by James Moore
There are a ton of sports stories shared over every dinner table every week. Who the star QB was in Week whatever and how he led his team to victory after victory, etcetera – or failed miserably with one of the silliest plays ever to hit the field. But when it comes to golf, some of the stories are truly wacky.
Golf doesn’t fall under the category of extreme sports. Yet, the funny part is that true lovers of the game HAVE stood under trees during lighting storms just waiting for the weather to let up so they can pick up where they left off. There are also those who absolutely love to see the greens turn bright white; they will get their neon-colored golf balls out and head out into a blizzard if they must. It is actually a very comical picture when you see a golfer wrapped up in their coats and caps like Eskimos, with a whitetail deer staring out at them from the woods with a very confused (and happy) expression on their faces. After all, the only hunt the golfer is on is the hunt to find his/her ball in the snow.
It is no wonder that a great many golf lovers move to the southwest, seeing as that the sun shines most every day. The lightning storms are fast, and snow can only be found every once in a while if you live in the right southwestern area. But across the country – and world – men and women will stand in any weather to play their game and they are most definitely the most devout lovers of their sport. Even Tiger couldn’t outdo them when it comes to having complete passion for the game.
This is a game which has been played for centuries, but what many may not know is the fact that golf has become popular with everyone. From the disabled to the younger kids who want something more fun to do in the Great Outdoors than raking the leaves up on the lawn.
And when it comes to that outdoor workout – finding an outdoor activity that is not dangerous in the least (unless you fall into a snowbank, of course), and provides a fantastic way to lose weight, hone both mental and physical skills and be a part of a social community that’s a whole lot of fun – golf is it!
Everyone has a Mecca; and for people who absolutely love the sport of golf, they really want to travel to where it all began. Scotland claims the oldest course in the world – Musselburgh Links – where golf has been going on since 1672. Although there are earlier versions of golf which was played in Northern Europe and even in China, Scotland is truly seen as the ultimate home for this ultimate sport.
There are many people out there who are not masters of the game though. In fact, there are a great many people who don’t even know where to begin. They want to take on golf as their favorite way to spend time outdoors and get in shape at the same time, so here are a few easy tips to get you started.
The tee-off is how it all begins. And don’t worry if you hit the rough instead of the well-mowed fairway – you are just beginning, and practice makes perfect. The hazards are named appropriately in the game of golf, considering they can be anything from lakes to rivers to bridges and bunkers, depending on the amazing golf course you choose to play on. (And amazing is not an understatement, by the way.) There are golf courses in America and abroad that offer some truly amazing setups to play on.
And there are many different types of courses, as well. The Links Courses are the traditional style, and are usually located between the beach area and the farmland in the dunes. The Parkland Courses are inland courses with lots of trees; the Xeriscape have a wealth of native plants; Desert Courses, Sand Courses, you get the picture, and many more.
Once you get the ball to the putting green, that lovely manicured grass area that everyone is shooting for, you will simply putt into the hole and move on. That’s the fun part about golf. Although the premise and the steps to play are very easy, watching the professionals is a true thrill. The holes-in-one; the missed putts on the 18th green – some of the most amazing stories over that dinner table have been provided by the golfing world.
So whether sunshine or snow, if you want to have fun in the Great Outdoors, head to the course!