Ward: Golf is the only sport that can save us in these times
Jimmy Ward | Wednesday, April 8, 2020
It’s a bit weird to be thinking about sports now, isn’t it? I never thought I’d be typing that sentence but this is what it has come to. Sports have taken a back seat. In my eyes, throughout human history two things have remained consistent: sports and art. I think of the ancient gladiators and their will to compete — to win. And artists from Michelangelo and da Vinci, their desire to create.
In these strange times I truly believe there is only one sport that can save us, and bear with me a second here, because it’s golf. I know, I know the king of boring sports nobody wants to be watching on a Sunday night and arguably the most boring sport ever. But golf brings something to the table that almost every other sport does not and that is distance — a space to yourself. You use your own balls, your own clubs, you sip from your own beer and puff away at your own cigar, while joking with your friends, you play the game at your own pace. And best of all, if God-willing you’re healthy, it’s one of those games that you can play until the day you die.
Golf is a great game because it combines two of those things I was talking about earlier into one — art and sport. Sure one could argue that any athlete is an artist but I would argue that golf is different. You are playing a game against yourself, and there are few of those kinds of games that exist in the first place. It is you, a ball, a club and a flagstick. It looks simple as ever, but it is the furthest thing from simple. I recall a quote from Robert Tyre Jones Jr., better known as Bobby. Jones assisted with designing Augusta National Golf Club and was regarded as the best golfer of his generation. Jones once said, “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course — the distance between your ears.”
This quote always stuck with me and it made me realize that there is no sport quite like golf. The beauty, the tranquility, the peace. In my opinion standing on the first tee of a well-kept golf course and breathing in the air and taking in the challenge that lies ahead of you is the closest one can get to heaven on earth. You are taking in the natural beauty of all of God’s wonderful gifts and you are about to smack a ball into it’s void and about three strokes in you will probably hate yourself for doing it.
Golf is a game designed around controlling your emotions. It can teach patience or courage; it teaches you how to be truthful with yourself but it can also teach you to be ambitious and never not attempt something you truly don’t think you can put your mind to. However boring it may be to be a spectator staring at a screen, I think golf has to be all around one of the greatest sports ever created.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.