The Golf Gods
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 Golf Gods
Throughout the history of religion, sacred reality has been associated with three primary considerations, and these considerations are just as important for golfers as they are for the practitioners of more traditional religions. In other words, the divine energies reflected by these considerations have been known to bless, bewilder, and thwart golfers in a manner similar to what has been reported by more conventional religious devotees. In playing the game, golfers acknowledge their limitations, and in acknowledging their limitations, they nod their heads to the Golf gods, those forces beyond their ken and orchestration.
Firstly, sacred reality has been associated with those forces of nature that lie beyond human comprehension or manipulation. Primal humans could not understand or control the growth of crops or the migration of animals, the two primary sources of their survival. Primal humans could not control the seasons, the winds, the rains, the soil content, or the sun, yet human survival, to a large degree, depended upon those forces. Those forces of nature that appeared to be involved in agricultural production and the hunting of animals were deified, that is, they became gods and goddesses. They were construed as superior determinative forces that could exercise a great deal of influence over humanity’s survival. Further, these apparently capricious powers of nature were personified, that is, transformed into human-like energies that, hopefully, could be entreated and cajoled in order to enhance success. Like people, the energies of one’s climate (such as, the sun, moon, earth, sky, waters) acquired names and histories.
Golfers, too, acknowledge those deities of nature who stand at the edge of their limitations. Golfers know, for example, what the gods and goddesses of the winds can do to them. One day, the winds carry the ball further than ever, enabling a golfer to hit par fives in only two shots. On another day, the menacing face of the north wind bites coldly at the golfer’s ears while it stalls his/her balls over sand traps and water hazards. Golfers know the capricious nature of tree deities that kick balls back out to the fairway on one hole and knock them out of bounds on the next. Golfers know that bodies of water can have voracious appetites, gobbling up every ball they can. Golfers know how rocks can throw their balls onto the green on one occasion and into the ocean on other occasions. Golfers may rant and rail against these gods and goddesses of nature, just as much as they praise them, but golfers do not deny the existence of these deities.
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.