Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fore! Another confession coming!

I have another terrible secret to share.

Early in my life I accepted a simple lie as truth and allowed it to develop and strengthen for many, many years. I pretended to be someone I’m not in an attempt to fit in and build stronger ties with family and friends.

In fact, the admission I’m about to make could shake the foundations of the relationship between myself and the other male members of my family.

But it must be said! I’ve tortured myself too long!

So here goes: I do not like golf.


It’s out.

I think it’s tediously boring viewing – I’d rather watch the Royal Wedding frankly, at least that has something nice to look at – and the game itself hides behind some valid virtues like patience, calm, clarity and concentration, but simply wastes half a day in the hopeless pursuit of perfection.

Yes, it can be a wonderful test of these mental attributes but essentially I find more flaws than virtues in the concept of paying increasingly outrageous rates to have as few shots as possible while following a little ball around what was once perfectly good park or farm land, while getting more value for your money simply inspires frustration, leading to a deteriorating mental state, worse shots, lost balls and thrown clubs.

I’ve been playing since I was about 10, joining my two older brothers, father and other males on Dad’s side of the family in this shared passion. Once I learned to curb my frustration (anger) at bad shots I actually kind of enjoyed it. I think that was largely due to getting better at it. I like being good at stuff, especially when other people notice.

During uni I played quite regularly with family or a couple of friends. Once I started full-time work, however, I played much less. My free time was suddenly more scarce and far more valuable. I couldn’t hand over four or five hours of a precious Saturday or Sunday when I had so much else to do, or had a blinding hangover.

My father and brothers love golf, and it is really the only activity we all do together now when my ‘Seppo Bro’ visits from America. Ditto for when my uncle comes over from France. It’s one way of getting close to one another – a long walk together that takes us each on a zig-zagging (and sometimes backwards), lonesome journey through scrub and trees, meeting only at the start and end of each hole to discuss our individual adventures over the previous 10 minutes..

The realisation of how little I enjoy golf these days hit me on Friday when a couple of friends arranged a game (the first in a while for all of us) and, after being initially supportive of the idea, I found myself rather resentful of having to give up my afternoon on the couch. On Good Friday of all days, when there is fuck all to actually do.

Anyway, I’m not selling the clubs; my brother is visiting in a few weeks and they’ll be required again. And I may not really enjoy the game itself but it is one of the few things that my brothers, father and I do together – now that they don’t come to the footy much – so I’ll appreciate the walk, practice improving my patience and clearing my mind (the reasons I suck!) and enjoy their company over a beer at the end of the round, as well as in scattered moments throughout. But I’ll be thinking about that beer for most of the walk.

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