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Dear Golf

Dear Golf

Erik Anders Lang’s love letter to the game of golf

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I Love You.

Dear Golf:

I love you. Ever since the moment we met, it was though we had been paired for life. I remember the first time I saw you – not as what I thought you were, but as what you actually were. I remember there were all sorts of distractions on that day with etiquette and dress code and formality. But that wasn’t you. I met you in a thousandth of a second on a tee box– a place I had never been before. It was, perhaps, the purest moment of my life. I disappeared, and a golf club hit a golf ball beneath me. I stood over what just happened and my mouth was ajar. I was fascinated.

Anyway, its been eight years, maybe nine now, since that day. To say you changed my life is an understatement because what you actually did was define my life. You gave me meaning the way a child does to a couple. You gave me structure. You gave me questions. You gave me joy, and you gave me pain. But, all the time, it was a fair pain. At many times, I tried to figure you out – once and for all. 

I can see you now, laughing as I scratched my head. 

And while I obviously haven’t figured you out, I have learned that you are whatever I want you to be. And that’s when you taught me the greatest lesson of all: how to dance with you. How to make you purr– like an old engine. And then, we ran together like dogs all over the world. You bought me plane tickets and I met you in every corner cafe, stealing away from my adult life. You offered me what few ‘things’ ever had. You said to me over and over and over again; you said, “here is a chance, Erik.” But, “a chance at what,” I thought. I had to fill in the blanks.

And for years, I had it backward. A chance to what? Now, I think I know. You offered me a chance to live a great and meaningful life. 

See, you were my big brother in that way. Did you ever know that I saw you like that? And, as I write this letter, I wonder if we have both grown older together. To be honest as much as pondering my life without you fills me with sadness. The idea that we both must grow old fills me with a similar sad-like feeling, but it sits a little closer to gratitude. That I could offer you something in return reminds me of that children’s book, The Giving Tree, did you ever read that book by Shel Silverstein? Anyway, that I could offer you something in return is truly the gift of my life– the giving of my life. and now that I think of it, I’m not sure who is the tree in this analogy. If I am the tree, cut me down so you can use me as you grow old. Because one thing is for sure, dear golf, you will outlive me and you are more important than me. You will offer everything you offered to me, and more, for generations to come. You will teach people that don’t even exist yet things that are impossible to predict. You will connect people, you will define individuals, you will create circumstances that provide happiness and community for millions. You will stay open late, and you will let dogs roll all over you. You will be the runway, and you will be the tour guide. You will be the confessional, and you will be the girlfriend. 

I say that because you have already been those things for me in my short time with you. And, as I think of that phrase ‘short time’ I get sad because I won’t be there with you in your eternal life. And that’s why I stay up so late with you now. That’s what true love does for young lovers. It makes us utter that Latin phrase… Carpe diem. And so we do. Every time we approach you, we seize the day. 

Golf – whoever categorized you as a game must have known you’re more than that. It must have been some type of reverse psychology. Golf, I know enough to know that I will never know enough about you. And, I hope that, at least, on my dying day, that I will think of you at the end, and remember this letter I wrote you way back when. And, I’ll hope that you had the chance to read it.

Thank you for my life. 

Erik

View Comments (7)
  • This encapsulates a lot of the feelings I have felt as I have gotten more and more into golf over the last few months, and I am so excited for the future experiences this game will provide me. Thanks for fostering a great golfing community, Erik.

  • Thank you, Erik, for creating a wonderful community for all of us. I love Golf, too and this is representative of a lot of my feelings towards this amazing game. Ever since I was 5 years old, this game has brought so much joy, pain, understanding, and misunderstanding to my life. It has taught me self reliance, commitment, and how to have fun. It has intrigued me, it had played a game or two with my mind, it many of times has broken me down and humbled me, only to build me back up. This game is a mystery as there will always be one-shot that could have been struck purer or one putt which should have been read clearer. It is a game of life lessons, learned through a beautiful lens.

  • Dear Erik,

    Thank you for all that you do and create for the Golf community… you bring the voice to what has been in my head for the past 9 years since I met Golf at Roosevelt in Griffith Park.

    You perfectly define all my thoughts/emotions/philosopy about Golf — it has given me more than any other endeavor in my life. It is my church. My religion. My saving grace.

    Keep up the work that you do — it’s unique, inspiring and spot-on. Carpe Diem, indeed…

  • I’ve played golf for over 20 years, since I was a child.
    Now my 12 year old daughter has taken up the game and fallen in love with it also. During this lockdown she asked my why I loved golf so much, why did I put so much time and effort into it and why it is so important to me. At that time I struggled to fully explain and describe my feelings and thoughts towards Golf but this video so beautifully encapsulates what I wanted to say and so much more.

    So I’ve shown it to her and hope that in the future when shes grown and maybe trying to explain to her kids why she loves golf, this video and will spring to mind and help her articulate what it is about this great sport that captures the soul and never releases it.

  • I’ve played golf for over 20 years, since I was a child.
    Now my 12 year old daughter has taken up the game and fallen in love with it also. During this lockdown she asked my why I loved golf so much, why did I put so much time and effort into it and why it is so important to me. At that time I struggled to fully explain and describe my feelings and thoughts towards Golf but this video so beautifully encapsulates what I wanted to say and so much more.

    So I’ve shown it to her and hope that in the future when shes grown and maybe trying to explain to her kids why she loves golf, this video and will spring to mind and help her articulate what it is about this great sport that captures the soul and never releases it.

  • During these times, your work has given me reason to look forward to tomorrow. Your travels inspires me to keep dreaming. Thank you for opening that door.

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