I often wonder about the amount of time I spend on golf – playing it, watching it, reading about it, writing about it. Why do I do this? Is it worth it?
I’ve been wondering more about this the last few weeks. My regular cart partner is in the hospital, recovering from difficult surgery. One day we were playing our usual game, and the next time I went to the course he was in the ICU. When he’ll be back is uncertain.
Our game goes on, our group has filled the gap, but things are different.
My time would be full if I never picked up another club. My bank balance would probably be larger. Even if I spent money on some alternative activity, I doubt I would spend as much as I do on golf. And if I spent money, odds are I’d have something concrete to show for it.
A nice band saw lasts a long time and I can make something with it. A year of greens fees just evaporates, and golf clubs aren’t good for anything but golf. (And cheesy decorations after the clubs are old enough.)
But would my life, not just my time, be as full without golf? I’ve gone for years without playing, and I always come back. I’ve always stayed busy. Golf wasn’t to fill empty time. The pull of the game always got me back, and the fun I have with my playing partners through the years kept me playing. Whenever I quit for a while it was always after I moved, so I was busy with a new job and hadn’t yet found a new group to play with.
But do I really have time for this? When I look back on my life, where will my golfing hours fit?
I know I haven’t been the only person to wonder about this. John Updike had what may be the best answer I’ve ever seen. When he asked himself Is Life Too Short For Golf? he answered “Golf lengthens life.”
So here’s to Gene, my cart partner. May John Updike be right.