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6

In many cases, it can make for a lovely walk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 6:04 AM
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5: And spoon.

My recently dead uncle Harry was a big golf player and a very nice guy -- one of his sons-in-law told an excellent story at the memorial service about playing golf with Harry for the first time when he started dating my cousin, and having his self-confidence utterly destroyed by watching Harry successfully putt out of a bunker.

Yeah, aside from the ecological disaster, and the cultural association with rich WASPs, there's nothing wrong with the game.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 6:36 AM
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I like the windmills and faces and other tricky tunnels and obstacles that the balls go thru. The modernist courses are nowhere near as much as fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 7:31 AM
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It's up there with poker and bridge and World of Warcraft on the list of games that I don't want to get into, because I might start putting in effort to succeed at them, and no good can come of that.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 7:35 AM
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10

It's okay in Scotland, but it should be illegal in Arizona. The ecological disaster bit is no small thing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 7:36 AM
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11

A lot of people I knew growing up played, even kids who weren't from the usual middle-class golfing background. There were public access council courses nearby.

I can't say I personally got much out of it, though. I don't think I've picked up a golf club since I was a teenager and I've never contemplated learning to play properly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:00 AM
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I would totally play if I had the money and time to piss away--it seems like one of those games like darts or bocce that you can enjoy at any skill level, ideally with drinks and smokes available. It's only an issue if you get caught up in the Muffie-and-Pepper WASP country club crap. Trivia: MN has the highest golf-course-acreage to population ratio of any state. It's not an upwardly-mobile kinda deal here.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:17 AM
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13

My dad plays, is quite good, and is by no means a WASP. (Well, maybe in the literal sense, if one stretches the definition of Anglo-Saxon a bit.) He learned from his dad and uncles, I think, so it seems to have been a family pastime. I think, despite its reputation, that it's probably a working-class game, for the most part. (Of course, there are many people for whom it's more about getting outside and drinking than about the game. These people annoy serious golfers like my dad, at least when they're not polite enough to let him play through.)

I never had much interest in learning to play, but I can see the appeal. It's a game that takes a lot of skill and continues to reward practice over a long period of time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:30 AM
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14

|| I'll mention it again, since this seems to be the proper thread: I'll be in St. Andrews for about two months starting this Thursday, and would really appreciate it if there's anyone in the hordes of legion here who can meet up there or just give me general tips regarding the area.
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Posted by: Unpronounceable Awl | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:35 AM
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When I first moved to Texas, I lived by a golf course. On my first day, someone told me that it was the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi. (Which is true.) But soon after I had to give directions to my house, and I had no idea how to do so, and I tried to say "I live right near the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi?" That was sufficient for them to start tossing out names and we pieced things together.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:35 AM
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In many cases, it can make for a lovely walk.

A good walk spoiled, as Mark Twain said. On the plus side, the last time I played, I nearly hit a priest, so there's that. Also, those fancy new drivers? Holy crap, can you hit a ball far with one of those.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:40 AM
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I like the windmills and faces and other tricky tunnels and obstacles that the balls go thru. The modernist courses are nowhere near as much as fun.

In general, I agree, but there was an amazing "modernist" mini golf course in the Olympic Park in Munich that I went to as a kid (late 80s, don't know if it's still there) that included all kinds of Rube Goldberg contraptions. Highly recommended.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:48 AM
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I'm reminded of one of the best lines in Primary Colors. The Cuomo character quotes his dad as saying that golf is the most capitalist of sports: it uses the most land for the least purpose of any of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 8:56 AM
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19

Golf deconstructed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:05 AM
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20

I waitressed in a country club one summer and it was full of frightful people. Based on my experience I think all golf courses should be ploughed up and planted with oh I dunno alfalfa.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:22 AM
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21

They were probably just as scared of you, mcmc. It's always wise to keep your wits about you when summering in their natural habitat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:25 AM
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22

Best ever sport to watch on television. Recline on couch, read book with golf on the TV, nod off, wake 45 minutes later and you often haven't missed much golf.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:40 AM
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23

14: I can give you tips that are this point 6-7 years old. Is there anything in particular you want to know about? Should I just email you?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:53 AM
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The only time I have ever played golf was in Yosemite. I enjoyed the juxtaposition, and it was fun to hit the ball far, but god am I terrible at putting.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 9:54 AM
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re: 14

I don't really know St. Andrews well, but I can recommend taking a trip down to some of the coastal villages in the East Neuk of Fife.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Neuk

And also Edinburgh, obviously. Slightly further afield, Stirling and Glasgow. Scotland isn't very big, so it doesn't take that long to get around.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 10:09 AM
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My Dad loves golf: he even retired to a gated golfing community. But then his health insurance jacked their premiums, and he's not yet old enough for Medicare. So he had to spend his money on the don't-get-sick plan instead of his annual dues.

