Our author is a leftist and loves the game of the bigwigs. Why golf does not deserve the bad reputation as a snob sport.
Che Guevara and Fidel Castro also showed up on the green Photo: WHA United
There are things in life that you do even though you are ashamed of them. Especially as a leftist who thinks about right and wrong in life, this often happens to you: You fly with a cheap plane from Berlin to Cologne, you buy your t-shirt at H&M, you watch "Germany’s Next Top Model" or sexist porn movies. That’s okay.
But there are also things that are and remain wrong, no matter what life they are in. There is no excuse for that. My thing is golf.
Writing down this sentence feels like coming out: Yes, I play the game of the bigwigs. khakis, English lawn, abundance. Golfing is about as popular among leftists as high rents or the former Berlin Senator of the Interior Frank Henkel. He likes to visit the Wannsee Golf Club. How I know that? Just type the name of an unsympathetic politician "X + Golf" into Google. Almost always a hit. No wonder Donald Trump is also a great golfer. In February alone, he reportedly shelled out nearly $10 million for three family golf weekends.
Golf, of all things golf, I sometimes think with similar disgust as a self-flagellating cheater. Even in the warmest and poorest regions of the world, golf courses are watered 24 hours a day to give well-heeled players a perfect green. The cost of a golf course is enormous. The barriers too. Golf is not soccer. You can’t play it in a cage in a Neukolln backyard. Golf is the sport of rich white men.
Shake your head
In my circle of acquaintances, when I admit that I play golf, I usually get astonished looks. The polite ones change the subject, the close friends make it clear to me that they can’t really take me seriously as a person anymore. How can someone who wishes for a world without domination play the sport of the rich and powerful, of all things??
And yet, every few weeks, I park my rusty VW bus among the posh cars in the parking lot of Pankow Golf Club, drag my clunky golf bag out of the trunk, and spend the next four hours asking myself questions that most people rightly make fun of: should I play the second shot on the par 4 with the 7-iron or the 3-wood? Is the fairway on the Sepp Maier course also that narrow?? (The answers: With the iron, you beginner. And: no.) Why do I do it? Because of Nolan Kay Bushnell for example. The inventor of the Atari computer developed a theory about video games called "Bushnell’s Law": "Games should be easy to learn, but hard to master." Good games should be easy to learn, but difficult to master.
This is also true for golf. My mother has been playing golf for years, and as a long-haired teenager I despised her for it. Again and again she was nevertheless in my ears that I should come nevertheless times along. The fresh air, the beautiful nature and so on! Besides, if you don’t start as a retiree, you can still be really good!
The perfect stroke is addictive
I refused and probably threw at her that golf and fascism are about the same thing. At some point, when I was no longer quite so politically obdurate, I did go along with them "to get to know the enemy better". At the driving range, the practice area, my mother spoke a few introductory words. I grabbed the first club I could find and hit the ball. Fffliock. This is roughly what it sounds like when you hit the golf ball perfectly. It is the sound every golfer longs for. When people describe their first experience with the game, they often sound like former junkies describing their first fix. So also with me. Finally I would prove to my mother how simple her retirement sport is. But my second stroke sounded more like zwwrk and came to a halt about one and a half meters in front of me. I didn’t hit the ball the third time. That’s when it happened to me. I couldn’t stop, I was hooked on the needle looking for the golden ffliock.
More and more people in Germany seem to feel the same way: According to the German Golf Association (DGV), more people in Germany play golf today than ever before: More than 640.000 there were in 2016. After all, that’s as many as active swimmers in the German Swimming Association.
Che was a golfer too
Like any junkie, I try to talk myself into my addiction. to reject golf so vehemently is not really fair either. Stupid dress codes exist in almost every sport, you don’t wear jeans even in soccer.
Besides, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro already played golf, there are famous photos of them – even if the legend goes that the two of them only had themselves photographed while playing in order to provoke the US President Eisenhower: Look, not only have we taken over the island from under your nose, we also play your favorite sport. But also other left icons play golf: Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper. Hell, even Snoop Dog plays golf!
Oh, the good air
In Great Britain and Ireland, the game is an absolute national sport: Everywhere there are public parks with golf courses, where everyone from cab drivers to CEOs go to play a round for little money. But even in Germany there are already smaller courses where you can play all day for a tenner without membership. Even the equipment is affordable: You can buy a decent golf set on Ebay Classifieds for the price of a pair of good running shoes.
And then there’s the argument my mother always tried to use to entice me: the fresh air, the relaxation… As a teenager you couldn’t get me with this, but as an adult with a job and a child I suddenly see it differently. A game of golf can last four to five hours. You walk, you look for your ball, you concentrate for a moment on just one thing – the perfect shot. And that on a mostly very beautifully located facility, which, at least in Germany, can also revitalize the environment if the course is built in a place where there was previously only farmland. I have run into several geese, foxes and even beavers while playing in the Berlin area. All the managers who play golf do so not only because it’s a great way to talk about relocating jobs to the Czech Republic, but also because golf is pure deceleration. After each round you feel as flushed as after a day at the seaside. Playing 18 holes of golf is the opposite of squeezing in a round at the gym after work. It is a waste of time instead of self-optimization.
So why should I be ashamed of my hobby? Aren’t we living in postmodern times where you can say A and do B?? How many union protocols are written on Macbooks, how many Nike sneakers march on the Antifa demo? King soccer is the most corrupt sport in the world, the World Cup in Qatar is played on the backs of slaves, and I have to justify myself from my kicking friends for wasting water on some golf courses in the Sahara desert? No. This is now a thing of the past! I play golf, and that’s a good thing too.