The sport of golf is as complex as it is simple.
On one hand, golf is one of the more challenging games in the compendium of sports; most people who play are average, few are good, and only a small handful of people who have dedicated themselves to mastering the game are very good.
On the other hand, the game’s objective is to hit a stationary ball with a stick. Its courses, the game’s cathedrals, are not gigantic arenas designed to wow the masses with modern technology, but rather a reflection of what you can do with less: grass, trees, and your imagination.
In other words, golf courses, like Briar Leaf Golf Club, where Andrew, Brett, Bert Cook and I played today, are beautiful because so much was done with so little.
There was thought in every hole at Briar Leaf; from short Par 4’s with elevated greens that teased you to try and go for it, to an island green Par 3 that pulled no punches and challenged you, straight up, to master it if you could.
Only Bert answered the bell on the Par 3, but the challenges at Briar Leaf never relented on the front and back 9, constantly pushing us to, like the course design itself, do more with what we had and giving us opportunities to rise and fall to each occasion.
Satisfaction and disappointment are two powerful emotions, and golf is a sport where the ebb and flow between these two emotional apexes is a rollercoaster that changes at every hole.
Some holes we’re heroes, some holes we’re not, but every hole at Briar Leaf is a chance to become one or the other all over again.
The four of us ended our round with lunch at the Portofino Grill, a restaurant whose ambience harkens back to the days of simpler, beautiful times. We were tired from a day of ups, downs, and spent from the challenge this meticulously kept and crafted course presented to us.
The craft of the course challenged us to expose a deeper part of who we were, and because of that, this beautifully complex and simple game we call golf, made us closer friends.
Thank you Briar Leaf, and thank you, golf.