New Politics and Golf

Golf Typically Immune to Politics – Someone Finally Charted Habits and Views

Golf is described by Golf Digest as being “politically agnostic,” and blessedly so. What better place is there to escape all the noise of politics than by strolling the golf course with a different and preferable mission? Unfortunately, the game can’t hold out forever. Views born of the every-four-year Olympiad we Americans call elections are intruding onto the fairways as each month passes, and social media isn’t helping. In this age, I, who have never been inside a medical school, can go online and publish a rating and evaluation of a neurosurgeon. In a world of know-it-alls, that was never going to work out well.

This week, John Daley is telling the PGA faithful that one can knock out the coronavirus by consuming large amounts of vodka. Up to this moment, I didn’t know that Daley had ever entered a medical school, either. As an amateur caution, I would think that pouring alcohol on the virus where it resides on a counter top might have some effect, but to attempt uniting the virus and substance within the body? There might be a trick to it Daley hasn’t thought of. Oh well, “Forget the PhD, Dr. Fauci, what’s your handicap?” Politics aside, think I can safely add that a teaspoon of Lysol won’t be one bit better for your health or golf than a fifth of Vodka.

Golf Digest’s published a study  recently providing the statistics of a survey of average and avid golfers throughout the U.S.  The results were interesting. Questions like “walk or ride?” and “playing for money” and oh yes, party of choice. The whole strange exercise  certainly does make strange bedfellows.
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American Republicans were more insistent on following the rules than the Dems by a few percentage points, also in giving it their best try.  Not following the rules was the choice of 4% of the Dems, with the Republicans showing only 1%. Rules provide structure, they say. We’re going to make our environment safe by adding to the body of rules., Understandably, the Democrats had a lot less problem with smoking marijuana on the course than did followers of the right, although Republicans supported wearing denim on the course by nine points over the lefties. Music on the course? The Dems say no by 41%, Republicans by 48%. For the mule party, walking the course won out over the elephants by seven points.  Dems were similarly more supportive of banning all-male clubs. Republicans cited local, state and national rules, suggesting that a club can do whatever it wants.

Fortunately, the two sides were in general agreement on many other matters, although I don’t know what they said about gimmes and mulligans.  Golfers who play for the love of it seem to be equally conscious of nature, the sensations of the game, beating one’s self or each other, and good company, regardless of the color of one’s hat. the currents of politics  continue to run within a foursome, but golf tempers the urge of  “I just gotta say this,” and if no one listens “I just gotta say it again, louder.”

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The four-year cycle of liberal versus conservative is a difficult virus to deal with, because it is on one hand ever-present, and on the other continually different, changing and adapting so that it can seep into any nook or cranny of our thinking. Perhaps it is the difficulty in mastering the game that cools the political jets of four partners on a Saturday. Maybe the human brain isn’t so marvelous that it can plumb the depths of both subjects at once, without landing in the water and sand. And, since we’ve just paid green fees, politics has got to go.

This thing about politicians claiming to be doctors and golf writers pretending to be neurosurgeons  in their virtual inner worlds has got to be reexamined. Someone’s going to get hurt, or lose their handicap they fought so hard for.  i suggest we don’t smoke anything at all on the course,  stay in our professional lanes, and enjoy the day as ‘political agnostics.’

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