In July, we Americans celebrate the annual remembrance of our forefathers throwing off the shackles of King George’s Imperial Tyranny and forging a new nation founded on beliefs in liberty, freedom, and republican democracy.
We celebrate this most American national holiday by eating hot dogs (German), shooting off fireworks (Chinese), enjoying the 1812 Overture (Russian) live performance from the Capitol, and, of course, playing golf (Scottish).
I bring this to the Blog’s forefront now as my ancestral kinsmen in Scotland struggle with their own quest and question of Independence from The Crown. I have no idea in which direction the impending vote on Scottish Independence will go. However, I don’t mind taking time to salute the Scots for giving us golf.
For some of us, golf is simply a beautiful game to be enjoyed with friends and family. For others, it is an epic struggle against nature, physics, and personal shortcomings that must be overcome. And for yet others of us, in the true Scottish tradition, golf is a conduit to obtain our gambling fix.
According to the Scottish Health Survey published earlier this year, 70% of Scots have gambled in the past year. That’s three million people, and the UK Gambling Commission estimate that 31,000 of them are addicted – not far short of the number of hard drug addicts in Scotland. – The Herald, January 1, 2014
Adding a side game to a round of golf can be a great way to break of the monotony of one’s regular golf match, which commonly includes playing the same courses with the same compatriots. For others, side games can be a bona fide source of supplemental (read “unreported”) income.
My preference for side games is decidedly more towards the former. To paraphrase what my friend Mark often says, “if your friend has to write you a check after a game of golf, you’re not his friend, and it wasn’t a game.”
Nonetheless, there are several golf side games that I enjoy during a normal round with friends, with nominal wagers involved just to add a competitive element to a round. Personally, I’m partial to Wolf, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea and can be a bit predictable.
So, for our July Poll Question, what is your favorite golf side game?
Happy Independence Day everybody!