A little over a year ago my parents were invited to a party at my aunt’s. My aunt is a little posh and filthy rich, so are most of her friends. And they all play golf. So it was only natural that my father was asked by some (posh and filthy rich) woman: „Do you play golf, too?“ He answered that he didn’t and she asked him: „Why not?“ In his charming and sometimes brutally honest way my father said: „Because I cannot afford it“, which was overheard by my (posh and filthy rich) aunt. Now in addition to having too much money, my aunt also has a good heart and cannot stand her little brother to be in need of anything. So she called him the very next day and asked him if the lack of money was truly the reason he did not play golf. To cut a long story short: she offered to pay for a golf beginners class and a trial membership in her golf club for both my parents and my parents had a new hobby. No, not just a hobby, a passion. For month to come our weekly telephone conversations had one topic and one topic only: golf. My vocabulary was wonderfully broadened with words like „par“, „fairway“ and „birdy“, I helped my father to make his first order in an online shop (golf bags from a German discounter) and I started to collect the golf balls from our back yard (the old factory I live in borders on a golf course, directly in extension of the driving range … when the winds are fair our lawn is regularily hit with a large number of white truffel shaped objects) to bring them as a present to my parents when I visit them.
Today my parents took me with them to the golf club and I had a chance to try this curious pasttime myself. We bought a bucket full of balls for the driving range and I gave it a shot. It is more difficult than you would think to hit that stupid little ball. Most of the time I either did not hit it at all (which makes you feel totally stupid, by the way, but you can always try to look as if that was what you intended … just a trial swing before the real thing) or just grazed it, so that it hobbled a few meters, or hit the ground in front of the ball instead of the ball itself. The few times I did hit the ball more or less correctly rewarded me with a satisfying „plock“ and I could watch my ball flying 50 to 70 metres or so. The satisfying „plocks“ became more and more common after a while, once I had learned to relax my shoulders (always my weak spot, no matter what I do: tango dancing, Tai Chi, Karate, singing … I have a tendency to strain my shoulders).
After that we went on the training course and played a few holes. Driving remained difficult, but I managed a few good pitches and had a lot of fun putting (which feels like playing mini golf, something I have at least a little experience with). All in all it would not necessarily be a sport for me (at least not for another decade or so), to much „posh and filthy rich“ in it for my taste, but I can understand my parents‘ fascination with it. The exercise and the fresh air does them a world of good and it is something that they really like to do together (even though my father has a pretty agonizing way of correcting my mothers stance, posture and movement which would totally get on my nerves, Mum seems to be able to deal with it quite well).
Should I ever end up with too much time and money on my hand (lets say as retired bestseller author or the like), I would consider golf as a good way to spend my time.