When watching the final round of golf in this weekend’s PGA Tour Northern Trust Open, I was reminded of why I love the sport so much. It was a fantastic tournament with many golfers in contention in the final round, and ultimately coming down to two playoff holes between three golfers. Two were major champions, four-time major champion Phil Mickelson and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley. The third, Bill Haas, was the 2011 FedEx Cup winner. The tournament contained as much drama as one can ask for in a sporting event.
My appreciation for the game supersedes this single event however, and I reflected upon that whilst watching.
After ridiculing the game for a few years, I picked it up in high school. I was no good. What golf teaches though, is not necessarily reflected in the final score.
While Quinnipiac is lucky enough to have the QU Golf Club and a women’s golf team, it no longer supports a men’s team. I argue that having the informal setting of a golf club does far more for the community than having a team ever could.
Golf teaches self-discipline, something more than a few Quinnipiac kids could learn (see: public urination in New Haven). With the implementation of handicaps, golf allows players of all levels to compete against each other. One purely-hit shot from an otherwise abysmal round can create a yearning to come back and play again. There is always room for tangible and attainable improvement.
Golf is an obvious business tool, and as such, I am surprised there was not a golf club prior to Catie Tobin, Erik Cote and Dan Dempsey founding one last spring.
Every time I watch a golf tournament I see golfers hugging their wives, kissing their kids or giving their fathers or caddies big high fives after a win. As an individual sport, it produces a post-win reaction unlike team sports.
For me, the family element goes further. My father coached many of my soccer teams growing up, but I no longer play soccer. We would work on projects around the house, but I have since moved out. Now, almost every time that I go home, my father and I go out and play golf. Every family vacation involves a few rounds of golf (and a few rounds of beer) between us. It is something that we will always share and can pick up where we left off, no matter how long the intervals are in between outings.
I urge anybody that likes competition, business networking, the outdoors, quality family time or Catie Tobin to join the QU Golf Club. It represents so much more than a sport. It can provide an informal learning setting for beginners, or serve as just a cheaper way to get out and play the game you already love.