Living in a small rural apple-country town has its perks, but everyone in Stow, Massachusetts has two “stay in your houses, its about to get messy” time periods. The first is apple season. From late September to mid-November, residents know to pull the ropes and sawhorses out of ancient barns in order to block driveways from parking and picnicking. Tragically, the second busy time is a little harder to avoid.
Golf season: a test of Stow resident patience. Depending on the year, weather, and population of preppy Vineyard-Vines-wearing white males, the length of the season can vary greatly. Stow golf courses overflow with men and women swinging their way to an obnoxious sense of supremacy.
Golfers everywhere are subject to a specific stereotype: a middle aged white male with an extensive golfing history, usually vapidly nicknamed “hole-in-one Joe” or “Birdie Bob.” This figure sits with a pissed-off expression, sipping an emasculating alcoholic beverage as his father talks with a group of guys about an entirely “irrelevant” topic. He does so because he is just “too good” for the million dollar country club to which he belongs.
For the sake of preserving sanity throughout this endeavor, I have chosen to call this stereotypical golfer “Steve”.
Many criticisms of golf bother Steve. The most glaring of which concerns the classification of golf as a sport. Steve might hear this debate on the country club’s 110 inch flat-screen T.V. He will most likely blame the controversy upon a jealous Alaskan man who cannot play golf, that is without losing the golf ball to the jaws of a seal. Meanwhile, the country club’s golden retriever named Max might lick the continental breakfast crumbs from Steve’s argyle sweater vest.
America, despite possessing bigger issues; such as Republican candidate Donald Trump, chooses to dwell upon trivial issues; such as golf’s sport classification.
It may be argued that golf is not a sport.
Golf, although meeting the definition of a sport (an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment, for all of you that didn’t know that off the top of your head), is simply a leisurely game. Golfers do not endure rigorous conditioning like basketball players or leave their games sweaty like football players. They instead choose to travel by golf cart, to force teenage caddies to carry golf clubs, and to play only in optimum retirement-worthy weather.
However, it also may be argued that golfers are athletes.
To hit a small ball with a club requires intense coordination. A hole-in-one is a gross demonstration of skill. Lastly, vast knowledge is necessary in order to pick the best club for the specific job; further experience is required in order to optimally hit the golf ball.
Golfers, although subject to much scrutiny, are talented. The classification of golf as a sport might be argued both ways. Although by definition it is a sport, a closer examination reveals that golf should be considered more of a competitive game, similar to pool.
Maybe golf just fell in the bunker of sports and couldn’t get out. Oh well.