Why Play Golf

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Danny Crowley, Jr., PGA
PGA Teaching • Coaching Professional

 

Oh, golf is for smellin’ heather and cut grass and walkin’ fast across the countryside and feelin’ the wind and watchin’ the sun go down and seein’ yor friends hit good shots and hittin’ some yourself. It’s love and it’s feelin’ the splendor of this good world.
– Michael Murphy

To discover the secrete of its wonderful charm is not the least of the problems of golf. It is a game that encourages the reflective and philosophical mind to close investigation, and so it is not enough for the worthy player that he should take the things he sees and feels for granted, with no questions concerning the mystic influences that seem constantly to brood over the links , and the people who are of them. Each day as we go forward to the game, and in particular if it marks the beginning of a special period of play, we feel these influences strong, and it may happen that for a moment we wonder again as to their cause and their origin.

The Mystery Of Golf
by Arnold Haultain,  Canadian Writer, Belletrist, 1908

Golf is a game in which attitude of mind counts for incomparably more than mightiness of muscle. Given an equality of strength and skill, the victory in golf will be to him who is Captain of his Soul. Give me a clear eye, a healthy liver, a strong will, a collected mind, and a conscience void of offence both toward God and toward men, and I will back the pygmy against the giant. Golf is a test, not so much of the muscle, or even of the brain and nerves of a man, as it is a test of his inmost veriest self; of his soul and spirit; of his whole character and disposition; of his temperament; of his habit of mind; of the entire content of his mental and moral nature as handed down to him by unnumbered multitudes of ancestors.

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The Eternal Verities of Golf
by Alexander Worth McAllister,  1862 – 1946

The game of golf, correctly played, and correctly means not merely in accord with the rules, but in accord with the true spirit of the game, is a complete philosophy of life, and fortunate is the man who can live as he plays golf if he plays it right.

It is a thousand pities that neither Aristotle nor Shakespeare was a golfer. There is no game that strips the soul so naked. – Horace Hutchinson

Fred Marik,  Publisher
Junior Golf Magazine,  April 10, 1998

Golf is first a sport of integrity and honesty. There are no referees or judges to control the game. The rules and etiquette are consistent and expected to be known and honored. It is a game of respect. It is an activity that parents naturally identify as one providing a set of standards and morals applicable for life-time achievement for their youngsters. In addition, parents see junior golf providing social relations and structures including positive, respected role-models; manners and temperament; experience with their playing peers; emotional control in a variety of situations; acceptance of the personal responsibility of victory or defeat; and a strong sense of the importance of education (and possibly a college scholarship). What a great lifetime sport for juniors to learn to play and learn from.

Daniel Forgan’s Creed
David Forgan, 1862 – 1931, In a speech given in 1899, he had the following to say in relation to the game of golf.

Golf is a science – the study of a lifetime in which you may exhaust yourself but never your subject.
It  is a contest, a duel or a melee, calling for courage, skill, strategy and self-control.
It  is a test of temper, a trial of honor, a revealer of character.
It affords a chance to play the man, and act the gentlemen.
It  means going into God’s  out-of-doors , getting close to nature, fresh air, exercise, a sweeping away of the mental cobwebs, genuine re-creation of the tired tissues.
It  is a cure for care-an antidote to worry.
It  includes companionship with friends, social intercourse, opportunity for courtesy, kindliness and generosity to an opponent.
It   promotes not only physical health but moral force.

Family Golf

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boy-family-golfThe First Tee is an initiative of the world of golf foundation, the mission of The First Tee is: “To impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life – enhancing values through the game of golf.

The Nine core values of The First Tee:

  • Honesty – The quality state or being truthful; not deceptive.Golf is unique from other sports in that players regularly call penalties on themselves.
  • Integrity – Strict Adherence to a standard of value or conduct, personal honesty and independence. Golf is a game of honesty, etiquette, and composure. You are responsible for your actions and personal conduct on the golf course.
  • Sportsmanship – Observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace. You must know and abide by the rules of golf and be able to conduct yourself in a respectful manner.
  • Respect – To feel or show differential regard for; esteem In golf, it is important to show respect for yourself, your partners, your opponents and the golf course as well as for the honor and traditions of the game.
  • Confidence – reliance or trust, a feeling of self assurance. Confidence plays a key role in the level of play you achieve. You must have confidence in your abilities every time you play.

