Consider the unrest in the world including our current political scenario in the United States. The division and resulting rhetoric and actions towards one another is becoming more and more vitriolic. We must find ways to walk with one another, and to listen. Seriously, we all need to play more golf.
According to The First Tee, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment are all core values inherently connected with the game of golf. To anyone who has ever played golf, we know this to be true, and we know these values to be important in defining who we are and how we relate to others.
Hole No. 7 at the new Mountain Shadows Short Course, Arizona
Consider too, if you’re over 30ish, you’ll remember leaving home as a child in the morning to play for hours on end with neighborhood friends — outside. Now we actually have something called “Nature Deficit Disorder” and movements designed to reconnect children and people to nature because the great outdoors is something most only experience as we walk from the indoor environment to the car and back.
What better way to improve the health of people and communities, than by getting outdoors while playing a game that also provides the experience in which to nourish the core values golf provides?
Arnold Haultain, in The Mystery of Golf, writes “May not also the simple delights of the game and its surroundings, with their effect upon the mind and the emotions, be included under the allurements and the mystery of golf? The comradeship in sport, the friendliness, the community of sentiment, the frankness of speech, the good-will, the generosity of trifles?” These sentiments, written by Haultain in 1908, ring true still today.
Forrest Richardson, golf course architect and golf historian, designed the Short Course, a delightful par-3 at Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The course speaks to many of the issues plaguing our new generations including time-constraints and is designed to be a 90 minute outdoor with nature reprieve from the hustle and bustle of it all. Alone, or with friends, or even paired with strangers-about-to-become-friends this romp can be as serious or casual as you need it to be.
The riches that golf provide go on and on.
Take a look at this whimsical drawing of The United Links, drawn in 2011 by Forrest and available at Golframes https://www.golframes.com/collections/golf-frames/products/united-links-of-america-golf-print. While the course is a more traditional par 72, the whimsy spans the entire country with creative ocean holes, and rugged elevations. This obviously is not golf in the literal sense, but the takeaway being the thought of how golf’s gifts are abundant throughout our nation, and to our nation. A reminder that while there’s a lot of work to be done, we must make time for the fun.
Remember, getting the ball in the hole is only part of the journey.