What the hell are we paying all of this money for?

On Sunday morning, around 10:00am, I was walking up to the 16th green at Royal Ashburn wndering why I paid $65 for the pain I had been imposing on myself for the past 90 minutes. I had quite a streak going. I had made the turn at 6 over but had par’d the last four holes which might give you some idea of how I struggled at the opening of my game (a 6:15am starting time had been moved to 6:40am since the tee blocks had frozen over night!).

As I stood in the tee box at 10 I felt that my game had turned around and that I could easily contnue my run of pars. I didn’t continue that run. I started a new one. Between 10 and 16 I doubled bogied every hole except #12 (which I merely bogied). I hit my tee shot at 16 off the toe of my six iron but somehow found the green. As I walked up to the green (where this whole missive began) I started to try and think of all the things we spend money on in our lives that are guarenteed to bring this much grief. It’s not like we don’t know it’s going to happen. Everyone feels it at some point in their round. And we pay what for that pleasure? Sheesh!

I par’d 16, 17 and 18 (with a great shot from a fairway bunker) and suddenly had a spring back in my step. You all know the cliche (“these are the holes that keep bringing us back”). It dawned on me why we are happy to spend so much on golf. We don’t think about the looming doom. We are buying hope. Hope that we can do better this time. Hope that we will find a rythm in our swing that will take our game to the next level. Hope that we can impress whomever is playing with us that day and have a great story to tell the office come Monday morning. That’s why we keep going back.

P.S. Royal Ashburn is now officially Royal and will be celebrating their 45th Anniversary at the end of May.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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