September 24th, 2008

Over the years, people have loved to question the legitimacy of golf. Is this a real sport? they ask. And truly it’s difficult to see athleticism in the leisurely stroll through a big open meadow, with the occasional pause to tap a little ball with a stick, that golf appears to be. Its champions, traditionally, have been middle-aged men in no discernibly superior physical condition. Which means that the skill looks accessible and the game has no sex appeal. Tiger Woods has been enormously helpful to golf for all of those reasons. He’s a young, handsome superstar with tons of natural talent who the world had to watch struggle for a while as he developed the technique that, it turns out, is actually necessary for the game.

If Tiger Woods is on one end of the spectrum, advancing the public image of golf, let me introduce you to the other end: The Pruneridge Golf Course. This is a nice place to take a walk with your friends on a sunny day. You will have to pay a little money and follow a specific path, but you can bring beer. When my brother was in high school, he would go out on this course with his friends and they would compete to see who could hit a ball the furthest off the course. Meaning the busy street just beside it, or, even better, the grocery store parking lot across that busy street. If one of them ever felt guilty, that would have been the only consequence. The golf course did not object. If you’re serious about golf, this place will probably only make you angry. But if you’re looking for a casual, relaxed place to unwind after a long week, it’s only 15 minutes away from this hotel.

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