25 reasons why golf is the greatest game on Earth

The holidays are upon us, Thanksgiving is just a dot in the rearview mirror, a point at which even the bravest golfers pull their clubs out of the trunk and give them a few months of R&R in the garage. Unless you live in a hot climate, the season is over. Even the PGA Tour, which hates spending any weekend when it can shell out at least $ 5 million in cash prizes, went dark until January.

The options are slim, most of them unsavory – the perfect time to think about why golf is the greatest sport on earth. Whether you play four or five times a week or prefer to watch the best in the world on TV, there is a civility and serenity to the game that only becomes more valuable amid discussions about a city lockout. Major League Baseball or another NFL player’s announcement. jail.

Before the rustle of fallen leaves in the garden finally caught my eye, I found 25 reasons to love the little white ball and everything that comes with it. So if you will excuse me, I have gutters to clean….

25. Almost all major sporting events these days take place at night – usually from 8 p.m. or later on the East Coast – depriving children with strict mothers or people with real jobs to watch them in. their entirety. Golf is played in the light of day. It usually ends with dinner, leaving the rest of the evening to fall asleep watching a four-hour football game with nine pitch changes.

24. Both recreationally and professionally, golf engenders character and mutual respect. The NBA breeds whiners who’ve never made a mistake in their lives, who travel every time they make their way to the basket and flop with the same alarming regularity as a Brazilian midfielder.

23. No three-minute replay.

22. Golfers do not need to wear jockstraps.

21. Dig a bunker from a footprint to avoid a bug at the eighth par-3. When life gives you lemons, suck them up and save. Lemonade will be waiting for you at the halfway house.

Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on No.13 during a practice round for the 2021 Masters.

20. Amen Corner. The 11th, 12th and 13th at Augusta National form the most adventurous and fateful trio of holes in golf, and therefore deservedly deserve the sacred nickname. Water plays a central role in the treacherous disposition of all three, which is why so many visions of victory have been buried in Raes Creek. It can easily be argued that the No.13 remains the best par-5 ever built.

19. Golf can be slow, but just because half a dozen referees have gathered to discuss if what they just saw was pass interference and then again 10 minutes later to reflect on the possibility of intentional grounding.

18. The USGA Handicap System. It’s far from perfect, abused by those with the same intentions as a guy moving his ball through the rough, but for the most part it serves an extremely valuable purpose. Equality + Camaraderie = Better Game.

17. No guaranteed contract. Sure, the best golfers make millions, but they don’t get paid if they don’t play or play well. On the PGA Tour, anyway, a superstar has yet to sing for his supper.

16. You cannot play tackle football on a Saturday morning. Actually, you could, but you should either go see the dumb doctor or do x-rays on your arm afterwards.

15. A team wins the 2017 World Series by stealing signs and tapping on a trash can to warn the guy with the plate. Cheating is the elephant in the room in other sports. Professional golf has long adhered to a zero tolerance policy on these issues. This is the main reason why irregularities rarely occur.

14. Golf is played on the largest sports field.


Dustin Johnson plays the 2020 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Dustin Johnson plays the 2020 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

13. Golf is played on the most beautiful sports ground. Big and pretty. Excellent combination.

12. Unless you are part of a Ryder Cup team, you are not required to wear a uniform. Tuxedos aren’t recommended, but short cuts aren’t allowed either. Just follow the local dress code and be ready when it’s your turn to strike.

11. This last hour before dark. Just you and your golf ball in the 14th fairway on a glorious summer evening.

10. Golf is played on real grass. Nice cows eat, not the fake things that still carpet the dirt in more than half of all NFL stadiums.

9. Johnny Miller. His critical analysis and blunt speech broke the kind, gentle code practiced by every advertiser on every golf show before him. Many golf fans couldn’t stand Johnny, preferring the candy-coated schmaltz to someone who called him what he saw it. Johnny was bold. He broke the mold. Much of what he said was absolute gold.

8. Most of baseball’s historic stadiums have long been demolished. Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, Polo Grounds… Some of these dinosaurs were obviously to disappear, while the most important sanctuaries of golf are preserved for the ages. Many still rank among the best courses in the game.

Arnold Palmer signed autographs in 1979.

Arnold Palmer signed his name for fans in the 1979 season.

7. The Arnie Factor. So many tour pros have cited the example of Arnold Palmer as the reason they stop to sign autographs (even after shooting a 75), pose for photographs, and show the same level of respect to those who attend tournaments than their fellow competitors. I’ve witnessed hundreds and hundreds of little acts of kindness over the years, even from guys who might be quite gruff. Palmer’s legacy has deep roots. May it last forever.

6. The green jacket. In what other sport is such a cheesy fashion homage presented to the winner? The awards given to a Masters champion are plentiful, but this emerald blazer is the signature award, a traditional stroke of genius from a club that has always done things their own way.

5. I wrote an entire column last year about why a hole-in-one is the most overrated event is golf, which isn’t to say they’re not very cool. An ace is just stupid luck, unlike everything else in sports – a shot of perfection often produced by flawed sources. Tradition calls for the man of the moment to offer everyone a drink at the clubhouse bar afterwards. One of those cheesy, festive things that brings people together for a few laughs.

Tiger Woods points Phil Mickelson in the 2021 Players' Championship.

Tiger Woods points Phil Mickelson in the 2021 Players’ Championship.

4. Tiger Wood. Despite all his faults and bad decisions, the genius of Eldrick produced a work to see, the cause of so much joy for so many people for so many years. Woods is the greatest pressure artist in the history of the sport. Jordan had help. Brady has an offensive line. Tiger did it alone. In 50 years, his achievements will border on the unfathomable.

3. You haven’t seen it all until you walked into the men’s locker room at Seminole GC, which the immortal Dan Jenkins described as “one of the best places in Florida to change your shoes.” From lounges cluttered with trophies (all from amateur events) to the colossal collection of photo albums and stuffed animal heads falling from the walls, the room looks like someone who opened a golf museum in the interior of a hunting lodge, then added a touch of timeless style in case a visitor gets bored after three or four hours.

2. The Super Bowl has become a bloated spectacle – everything but football seems to matter. The six matches of the 2021 World Series lasted an average of 3 hours and 41 minutes. Professional golf has four major championships, each with a different personality but an almost identical competitive structure. None of them openly succumbed to the influences of American business or commercial income. Not yet anyway. The Masters is the best sporting event known to mankind, but this year’s PGA Championship and US Open produced two of the best final rounds imaginable. When it comes to the pinnacle of competition, no sport offers a more compelling or more watchable product.

1. My 73 year old stepfather just bought his 52 year old wife a Ping putter for her birthday. She didn’t need a pair of shoulder pads and probably didn’t find much use for a hockey stick. Golf is the game of a lifetime, a recreational force of nature that brings people of all ages, shapes and sizes together, even when they have known each other for over half a century. Apparently Nana wants to put more putts. Can you blame the woman?

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