One of the many great things about golf is that some time elapses between bits of action. It takes upwards of four hours to strike the ball somewhere between 75 and 100 times. Do the math and it's clear that every round gives us ample opportunity to ponder the big questions if we so choose. It's no surprise that the literature and art of golf is peppered with questions of spirituality and existence. Golfers tend to wonder why. I know I'm not the only one who has cried, "Why am I here?!" at the sky after missing a three-footer.
The print that hangs in my parents' condo in South Carolina is not as meditative and full of "philosophical woo-woo" as, say, the Michael Murphy novel Golf In The Kingdom. It's mainly a bit of cheeky humor. Rabbis have taken to the golf course, and several look on in varying states of disbelief as one of them holes a long putt. It's not exactly TopTracer, but the dotted track of the ball and distant rays of sun peeking through clouds suggest some divine intervention. Is this the most learned rabbi of the group? Is G-d using the moment to teach the rest about the rewards of study?
No matter a particular person's religious affiliation, everyone seems to turn into a polytheist on the golf course. We lament the cruelty of "the golf gods" when a putt lips out or a decent tee shot takes a crooked bounce into trouble. Of course, this is a deflection measure rather than an authentic belief; we're just looking for someone else to blame for our bad golf. There are few absolute truths, but I'm confident that one of them is that He could not possibly care less what you shoot.