The Nineteenth Hole: Golf, Death, and Afterlife
Please be advised. This page does not reproduce the story or article in full. The full story or article is contained inRoybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf.
The Golf Gods: Towards a Religious Philosophy of Golf
The Nineteenth Hole:
Golf, Death, and Afterlife
Death gives all human beings pause. They, with Hamlet, consider “what dreams may come when [they] have shuffled off [their] mortal coil.” What awaits them in that “undiscovered country, from whose bourn [or region] no traveler returns”? In golfers’ language, what happens when one’s round is complete? What awaits a golfer in his/her Nineteenth Hole?
Golfers are comprised by a concrescence or “coming together” of components that are rooted in or find expression because of God or Energy-itself. The conjunction or concentration of components, as with all occasions of experience, arises out of the not yet, the empty barrel of potential reality, the unconditioned condition. In a quest for the realization of beauty, golfers find expression through a bundling of form, sensation, conception, cognizance, and will. They can play the game because of this conglomeration of physical presence, feeling, perception, self-awareness, and direction. Death, on the other hand, is constituted by the deterioration and dissipation of these elements. The bundling is decreased and dissolved.
A golfer’s life is like the seasons. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter are recognizable from year to year; they remain somewhat the same. Similarly, a golfer is recognizable from day to day, or from year to year, because there is continuity among the characteristics or constituents of that golfer. A golfer has a distinctive swing or makes a peculiar move that follows him/her throughout the years of his/her game. Yet, just as the seasons are different from year to year, so golfers are different from day to day or from moment to moment. The person who finishes reading this sentence is not the same person as the person who began reading this sentence. Something, by virtue of the “processive” nature of reality, has changed. To rephrase Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, a golfer cannot hit his ball into the same lake twice. The lake is never precisely the same.
Reality is a process which passes from potential reality to actual reality and, then, to influential reality. Humans pass from the void of the not yet to the void of the having been, yet both the “not yet” and the “having been” have a reality of their own. The reality of the “not yet” is tied to its potential actualization, and the reality of the “having been” is tied to its influential actualization. Actuality is built upon the influential and entertains the potential. Actuality exercises its freedom out of its destiny; it embodies the new based upon the old. Actuality, in other words, realizes its potential by feeding off the influential.
The full version of this story or article is contained inRoybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf.