In recent months our country has made great strides to overcome long held prejudices and bigotries. It has been a time of historic progress and cause for much celebration. But it has also been a time of reflection and introspection. Both as a nation and on an individual level, we have been forced to assess our core beliefs and convictions. In taking stock of my beliefs, I have been saddened to realize that I have a deep-seated, narrow-minded intolerance of a certain group of people. Not so much the people, actually, but rather the activity in which they participate. After all, as we are taught in the Sunday School of Tolerance, “Love the sinner, not the sin.” So I have decided to come out of the closet and confess my long-held discrimination against . . . golfers. Not only do I not like golf, I hold this derogatory opinion unapologetically.
They say that many prejudices can be traced back to your upbringing and a lack of exposure to other people’s points of view. Perhaps this is true in my case as well. As a young child, I didn’t know any golfers. None of our neighbors were golfers and we certainly didn’t have any golfers in our family. My first contact with golf wasn’t until I was a teenager when I was asked on a golfing date. My date made no effort to dispel the stereotypes of golf such as that it is more boring than watching grass grow. He wouldn’t even let me drive the cart which has always seemed, to me, the best part of the game. It was, hands down, one of the most tedious afternoons I have ever spent, not to mention the worst first date I have ever had the displeasure to experience. (There was no second date with this fella, if you were curious.)
Later in life, when I might have overcome this morally handicapped view, my own perceptions was reinforced by bigoted professors who taught that golf courses were a great force for evil in the world. Their propaganda taught me that runoff from the fertilizers used on golf courses is a serious pollution problem, not to mention the waste of water involved in keeping those greens green. (But perhaps I am the pot calling the kettle black. Remember, I am the girl who contributes several 32 oz. Styrofoam cups to a landfill near you every week.)
The final nail in the coffin of my dislike for golf was hammered home when I married Jim, who is a strict segregationist. He strongly believes in categorizing as “sports” such competitive activities as baseball, football, and basketball, while golf belongs with such things as shuffleboard and tiddlywinks in the category of “games”.
I am sure there is a great deal to golf that I am missing, but frankly, I don’t care to discover its hidden value. Let’s face it guys—the golf course is your shopping mall. True, shopping is more intellectually and physically demanding, since it requires math skills and is conducted without the aids of caddies and carts, but both activities give you an opportunity to hang out with your friends for hours on end while spending a great deal of money. So the next time the wife is heading out the door on her way to Macy’s, just envision her in plaid pants with a golf bag swung over her shoulder and wish her well. Maybe in this way we can all rise above our prejudices and recognize that golfers are people too.