Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golf and Running - Same but Different

Golf is an interesting sport.

I've discovered that the golfing community is as welcoming and supportive as the running one is but there is one fundamental difference.

When one is part of a running group, it is quickly obvious that every runner runs their own run. The fast runners quickly take the lead, the middle of the packers are in the middle of the pack and the slower runners take up the rear. Everyone runs their own pace and meets back up at the store afterwards.

In golf, you are paired with three other people. Some might be incredibly talented golfers. Others might take 6 strokes to get from the tee to the green on a par three. Many fall somewhere in between.

Unlike runners, the four golfers play together for the entire game. The player whose ball is furthest from the hole is the player who hits next. Which means that, if that player takes three strokes to cover the same distance that the others cover, all the other players wait for that player to take their three strokes before they take their turn.

If I were to compare it to running, it would be like everyone running one block and then stopping and waiting for the last person to catch up. Then they all take off and run to the next driveway. Then they stop and wait again. Then they wait some more while the last person runs across the street and back because they took a wild swing.

It is literally a game of 'no one left behind'.

For the player who sometimes takes four strokes for every one taken by a better player, it can be embarrassing.

For the player who has to wait for the others to take four strokes before they can hit their own ball, it must get frustrating after a while.

And yet the slow players use humour instead of embarrassment and the fast players use encouragement and support instead of frustration.

And all four players, together, make it from one end of the golf course to the other. When they shake hands at the end and thank everyone for the game, they really mean it.

It's nice.

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