Oct 14, 2008

The finer things in life can be found on the golf course

by Jake Petersen

After a weekend spent in the city of Nashville, Tenn. for the 2008 Baptist Press Journalism Conference and a grand total of 16 hours sitting in a car listening to nothing but Kelly Clarkson, I had a ton of time to think about the finer things in life.

Take, for example, the game of golf. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than lacing up my golf spikes and hitting the links with a few of my closest pals who share my love of the sport. A round of golf usually takes about four hours to complete, and those four hours, multiplied by the hundreds of rounds of golf I’ve played in my six years of playing, make up some of the best memories of my life that I would not trade for anything.

So the select few that actually chose to open up the Sports section today and read this column are probably thinking, “What the heck is the point of this article?” The point is not complex. As a matter of fact, it is quite simple: to somehow inspire you to play golf.

But the problem is, many people, maybe even you, find golf to be quite possibly the most boring sport on TV. However, you are the ones who have yet to give it a fair shot. I was one of those people too.

When I was 14, all I wanted to do was be a Major League baseball player for the Yankees, following in the footsteps of my hero Derek Jeter. However, when I saw Tiger Woods swing a golf club for the first time, I instantly had two heroes. Almost immediately I put my dreams of playing for the Yankees on hold, opting instead to one day don a green jacket after a Masters victory or plant a big kiss on a U.S. Open trophy, just like my hero Tiger did.

After a summer spent learning the ins and outs of the game with my best friend, we both joined our high school golf team our sophomore year, eventually getting good enough our sophomore year on JV to earn two Varsity letters our junior and senior years. I can honestly say the best afternoons of my life were spent at Shawnee Inn and Country Club near my home in Pennsylvania with my best friend.

So now that you know my life story, you can see how passionate I am about the game. Golf is a game of strategy, thinking, camaraderie, nostalgia and for most people, frustration. I guarantee that once you try it, you will probably not ever want to hit another golf ball in your life (except for mini golf, or Putt-Putt as you Southerners put it) because of how frustrating it is.
However, for some, the challenge of hitting a little white ball into a hole is something you will relish, despite the fact that it may take you 25 shots to get on the green. Over time and with a lot of practice, you will get better, and you will have me to thank for encouraging you to try something new. My philosophy is simple: try it, because you may like it.


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