Are you looking for a way to spend a great afternoon? Here’s a suggestion: Wear a sticky Easter egg-colored shirt and some persimmons and spend $ 1,000 a month hitting little white balls around an empty field. You guessed it, I’m talking about golf!
I hate golf. It’s up there with mayonnaise and low rise jeans for me. And, maybe, (as you saw above) I can get petty and personal about it. But my disdain for this pathetic excuse of a sport goes beyond my personal aversion to generally boring things. It is bad in all other possible ways. He does not check any box. And I want him to go.
Someone once said that ‘golf is a wasted walk’. Commonly attributed to Mark Twain, this quote touches on the essence of my hatred of golf: so much potential for abandonment. A good walk, maybe, a community garden, a park, housing or just some good old nature. Spoiled.
Why am I blasting, unprovoked, about this game? Can’t I let people enjoy things? No.
First of all, if you want to enjoy something, golf is not what you are looking for. Try bowling. Second, (although I find it hard to believe that people can enjoy what I consider the second most boring game in the world after “Competitive Laundry Folding”, a game I invented to motivate myself to fold my linen) that pleasure comes at a high price for the environment (among others).
Let’s start with the obvious: golf is so ugly. The uniform looks like it came straight out of a 2004 Sears catalog – and while I can’t pretend to be an argyle hater, it suddenly becomes the most despicable print in the world against the backdrop of that monotonous sea of neatly cut green. . This lawn! The lawn could be the worst part. Rolling hills of 0.125 ” long grass, awash in fertilizer and pesticides to preserve that striking green color that seems to last for miles. Green doesn’t bother me, in fact it’s my favorite color. But there is something tragic about walking past a golf course, looking through the obnoxious gate that is probably erected around it, and seeing only one shade of green. Where is the life? Where’s the variety?
I can tell you: the life, the biodiversity that once existed on this earth, has been destroyed because of this horror of a lawn. And it was destroyed just so that a bunch of country clubbers could have fun in a golf cart and play a racist and sexist “sport” rooted in colonialism and classism.
The biggest crime committed by golf is its impact on the environment. Here are the facts: Golf course irrigation in the United States uses on average 2.08 billion gallons of water per day, with a standard 18-hole course using approximately 312,000 gallons per day. To put this in perspective: more than 315,151 Olympic swimming pools are destroyed every day. Just for aesthetics.
And it’s not over. To maintain this aesthetic, golf courses waste enormous amounts of fuel when mowing grass and contribute significantly to pesticide and fertilizer runoff, which has deadly environmental consequences. Golf courses are essentially monocultures, which has been repeatedly proven to be harmful to the environment. And, even worse, do you know where all those missing golf balls end up? The ocean. The ocean is polluted by a approximately 300 million golf balls in the United States only.
Creating the golf course could be even worse than maintaining it: what has to happen to create these gentle, rolling hills? Deforestation and habitat destruction. The golf course created for the Rio Olympics was in the Marapendi Environmental Protection Zone, and its creation destroyed the homes of 238 species. This happens with every golf course that is created. But it’s not just about animals. Golf courses privatize public land, displacing inhabitants and creating an inaccessible space that could have been used as a garden or community park, or, better yet, as land for housing or sustainable agriculture to help solve problems of hungry and homeless.
But why would we do this if we could instead play a game that is not only boring and expensive, but also rooted in colonialism, racism and sexism?
Yes. The evil of the game extends beyond his sins against our already suffering land. Golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century and spread beyond Europe during colonialism. The sport has been used as a means of “unifying” the colonies in European culture, which is a thinly veiled way of saying that golf was a tool of cultural imperialism.
When golf reached the United States, it moved away from a game exclusively for the elite as the white middle class began to play. Keyword: white. The history of golf is steeped in racism. Indeed, the Masters, one of the largest private invitational golf courses, did not invite a black person to compete until 1975, when Lee Elder was invited. 1975. Only 46 years ago.
More recently, in 2012, the club finally allowed female members. Golf continues to be exclusive, often used as a space to make important business deals – deals that can’t be made if you don’t have access to the game. Expensive, sexist, racist, exclusive and contributor to the game. one of my least favorite things (capitalism), there just doesn’t seem to be a single redemptive quality.
Now, having gone through paragraph after paragraph describing the disaster that is golf, I make my plea: it is time to abolish golf. It did some damage, and the rewards were few and far between: an exclusive and boring game used as a tool by the rich to do business or socialize. If you are in the minority who really love golf, I ask you the following question: are you lying to yourself? Please consider these much better options:
Wii Sports Golf: Won’t waste land, is endlessly more fun, and you’ve got a cute avatar that you can customize. And the weather is always perfect.
Mini Golf / Putt Putt Golf: Wastes only a tiny fraction of the ground that regular golf does, it’s infinitely more fun, cool, inexpensive and accessible obstacle courses.
Just get a more interesting hobby: think competitive knitting or folding laundry.
So let’s finish with this game that I hesitate to even qualify as a sport, because, like Abbie Richards, Tik Tok user says, “There is no sport you can play with a cigarette on your lips.” And instead, let’s use those 2 million acres of land in the United States for literally anything less destructive.
Sadie Wuertz is the sports writer for The Beacon. She can be contacted at [email protected]
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