GOLF – I love it, hate it,..
Love it... It has always been like this for me ever since my father put the first golf club in my hands. It was a 2- wood (yes wood) – broken by one of the older junior boys in anger over a bad shot (I guess). The club was tiny and so was I. I do wish I still had that club but surely it was passed on to another young kid whose golfing career was also to start with a “broken” golf club.
My parents have long lost their passion for golf but before they did they managed to pass on the torch to me – little did they know that golf would become such a big part of my life.
I really do have a love/hate relationship with golf. Like so many other things in life one is passionate about I can’t seem to live with it but more importantly I can’t live without it. Golf is almost like an extra limb, an extension of who I am. I am much more than golf though but take golf away from me and I’d be left without my soul mate.
Spring has come to Gullane (at last) – the other day I was walking by the local bowling green and was suddenly hit by the smell of newly cut grass. It brought me right back to my childhood. I inhaled deeply just to find the smell much too strong to be enjoyed. Do you know the smell of a golf course? I do, freshly cut grass, pine trees and the smell of dry yellow grass and dirt baked by the sun. Anyway that’s what it is for me, and it is so heart-warming, like the memory of the smell in my grandmother’s kitchen. I was watching the Masters this weekend – well I tried to, golf and Tour De France has the power to send me to sleep in seconds despite the fact that I am actually interested in what’s going on – and oh yes cricket does the same to me although fair enough, I do not have much interest in the game (no offence I think it’s a cultural thing me being Danish and all).
But well done Phil and very nice try Lee. Like so many others I enjoy watching the Masters – it is a fairytale world, carpets of green grass, sharply edged blue ponds and a rough of nicely draped pine needles, even blue skies this time around - but thank God the azaleas and rhododendrons weren’t out in force this year. As pretty as they are, I dread the thought of every green committee member worldwide rushing to the local plant nursery to buy a few for their local club. Trust me 98% of times they will not fit in, landscape nor budget-wise (the maintenance considered) - oh go ahead then - have a few by the clubhouse if you must.
Ironically enough this spotless “garden of a golf course” is one of the giants amongst golf courses – it is picture pretty and a fearsome golfing test – but man does this make the life of a golf course architect difficult.
After the Masters everyone wants the course manicured to perfection and the course long as hell (well perhaps not that long this time). But nothing could be further from what it now takes to get planning permission for at new golf course – at least in the western world. A golf course must be a part of the “natural” landscape and make room for wildlife etc. - and rightly so. Augusta is therefore a loved but also totally off-putting course in my book – the love/hate relationship continues!
Welcome to my world of golf – hope to be back on the blog soon – perhaps next week.