Won't someone think of the childrenyoung retirees?


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 10:18 AM
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27

23: Yes, please! This address.
25: We (self and SO) are thinking of doing the West Highland Way. I think we'll manage, logistics-wise, but if for some reason this seems like a terrible mistake, it would be best to know now (before we start booking B&Bs).


Posted by: Unpronounceable Awl | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 10:29 AM
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re: 27

I've never walked the whole of the West Highland Way, although I've taken a stroll up the bit of it that runs around the eastern side of Lock Lomond. I suppose the only possible concern might be the weather. If you are going to be there September/October it might be a bit wet. Although there won't be so many midges, I suppose, so it might not be a bad time to do it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 10:35 AM
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29

Lock? Wtf. Need to hand in my tartan hat and ginger wig at the depot ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 10:39 AM
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Best ever sport to watch on television. Recline on couch, read book with golf on the TV, nod off, wake 45 minutes later and you often haven't missed much golf.

I like watching golf, but only when stoned, so no reading.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:12 PM
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I just turned on the TV to find some golf match on. I switched to baseball, because watching the Cubs lose is objectively better.

Also, I'm reminded about a conversation at a recent party. A guest I'd not met before was talking about her dad, who had been on the PGA tour back in the day. She bristled at someone who said something about "going golfing". She explained, "Golfers do not 'go golfing'. Golfers 'go play golf'." It was odd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:24 PM
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32

I switched to baseball, because watching the Cubs lose is objectively better.

Hating the Cubs is a pretty good choice, as far as these things go. It's surprisingly social, since millions of other people will join you in this hobby, and it provides satisfaction year after year...

So long as you don't mess it up by also liking the White Sox.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:40 PM
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She bristled at someone who said something about "going golfing". She explained, "Golfers do not 'go golfing'. Golfers 'go play golf'."

Yeah, that's a pet peeve for my dad too. "'Golf' is not a verb!" "But, dad, why do you say 'golfer' then?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:43 PM
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34

She explained, "Golfers do not 'go golfing'. Golfers 'go play golf'." It was odd.

Presumably the idea here is something along the lines of real golfers not using "golf" as a verb, which is somewhat undermined by their apparent comfort with calling themselves "golfers" rather than something like "golf players."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:44 PM
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35

Dammit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:44 PM
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32: I guess I messed up, and I appear to have been punished for it: Cubs just hit a grand slam to take the lead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 3:45 PM
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27: Email sent.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 4:21 PM
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38

||

No more masturbating to Reading Rainbow, but LeVar Burton's still fair game.

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Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 4:36 PM
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25: We (self and SO) are thinking of doing the West Highland Way. I think we'll manage, logistics-wise, but if for some reason this seems like a terrible mistake, it would be best to know now (before we start booking B&Bs).

It's pretty cool; I wouldn't get too hung up over the weather, as long as you prepare properly and check the forecast every morning. We crossed over from Kinlochleven to to Fort William on a very rainy and windy day, and to be honest, it feels a bit more authentic than doing it in the sunshine.

Plan properly, make sure you've got good maps and proper gear. It's pretty hard to stuff up actually as long as you aren't stupid.

(And you may see up close one of the more impressive sights of the Scottish Highlands: the low flying supersonic RAF jet.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 5:41 PM
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40

"Stuff up" is pretty excellent.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-09 6:23 PM
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41

I would totally play if I had the money and time to piss away and if I could be a lot more like Chevy Chase in Caddyshack.

Yes, that's exactly what I'd do. I went out a few times with friends in college and played golf. Mostly we hit the balls wildly in every direction and drank a lot. That was fun.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-30-09 3:32 PM
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