Monday, June 27, 2005

For Love of the Game

For all you golf fans out there…

Have you ever seen a master at work? Watched him use his mind and talents to craft something breathtaking out of nothing? Watched him look at what you’re looking at and instead of seeing a red, barren, rock-laden Marscape, see a vast, undulating and serene emerald meadow?

Last week, I had the privilege of walking at the elbow of Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the world’s premiere golf course architect as he surveyed his newest course in development outside Vail, Colorado. Meandering from hole to hole, he described his inspiration for his design, described how he would play the hole, whispered its beautiful but nefarious secrets and quite literally waxed poetic in his description of the game (it may have had something to do with the fact that we’d mic’ed him for a video we were shooting! Ego was something Mr. Jones possessed in equal measure to his talent.)

Puzzling over a fairway he didn’t quite like, he’d cock his head to one side, squint an eye, and move his hand over the horizon like he was massaging the earth. Then he’d grab his green colored pencil and make alterations on the spot. Soon the wispy sketch in his hand would become the responsibility of giant earth-moving equipment—a bombastic and jarring conception to something that will soon be carpeted in grass and tranquility.

I don’t play golf. Never have. But seeing someone so in love with it, so enamored by it, so completely submerged in its magic made me want to begin. It’s amazing how another person’s adoration of something can cause us to begin falling in love with it too.

There’s a metaphor in that, I think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the same way: there is a poetry about golf that provokes a sense of mystery within me. But, I don't play. If I could get past the ecological impacts of golf courses and the perceptions of cultural elitism I carry in my head, I would probably take it up. I tried to get into it once. Went with a friend to a driving range at an exclusive country club. Got in trouble for not having my shirt tucked in. Haven't been back. Good thing you didn't have me mic'ed that day!

5:30 PM  

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