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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Golf is a Melting Pot

Golf is a Melting Pot

Golf is a great game on many levels.  

I know many people think of golf as a white, Anglo-Saxon sport that is beyond the means of ordinary peoples.  That may be true of the country club set, though I must say most “country club set” people I know are very nice people; but my experience with golfers is from the public golf course, not the country club.

I often say about other golfers, "The foursome in front of you and the foursome behind you are all assholes, but I've liked every other golfer I’ve ever met!"

The foursome in front of you is always playing too slow, the foursome behind you is always playing too fast.  On the times that you do meet up with one of these groups, it turns out that they are also good people.

I play golf on a public course. Golf on a public course is a melting pot of golfers from different races, religions, and cultures.  I’ve found, on the golf course, there are not people who are different than you, there are only golfers.  Golfers are a religion and culture unto itself.

I know there are some of you who think,

“What a stupid game, chasing a little white ball down the grass, trying to put it in a little hole.”

I know this because I hear people say that all the time.

Yes, and opera is fat people singing in a foreign language and without a real melody, about shit that happened a zillion years ago.

Art is paint splattered at random over canvas.

Ballet is people in tight pants balancing on their toes.

Acting is someone making believe he is someone else, and figure-skating is young girls skating backwards to show off their ass.

Or in other words...

Don’t knock, what you don’t understand.

Belittle golf as a stupid game if you wish, but beyond the sport itself, I have only met fun, interesting people on the golf course.

When you are retired and play golf on weekdays, you never know who you will be playing with.  I have been paired with African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, and other WASPS. 

All these religions races and cultures have a great sense of humor on the golf course.  All, regardless of their skill are humbled by the game.  All are only helpful toward other golfers.  All, while on the golf course, are not of any culture, race or religions…all are just golfers.

I played with an Indian dude who bashed his drive into the woods.  His ball hit a tree and bounced out to the middle of the fairway. 

When he found his ball, he looked to me and said in that Indian accent, “Indian luck!”

I laughed my ass off and said I’m not sure it would be OK for me to say such a thing.

“Oh no, it is true, we have Indian luck.”

I’ve played with an African American who told me, “You’re not bad for a white dude.” I responded, “And thank you for not stealing my clubs!”

We both laughed like hell; we were not black or white, we were golfers.

I played with a Japanese guy who wore thick glasses, yet he kept finding my miss-hit shots in the rough when I had given up looking for them.  I told him,

“You are the best ball hawk I’ve ever played with.”

He responded,

“I don’t really need these glasses; I only wear them to fit the stereotype”.

We both laughed like hell, we were not WASP and Asian, we were golfers.

I played last week with a gentle giant of a man, a Puerto Rican, an ex-Marine, who worked as a guard at the local juvenile detention center.

The stories I heard.  He dealt everyday with tough kids, many who cared for or about nothing…some just lost souls.

“I know these kids,” he said, “I was one of them, I understand them.  I care about them, but you also have to be firm.  I’ve been suspended twice for smacking them down.  It was worth it, it's the only way to gain any respect.  They’ll say, ‘Don’t mess with that guy, he’ll knock you out!’”

I learned a lot from this gentleman who is tough when he has to be.  He was not a tough ex-marine Puerto Rican on the golf course; he was like me…a golfer.

Golf brings people together.  Golf is a melting pot.  I’ve learned more about people, ideas, and cultures playing golf than from any books or TV specials.

Make fun of the game if you want, but golf is more than a sport; golf is a culture in itself. It is a culture that brings people together, it brings them together with a common love-hate relationship that all golfers share, love-hate for the game, and respect for all who play the game.

Except for that slow group in front and the pushy group behind.  

We all hate those assholes!



  1. People seem to take pleasure in criticising. I would dearly like to challenge them to see what they can do.

  2. I don't get the negativity, either. I mean, aren't most sports about chasing a ball?

  3. All, while on the golf course, are not of any culture, race or religions…all are just golfers.
    And, so it should be in all aspects of life! Sadly, racism is still alive and well, all over the world. Everyone I know who plays golf is obsessed with it. It must be addicting. Enjoy! ☺

  4. I wonder if golf is expensive in the US as it can be over here. Equipment, club membership, fees etc ...

    God bless.

  5. I question the people who play golf here in the 110 degree heat, but otherwise I think its a game of patience. I've only played it once with hubby but I had many a great laugh with my inability to hit the ball with any type of accuracy. I laughed out loud about the Japanese guy and wearing glasses to match a stereotype!


  6. It is true a common interest breaks down barriers. I will be so happy when we can adapt your statement to "All are not of any culture, race or religions, all are just people."

  7. I've played nine holes of non-miniature golf in my life. I shot a 58, including a birdie. All of my friends have told me, "That's pretty darn good for the only nine holes you've ever played in your life!" So I've never had much incentive to go out and mess with 'pretty darn good'. . .

  8. I appreciate the humor in the way you golf guys rib each other, and wish people didn't jump to get so offended these days. I feel like the people actually involved consider the intent, and will start a dialog with the "offender" if it bothers them.

  9. I've never played golf but I did go out with our church youth group to the driving range at the public course here. That's where I really respected golfers. I couldn't hit that dang ball for love nor money! My boys play golf and I keep a big jug of golf balls in the garage and they always get together in our back yard and hit the balls into the creepy woods. I'm constantly finding little white balls in the woods..Ha! That sentence just made me laugh! I've been working in urology too long! I think anything that gets folks outdoors for some good clean fun, fresh air, and common ground is good. The leaders of the world need to get together for a good round of golf and find out how much they all really have in common.

  10. Omg. I'M DYING!!!! - "Yes, and opera is fat people singing in a foreign language and without a real melody, about shit that happened a zillion years ago." Hahahahahahaha. You're killin' me Smalls. And your comment to the black guy, priceless. - I don't know much about golf other than I love to watch it. I love to have it on the t.v. It's so calming and I also like to go hit a bucket o' balls from time to time. I have no idea what club I'm using. I'm just hittin' balls and that's okay. - Hilarious post!!!

  11. It might be a good idea to scoop up all those warmongering persons, religious fanatics etc, and dump them on a huge golf course together, let them sort themselves out while they play. Or bash each other with the clubs.

  12. Golf is an excellent game, requiring great skill which i do not have. Like tennis. While neither are my favorite sport, both deserve respect, which i give them.

    And i love this piece.

  13. this post must win Noble prize dear Joe!

    i deeply loved your views and sentiments about not just game but about people you play with !

    section of post where you made the fun of other arts was necessary to explain what you wanted to
    when i was little and our first small black and white t.v came in there were sports times from 2 pm to 4 pm and variety of games were shown
    i watched golf than fondly and while pondering upon shots and moves of balls that seemed so interesting even then
    golf is not less physical and more mental game and i still find it great
    i loved the words you shared of your co players Joe
    Japanese one made me laugh and think
    this is really so beautiful piece of writing !thank you for wonderful blog and great posts!