I played my first ever game of golf last night on a proper golf course. Well – a 9 hole course if you can class that as proper, a very nice course called Ghyll Golf Club near Skipton – for the sake of this blog, I’m calling it proper. I’ve been playing screen based golf – most recently Tiger Woods on the wii (fantastic – especially via an 8′ projected image) and Disk Golf for years so know the rules of real golf quite intimately, as well as most of the etiquette and lingo, but this was the first time I’d hit it in the real world – woods n all.
The cynic in me has (and probably still does) thought “It’s an expensive walk in a fake countryside”. But having played it now, I can see some of the appeal. Not so much the walking side (I’d much rather be ‘out there’ in some official wilderside / countryness if it was a walk I was after), but the pure joy of it’s sporting aspect. The few times I managed to connect with the ball properly and tonk it ‘miles’ felt – really satisfying. A couple of nice chips onto the green also felt extremely satisfying, along with a near average putt or two made the whole thing, as a sport goes, very feelgood.
It does seem to capture the hearts and minds of millions of people. I’ve now seen first hand the way it hooks you (pardon the pun). “if I went back, I’d be better next time”. You really do play against yourself. Now I’ve got my head round some of the basics, I can start to think about how to improve.
Nagging thoughts are that I’ve always been a bit threatened by the clichés of golf, I don’t think I’d ever want to bracket myself as ‘a golfer’ as to me it seems to conjure up a certain type of person. In my mind he’s a narrow minded sexist who drive a Porsche 928 and enjoys wearing slacks. I’m sure that’s far from the actual real golfer. I know a fair few of them who are very lovely, and far removed from my pre conception. They probably do enjoy wearing slacks though as a rule of thumb.