Unless you have lived under a rock for the last several decades, you are very aware that politicians love to play golf. It has been a hot topic of debate amongst those of the political mindset. This post is not political in nature whatsoever, I am simply going to tell you why politicians love to play the wonderful game of golf. Note that both male and female politicians love to play golf. This isn’t just a man’s game; woman love golf just as much, if not more.
First things first, golf gets you out of the house and out of the office. Politicians live in a suit and tie. They also live in meetings and boardrooms. While some people enjoy doing this every once in awhile, it can become very tiring. Imagine tying that tie every single weekday. Personally, I am a fan or putting on khakis and tennis shoes but politicians do not get to do this often. When they get out of the office and hit the links they can put on a much more comfortable polo shirt and khaki shorts. This gives them three or four hours to feel some comfort in their wardrobe.
Secondly, golf is fun yet competitive. No one will argue that golf is challenging but most people that play do have fun. There are a handful that break a wedge over their knee every single round but the large majority of golfers can laugh at their inability to replicate good shots. Politicians enjoy fun competition more than anyone. Why do you think they actually participate in elections? The round of golf is like an election race. There are 18 holes which is like 18 weeks of build up to the election, there are competitors vying for the chance to win and there is a grand finale in which the totals have to be added up.
Third, golf is a great place to negotiate deals. While most people think of negotiation as an activity amongst business men and women, it is also a large part of the life of a politician. Politicians can hit the links with someone they may absolutely despise but it gives them an opportunity to discuss policy or come to a deal. Instead of sitting in an office or on the phone, politicians can get outdoors and have a much calmer demeanor when trying to hash out the latest bill or proposal.
Lastly, golf is a great way to determine someone’s true motives and way of life. I have always said that if you give me three holes of golf with someone, I will be able to tell you almost everything about their life; both personal and professional. How do they introduce themselves on the tee box? Do they tee up their first ball in front of the tee markers? Do they immediately take a “breakfast ball” after a bad tee shot? Do they jump in front of everyone else on the second tee even if they just carded a triple bogey? Are they aware of your line and ball mark on the first green? How long does it take them to recognize the group in front of them is still in the fairway? Do they rake the bunker? Do they repair hacker divots?
There are hundreds of tell tale signs of someone’s awareness and life on the golf course. It does not take long to see these. The classic is the guy who you meet on the first tee box that claims to be a 2 handicap. He blasts his first tee shot over the driving range out of bounds right. He immediately declares he is taking a breakfast ball. He proceeds to take three bogeys in the first three holes with two three putts. He duffed a chip and walked in the line of your birdie putt. Yep, he’s a 2. Don’t trust anything this guy says for the rest of the round. If he can’t be honest with himself about his handicap, he sure as hell isn’t going to be honest with you about anything.