“How do you ever watch golf? It’s so boring!”
With the British Open coming to a close yesterday, I couldn’t help but think about this comment that I hear on a regular basis from my non-golfing friends.
Now, I’m not here to suggest everyone should love watching golf or insist that it become your next regular hobby. I am here to explain why I enjoy watching the sport that I love and maybe give some perspective into my mind when watching golf.
I will admit that golf doesn’t always excite me. There are times that I have to be multitasking in order to stay entertained. But the major championships, seeing all the best golfers in the world play their hearts out on a challenging course, will always be the weekends I put on my calendar to turn on the TV.
One of the main reasons that the major championships have such draw for me is the excitement of the back nine on Sunday. Literally, anything can happen. I’ve watched the best players in the world shoot ridiculous scores to win, while at the same time other great players lose a five shot lead. And when it all comes down to it, I feel an ounce of the pressure and adrenaline the leaders are feeling. I know I have no where experienced all the emotions the professionals are feeling in the most prestigious tournaments in the world, but I can say I have experienced it in my own way. The final putt to win the State Amateur, needing par to win a playoff and teeing off in the U.S. Girls Jr are just a few examples.
Another huge reason I love professional golf in general is understanding the extreme talent they have. To watch Rory McIlroy hit a 380 yard drive like it’s nothing, is amazing. To watch Tiger Woods (who I believe will still win more majors), get up and down out of a bunker with one knee on the ground and the ball on the lip, is incredible. To see all of their great strength and ball shaping abilities is just unbelievable to watch. Many amateur golfers expect those shots and expect the professionals to never falter, but they’re human just like the rest of us.
So I challenge you: not to make watching golf your next hobby and not to start enjoying watching golf on TV. Everyone has their own opinions. But before you complain and question how anyone could ever watch such a boring sport like golf on TV, I challenge you to take the perspective of the athlete, the human, walking down the 18th fairway about to achieve one of the biggest accomplishments of their life. Think about the hours of work that they’ve put into getting better every day. Think about the amount of pressure and adrenaline they are experiencing. Think about even the players not in the top 10, and how even they could be playing some of the best golf of their careers. Think about every moment they’ve been through to get to that point. Compare all of this to the work you’ve put into getting the big job you want and what it would feel like to achieve your wildest dreams. Those kind of dreams were exactly what Rory McIlroy was achieving on Sunday at the British Open.
It’s the adrenaline, hours of practice and people by your side that all add up to make the moment so magical. It’s the little details.
After all, magic is hidden in the simple things.