Daniel K. Hebard                  


English 1101





  One dictionary defines golf as; A game played on a large outdoor course with a series of 9 or 18 holes spaced far apart - the object being to propel a small, hard ball with the use of various clubs into each hole with as few strokes as possible. Golf is so much more than that to those of us who play it.  It is loved and hated with equal amounts of ardor. Harold Segall once said, “Golf is not just an exercise; it's an adventure, a romance... a Shakespearean play in which disaster and comedy are intertwined.”  Another anonymous author said, “Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.”  For me, golf is an avenue of relaxation, a very rewarding pastime, and an extremely challenging game.

  Nothing is more relaxing to me than being outside, playing golf on a warm sunny day.  I enjoy walking in the sunshine, feeling the warmth of the sun on my cheek, breathing the fresh air, and gazing upon the beauty of both nature and man. The lush greens of the fairways, the sweet perfume of the azaleas that provide a multicolored backdrop for the pristine greens, prove to be most tranquil and relaxing.  Watching the wildlife that lives on most of the golf courses is also very enjoyable and relaxing.  One often sees rabbits running across the fairways, squirrels darting along the ground, or chasing each other around the tree trunks and limbs. Geese and other wild birds are often seen flying through the sky and going about their everyday task. 

   While golf is relaxing, it is also very rewarding.  The rewards extend far beyond the millions of dollars won by the professional golfers on the PGA, LPGA, and Senior Tours.  The camaraderie you feel as you and your friends walk the course together, sharing stories and trying to outdo each other’s tales is one such reward.  Many long lasting friendships are developed and nurtured on the golf course. The beauty of the course is not only relaxing, as mentioned earlier; it is also a reward in itself.  As human beings we are drawn to things of beauty, and can spend hours just gazing upon them.  Playing in amateur tournaments can bring small material and financial rewards. One of the best rewards though, comes from finally making a good shot, or finally sinking that long one on the green.   

   Golf is relaxing and rewarding; it is also an extremely challenging game.  It seems such a simple process, hit the ball straight, and tap it in the hole. For me, and thousands of other amateur golfers like me, this proves to be a very difficult process.  I stand over the ball, relaxing my body, and try so hard to ease into my back swing. I pray for a graceful transition into the downswing, and then it happens; I hit the ball. Sometimes it goes where I wanted it to, but quite often it flies off to the left or right, or skims just above the ground.  “Hook”, “Slice”, Shank”, and “Topped it”, are all some of the terms golfers use to describe the wild erratic shots that we make.   Putting the ball has to be the most difficult task of them all.  Once again, I stand over the ball concentrating on my swing, trying to emulate a pendulum motion in order to hit the ball straight into the hole.  Once the ball is hit though, it is all up to fate.  As the ball travels towards the hole, the hidden undulations in the green take control and send the ball in every direction, except the one I intended. When I successfully hit the ball straight down the fairway, or putt it into the hole, it brings forth feelings of jubilation and euphoria. These are the shots that keep me coming back to the course.

  I truly enjoy playing the game of golf.  I will never be the next Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, but that does not change my love for the game.   I will continue to relax while playing the game.  I will continue to do my best to triumph over the challenges offered by the game, and I will continue to reap the rewards of the game as long as I am able to play it.



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