Monday, May 10, 2010

On Playing Golf, & Other Moments Of Zen

Lately it seems i've been asked the question rather often: Why is it that men find such great pleasure in spending the better half of a day, waking up at the crack of dawn (dawn the time of day, not Dawn their wives : although both are equally painful I would assume), teaming up with other like-minded men to hit a 2inch diameter ball in the sweltering heat?

This particular morning I decided I would do an unofficial survey in the hope of answering this lifelong question. I would visit a golf course and get the answers straight from the source. I couldn’t decide on a suitable testing-grounds for my survey, until I figured that the best place to interview red-blooded soil-of-the-earth guys would be right in the heart of Carletonville, the home of South Africa’s famous gold mines and the bedrock of Africa’s pioneer industrialists.It also just so happened to be the place I had recently received complimentary tickets to a round of golf at earlier in the week.

Talk about fate!

I had visions of great burly men, thick and coarse in every respect, chugging back beers they’d just opened using their teeth, talking about hunting and braai’s as they prepared to tee off. Imagine my surprise when I got to Goldfields West Golf Course, only to find what could best be described as a Pringle tea-party. Everybody decked out in their name-branded attire, looking like they were about to do a cover-shoot for Golf Digest, others polishing their already shiny white leather golf shoes, and the final group spraying and applying suntan lotion on each other!Where had all the real men been banished to?
Surely this couldn’t be your average Sunday golf day?
Since when have the alpha-males been discussing the best hairdressers and the hippest locations to buy GHD hair straighteners?

For a brief moment in time, I thought that I was attending The Golf Queens Tournament, no offence to queens or tournaments, or golf for that matter. I pretty much enjoy all three, though I only indulge in the latter two.

Anyways, back to the survey on hand. I spent almost an hour chatting golf with these good men, and on every occasion I had the opportunity to drop the question, and note the reply. It was unanimous. The Holy Grail of Golf had been found. The answer was as clear as daylight. It seems the reason men in droves are heading to the golf course every weekend is twofold. For married men, it was simply their own moment of Zen; a short period in an otherwise hectic week where they were one with themselves, and with nature. The closest they could get to being in the bush, without getting dirty.
Although, with the way some of those guys play golf, it seems that some spend more time in the bush than is necessary for a truly Zen moment.
For single men, it was merely a convenient way to network and do research. Where to buy the coolest gadgets, the hippest gear, the latest boys-toys. Not to mention the fact that the chatter around the watercooler on a Monday morning is so much more interesting to the opposite sex when the subject is your golf game on the weekend. It just makes the single guy look uber-cool, a sporty metro male.

So there you have it ladies. Men are not playing golf simply to improve their handicaps. Oh no, its much more complex than that, as is the male brain. We’re playing golf so that we may re-connect with our inner selves; a time and a place where we may search for the meaning of life and not be ridiculed for having a glazed look in our eyes.Oh, and we’re playing golf to find out where we can buy the ladies in our lives the things they desire most, whatever they may be.

All said, we’re playing golf more for you than we are for our own enjoyment.