Why golf is addictive

Old man's sport? As if. Elitist? Perhaps that was once the case. Do you have any idea? Hardly any other athlete is subject to as much prejudice as a golfer. Yet hardly any other sport fulfils the originality with which people devote themselves to their favourite pastime. Golfs reels us in as soon as the first balls are flying. Golf enthrals us when we quickly see improvements. Golf is omnipresent because we can do something for ourselves and our game anywhere and in any place. If you like, golf is pure magic and flows through our veins. And the survival rate without blood is notoriously limited.

It's those moments when you suddenly open yourself up to something you never had on your radar before. A particular kind of moment of enlightenment as soon as you decide to leave your preconceptions at the door and engage with the challenge. But watch out! It can happen quickly. So-called taster courses and licence courses give you an initial idea of what might lie ahead for you. Holding the first golf ball in your hand is a tangible experience – a flattering jewel with its many entirely exact indentations that allow it to float over the fairway on an air cushion as if by magic. The club in your hands, a 7 iron perhaps, exudes a rustic touch and resembles a massive tool as much as an elegant work of art. Which you can do everything with, and that's influenced far less by strength than by skill.

Golf is always on. Wiry youngsters learn their first humble exercises on the greens, suits leave their office stress far behind, gentlemen in their prime discover the gambler gene in themselves during the weekly round with their regulars, and ladies who have turned gracefully grey won't miss the opportunity to gloat over a successful shot. Golf spans the generations. We can play for ourselves, with one another, against one another and purposefully walk an exciting line. This is also why golf has addictive properties.

Nowhere else does the line between genius and madness blur faster and more often than on the golf course. Those who have just been celebrating themselves might be close to despair in the next moment when their tee shot, hit with great optimism, is half a metre too short and ends up in the water instead of on the green. For the seasoned players in their mid-forties, the pulse rises to dangerous heights before a tournament, they murmur parables to themselves like a mantra, knowing full well that this time luck will have to make up for the training they missed last week. The short putting mat in the office has its purpose, a few stretches at the breakfast table will revive shortened muscles, and who's going to see you practising the short chips in the garden that didn't quite work in the end. Has golf got you hooked? No surprise.

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