Talking It Out: What’s a Round Without a Recap?
There is an unspoken phenomenon in the game of golf that has endured for the entire span of the game’s existence. Golfers just have to tell someone about their round. And I’m not talking about a brief recap here. It’s a hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot TED Talk about the highs and lows of the entire day.
One of the scariest moments in golf is not when you watch your ball head for an out-of-bounds stake. In fact, the scariest moment doesn’t even happen on the golf course. It’s when you see a buddy whip their scorecard from their back pocket, wave it high above their head and exclaim, “Wait until I tell you about THIS round!” And that’s why every 19th hole has their liquor license.
If my husband goes to play racquetball or softball (or any other game for that matter) with his friends, he doesn’t come home and eagerly tell me about every single play. Don’t get me wrong … I’ll hear about the good ones (and sometimes the really bad ones). But he won’t drag me through every single detail blow-by-blow. But his round of golf? Absolutely. Sometimes twice.
Golf can be a very lonely game. There are three other people in the group, yet at times you feel completely alone. Nobody can compensate for you if you’re having an off day, as is the case in team sports. Nope. If you are off, you’re off, and all you can do is your best, even if your best is extremely disappointing that day.
So, when a golfer comes off the course feeling like the entire 18 holes was a lone crusade against bunkers, water hazards and three-putts, they want to share it with someone. And when that someone is you, it’s your responsibility as a golfer, friend and basically decent human to rise to the occasion and do your absolute best to feign interest.
But when the golf shoe is on the other foot, we are absolutely convinced that our buddies are hanging on our every word as we dissect our three-putt on the 15th green.
Let’s face it … I know that you know that I don’t really care, yet you continue to drone on and on and I continue to (at least appear to) tune in. And you dutifully return the favor. And everyone wins; golfers bond over golf lore, and everyone looks forward to their next round.
But wouldn’t it be great if the golf world had a “safe word” of sorts? Nobody wants to say, “Hey buddy. Don’t care.” But if you simply had to exclaim something like — let’s just say “yellow” — before your buddy unfolded that scorecard, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? I feel like it’s way too late in the game to establish a universal safe word at this point, but those Scottish gents would have done us all a solid if they had just established this when they founded the game. Anyhoo …
So, what do we do about this little conundrum? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why? Because it’s part of what keeps us coming back. It’s a way to connect with others. Sharing a pint after a round filled with highs and lows while chronicling bad lies, missed putts and miraculous chip-ins is what the game was founded on.
Come to think of it, there really is no need for that safe word. What’s more comfortable than sharing similar experiences with like-minded friends who have the same passion for the game as you do? Not much. (Thinks for a bit.) Yeah … not much.