Those of us who write and speak critically about golf for a living sometimes get accused of ‘talking the game down’.
It’s an understandable take from those who are naturally predisposed to a positive outlook but it’s frankly too narrow a lens through which to view anything, golf included.
Golf doesn’t exist in a bubble. The outside world knows we’re here and non-golfers have their own thoughts and opinions about the game.
Those thoughts and opinions are important for us to understand because they do – and will continue to have – an impact on how this game moves forward.
For many outside golf the game is, in varying degrees: boring, wasteful, elitist, sexist, expensive, stuffy and boring. (Yes, boring twice because it’s an all too common belief.)
All of these things are true – in some instances – and those among us who truly love the game recognise them as problems.
But here’s the rub: for the outsiders, that laundry list of negatives is where contemplation about the game ends. For those on the inside it should just be the beginning.
It is incumbent on those of us within golf to speak out against the things that are wrong and troubling about the game.
"We need to be our own harshest critics because those on the outside will certainly not go easy on the game."
We need to be our own harshest critics because those on the outside will certainly not go easy on the game.
And while that might sound like a negative it is actually a positive. Like a professional who works on the weakest parts of their game, there is overall improvement to be gained.
We all know the things that are great about golf and we should be spruiking those to the non-golf community at every opportunity.
The mental stimulation and physical challenges, the joy of a strategically exhilarating golf course set in beautiful surrounds and the moments with friends that will never be forgotten.
The fact that it is a game for young and old, men and women, boys and girls and proficient and duffer alike and all can share the same space at the same time and – through the marvel of the handicapping system – even compete on an even keel.
These things about golf are what make it unique and worthwhile and what separate it from every other game or sport.
But as perfect as golf the game is, so the politics and industry surrounding it are not and
to not acknowledge that is to do the game a disservice.
Honest analysis from within about the things the game gets right – but more importantly wrong – is crucial.
Because if we don’t recognise the flaws how will we ever make the game better?
Rod Morri is founder of the TalkinGolf Podcast Network, home of the State of the Game, iSeekGolf, TalkinGolf History and Feed The Ball podcasts.
Visit www.talkingolf.com for more information and to subscribe.