Occasionally, while I’m driving to and from work or out on my lunch break, I listen to sports talk radio. And it was just this past Friday when I tuned in mid-day for a couple of minutes and caught an interesting golf conversation.
I’m tuned into The Fan (WFAN – New York) listening to their mid-day show. This particular show is hosted by kind of an odd pair due to their age. While one guy, Evan Roberts, is in his late-20′s, his co-host, Joe Beningo, is in his late 50′s. As you could imagine, the age difference makes for good conversation on multiple sports topics and all-around good sports radio.
But on Friday I tuned in just in time to catch part of a conversation about golf and golf tournaments. I missed the beginning, but I got the general idea – the way a younger guy looks at golf vs. the way an older guy does.
A caller was trying to talk up how much fun it is to go to a golf tournament, but Evan just wasn’t really down with it. Joe on the other hand was in agreement with the caller, trying to express how incredible some of the shots and putts the pros make truly are. But what it came down to were the two overall opinions. Evan’s was that he will probably take up golf later in life. But for the time being, while he’s still got his legs, he’s going to participate in more active sports. Joe on the other hand, wishes he took up golf earlier in life. This conversation got me wondering how many golfers and non-golfers perceive the sport this way. Using myself as an example, I can see where both guys are coming from.
I spent most of my early life living practically right around the corner from a golf course, but never had any interest in playing the sport. I was younger, and interested in the more active sports. I wanted to play basketball, football and softball. Not golf. So for that reason, I understand where Evan is coming from. As you get older, the active sports are going to be gone and you’ll be relegated to either watching them on TV or watching your kids play. So get the time in when you can. Soon, golf will be your only option.
But on the other hand, I certainly see Joe’s view. Once I began playing relatively regularly, I too had wished I had taken up the game sooner than I did. I didn’t realize until I began playing, just because it’s not an “active” sport doesn’t mean it’s not fun. The key is to play the game as you would a pickup basketball game, or a softball game – don’t take it too serious. Just have fun with your buddies, relax and play a game. I wonder now what took me so long to take it up, and I’m glad my friends introduced it to me when they did.
So is it the Evan-type perception that is keeping the younger generation from taking the sport up as much as in the past? I can see how it would be. Watch it on TV and it looks relatively boring. But it’s a different story out on the course. It can be competitive if you want it to be. Or, like my golfing buddies and I, it can just be a relaxing day out with your buddies. Either way, it’s a sport that deserves a chance from everyone, young or old. And bearing in mind the opinions of the two hosts, there’s going to come a point in time when golf will be your only realistic sports option. So the sooner you take it up, the better you’re likely to be and the more appreciation you’ll have for it in the future.
So Evan (and those with his thought process), if this reaches you somehow, let Joe take you on the course once or twice. Give it a round or two now and you’ll appreciate it more later. And hey, if you don’t like it, at least you gave it a chance. But trust me, ten years from now (maybe less) you’ll be looking for a sport you can participate in without having an oxygen tank in tow.
Swing ’til you’re happy!