Volume 93, Issue 53

Thursday, December 2, 1999


Swimming in Crystal clear Western waters

Throw your clubs in the lake

Books, sports and drugs don't mix

The grand slam called tennis

Throw your clubs in the lake

The game of golf is the most elitist waste-of-space game in the world.

Now please, don't get me wrong – I've grown to like the odd game of pitch and putt, or the T-ball-like ease with which I've proudly launched several 300 yard drives, but let's stop kidding ourselves. The socio-economic background of the game lends itself to sound criticism on the basis of it being elitist.

For years, the game was played by a small circle of white-collared country club-goers whose overt intention was to keep the game in the country club family. The cost to equip oneself for a single round of golf can be astronomical compared to other sports and it's these costs which create obstacles for those who want to enjoy the game, but simply can't afford to shell out $30 every time they want to play a round.

Case in point – why is a guy like Tiger Woods so popular? Not only because he is a boy-among-men, twenty-something, working class type who plays with the skill of a wiley seasoned veteran, but because he represents the epitome of what the game of golf was thought to never become – something for the masses.

The fact that Woods recently received a $15 million offer from Buick Motors simply to have their company logo tattooed on his golf bag, proves the burgeoning state of the game owes its sudden popularity to a flaw in its own elitist armour.

By mere inspection, the ridiculous waste-of-space inherent in the game becomes glaringly apparent. One has only to examine the size of the ball and then gaze upon the vast small-nation's worth of surface area required to play the game to realize what I'm talking about.

I have a strong suspicion if all the golf courses in Canada were put together like pieces of a puzzle, we would have enough land to constitute another province or two and since we already have Nunavut, maybe we could call the newly formed province Fullavit.

This is not to say the game is without its challenges, for golf scores highly in the challenge category. It can be a tremendous workout, it can be highly frustrating and at the same time immensely rewarding, thus meritorious of great sport status. However, it'll never be able to escape its elitist past, which is why the case of golf versus equity won't be closed for a long time.

To Contact The Sports Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999