Sometimes Golf Course Owner Guy sees golf a bit differently. I guess that’s why you read. Just like many of my stories, there is nothing new here, just a new way of looking at the same old information. Today, we will discuss unknowable forces. They are the reason you love the game, and they are the reasons you sometimes hate the game. Do I have you hooked?
We have always known that the game possesses elements of chance. The way the ball bounces, the breaks that happen or don’t happen, is part of the game. This unseen, and unknowable force partly decides every outcome. It’s why we think the next round could be better, it’s how we can explain why the previous round was bad. This force actually gives us delight. If everything was predictable and expected, would golf be as much fun?
Harness Unknowable Forces
As humans we can’t resist to ruin things, I mean….why love these mysterious unknowable forces, when we can harness it, and quite frankly eliminate it. Where did we get this ideaology that the game will somehow be more fun when the unseen force is gone? We are sure as hell trying to find out.
Look all around you, everything in golf today is designed to eliminate this unknowable force. The goal is simple, let’s give the player more control, that will surely make the game better. We have developed a ball that flies farther and stops quicker. If there was a ball that flies 500 yards, never curves and stops on a dime, you’d buy it. Where’s the chance in that?
Golf began on rumpled links land, but we have flattened natural undulation so that accurate drives yield level lies. If you can hit it 300 yards in the dead center of the fairway, then that spot should not be left to chance, it should be dead flat as your reward. Only problem is…everyone’s perfect drive is every conceivable distance…. perfect… just make it all flat. Look at all the modern courses…. Good bye force.
We are on a constant quest for the smoothest greens. We deserve reliable results for well struck putts. Balls bouncing offline, maybe bouncing online, we can’t have that. If I make a perfect stroke, then the putt must go in. Oh, it gets better. According to the new rules, we can tap down spike marks too. Can we get any closer to eliminating that unpredictable force in the game? Maybe they will let us create an indented channel that leads directly to the hole….
Is Fairness Tied To The Force?
The word force can really be summarized another way, and that word is fair. I have no idea what is fair, when it comes to playing golf. I try not to even define the word fair. As soon as I have the feeling of unfair, I’m really feeling a lack of predictability. Why would I think golf must be predictable? You think that because you have been taught that and it’s really too bad that the game is perceived that way. Let me turn you on to something…as soon as you trust and accept the unknowable force, the game gets really fun.
Nick, I enjoy your Tales. If I still lived nearby I’d your best customer. As it is I’ll remain among your biggest fans.
I’ve heard that the key to happiness is reasonable expectations. That said, when embarking on a round of golf it is incredibly difficult to have reasonable expectations. You know that perfect shot is in there somewhere. Perhaps that is why there are so many frustrated golfers. It has taken me fifty years of golf to understand what is reasonable to expect, which has made the occasional good round more enjoyable and the not so great round less bothersome. I guess there are some advantages to being ‘experienced’.
Keep up the good work and have a great season.
Thanks Jack, we miss you! It’s amazing, I’ve always been a scorecard and pencil guy, but there is something magical about the game when you put the scorecard and pencil down. Sounds like you are finding the best things about golf. I love all golfers, but the ones who appreciate the mysteries of the game are the ones I love talking too.