The roots of our game are deeply embedded in a bygone era when the heart of the game was filled with honour, trust, loyalty, and valour. Hero’s were born; Harry Vardon, James Braid, Old Tom Morris, Francis Quomet, Bobby Jones and so many more. Traditions started; The Bobby Jones Invitational that later became The Masters at Augusta, the search for the Champion Golfer at The Open and Sam Ryders biennial match between Europe and the Americans, The Ryder Cup.
It was once said “If you want to know a man’s true character, play golf with him”. It requires patients, self belief, personal responsibility and honesty, traits of a gentleman.
The game is afoot and it’s a magnificent challenge between player and course. On a crisp Sunday morning, pitting yourself against your own personal best or a summers evening nine holes as you unwind and enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. The game is about the pleasure of sport, nature, and friendship. It speaks to the soul in a way no other pastime can.
Winning a competition has its merits of course but nothing betters winning your weekend four-ball for bragging rights. When your comrades in battle have given everything they have to offer and still, you best them. It’s not that you will mention it in the grill room, but they will know and you will know.
To the uninitiated, it’s difficult to explain the pleasure that can be gleaned from a well struck drive, the perfect marriage of sight and sound as you hear the impact and then watch with a joyous heart as the ball soars down the fairway. For one perfect moment you have shown yourself that “Yes, I am a golfer”, satisfaction for the soul. But it is fleeting, a peek at what could be and then takes it away just as quickly.
We are the fortunate ones, the ones that have tasted the wonders this game has to offer and understood the gift we were being given. In the beginning, we did not know what awaited us, but we were hoping and dreaming. And now, as we look back over the years of enjoyment and friendship, we take a moment to appreciate our good fortune and look forward to sharing many more years with this most giving of friends, golf.