From watching to playing, golf has always been a major part of my life. Some of my fondest memories are walking up and down the course with my dad. Golf has always been a great bonding experience and place to learn. In golf, you have no one to blame for your failures but yourself because it is the ultimate mental game.
With the death of the king, Arnold Palmer, and the Ryder Cup about to start, I want to make the case for why everyone should watch and play golf.
Golf is a fantastic sport, it is easy to learn, watch and a spectacular event to see in-person. The athletes are personable and always engage with the fans and the playing of the game is relaxing, giving one time to escape for a while.
The feeling of striking a drive right down the heart of the fairway is like bowling a turkey or hitting a baseball out of the park. It is a surreal experience that sticks with you and can be looked back at with fondness.
I know from experience that there have been many times, playing golf, when I hit the ball into a lake or into the woods and wanted to quit. These moments are the best moments because you know you can make the correct shot and it motivates you to get better and keep trying. Most of the game is not your physical ability to hit the ball but your mental acumen to hit the ball to the right spot and to put your last bad shot behind you. Golf seems so simple as you only have to hit a ball into a hole a couple hundred yards away, but it gets so complex, which is what makes it so much fun.
Watching the professionals on the PGA tour baffles me as the players rarely make mistakes and are able to consistently exceed expectations over a four day stretch. This weekend from Friday to Sunday is the 41st Ryder Cup, which is the biennial men's golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. This year the competition is being played at the Hazeltine National Golf Club, located in Chaska, Minnesota. Some of the best players in golf will be competing this weekend, including Jordan Spieth, Phil Michelson, Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson, just to name a few.
The Europeans have won eight of the last ten Ryder Cups, including coming back from a massive deficit in the 2014 tournament. After winning the last three, the Europeans will look to keep on rolling while the U.S. and their new wave of young players will attempt to stop the bleeding and start a generation of winning.
With the majors over for the year, grab a seat, watch some golf and enjoy watching some of the best players in the world duke it out while representing their country. When the weather gets nicer, even if it is mini-golf, grab a club and get swinging as golf is a game that only gets better with age.
If this did not persuade you, hopefully this upcoming story will. On Wednesday at the Ryder Cup, a U.S. fan was heckling team Euro players trying to make a putt and they proceeded to miss. Justin Rose and two other team Euro players called him out, offered him $100 dollars for a chance to put his money where his mouth is and make the putt. The guy walks out, sinks the putt and they all celebrated. This was in the practice round for the Ryder Cup. Who knows what other great moments the 2016 Ryder Cup has in store?
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.