When a father introduces the game to his child, he’s opening a window to the world of adults. The introduction is as valuable as good genes or a trust fund because golf is something to do and a golfer is someone to be.   
Curt Sampson, Golf Dads

  • girl-family-golfResponsibility – Accounting for one’s actions; dependable. In golf, you are responsible for yourself and your actions on the golf course. It’s up to keep score, repair divots, rake bunkers, repair ball marks on the green and keep up with the pace of play.
  • Perseverance – To persist in an idea, purpose or task despite obstacles. To succeed in golf, you must learn to persevere through bad breaks and your own mistakes.
  • Courtesy – Considerate behavior towards others. A polite remark or gesture. A round of golf should begin and end with a handshake between fellow competitors show courtesy towards others by remaining still and quiet while they prepare and execute the shot.
  • Judgement – The ability to make a decision or form an opinion. A decision reached after consideration. Using good judgement is critical in golf, it comes into play when deciding strategy club selection, when to play safe and when to take a chance, the type of shot you consider executing, as well understanding and abiding by etiquette.

The True Gentleman

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The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company; a man with whom honor is sacred, and virtue safe. – John W. Wayland

Social Golf

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Business Golf

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Business Golf: The Art of Building relationships through golf by Pat Summerall with Will D. Rhame and James A. McNulty, CPA

No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind.
Tom Watson, PGA Tour

Introduction by Pat Summerall

Personal experience has taught me that golf can break down barriers between people and serve as a catalyst for a free exchange of ideas as well as a way of building lasting relationships. I have met people I didn’t care for at first, but after playing with them I discovered that they weren’t bad people after all. I found that if I took the time to get to know others on the golf course, I would often view them in a different way. I have seen the good side as well as the competitive side of people, and each of us has a competitive side, though we may not show it. I think the fact that all players are equal on the golf course helps us bond both as friends and businessmen and women. It doesn’t make any difference how much ability we have, the handicap system works. It is the greatest equalizer. Nor does it make any difference how many lessons we have had or even if we never took a lesson. According to the rules of golf and the way the game is played, we are all equal. You can marvel at your opponent’s shots. He can do something just spectacular that you think you would only see on the PGA Tour, and at the same time you can make a thirty-foot putt that makes you feel just as good. Golf leaves us, at the end of the round, thinking, “Okay, I’ve done well today,” If we only had this feeling about life.

Pat’s Thoughts on How Golf Can Weave a Magic Spell

I think golf has a way of making people barriers as they wouldn’t normally do in business. If we were in the office looking across a desk, one of us would be sitting in an advantageous position. The golf course equalizes us. Instead of sitting across the desk, you’re competing with somebody on an equal footing. If we are asked what club to use or how far it is to the green, everyone seems to want to help everyone else. If somebody can’t find the ball, everybody looks for it. It is all part of the process of getting to know each other, learning how we each conduct ourselves in a social atmosphere. If we can get along on a social basis and learn about our interests outside of the business setting, we are in a better position to arrange a business transaction. No matter how many bucks are involved, as long as we are sincere and genuine with each other, golf can weave a magic spell. Golf is different from any other situation. In tennis you are trying to beat somebody; in business you are trying to get something from the other party. In golf you are not trying to beat somebody per se, you are trying to beat the object, the ball, the scorecard, or the golf course. You are competing, but mainly against yourself, and your attitude is: What can I do in this battle with myself, how can I be better?

Competitive Golf

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Upon the fields of friendly strife, Are sown the seeds that upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory – inscribed over the gymnasium entrance at West Point

Competition is the most direct route to competence.
Dr. Stuart H. Walker, National Sailing Hall of Fame

The desire to develop and demonstrate competence-creativity-mastery and courage-to feel the joy associated with feeling well, to realize the satisfaction attendant upon winning. We seek to enhance our skill because enjoyment is directly proportional to the degree of competence achieved. Excerpt from Winning; The Psychology of Competition by Stewart H. Walker © 1980

 

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Danny Crowley, Jr., PGA                      Devorah Bishop

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