Dear Golf,

We need to have a long talk. You’re a great game and I love you dearly but it seems that we’ve grown apart. The game that I love isn’t an exclusive society and it isn’t only for those who have wealth, fame or a powerful position. The game that I love also accepts everyone regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, sexual orientation, religion or lack thereof. In fact, true love requires unconditional acceptance. We thrive when we focus on the things that unite us rather than divisive issues and this is why we refuse to allow something as petty as political opinion or preference to even enter the equation.

Some say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result and you my dear are a shining example and living proof that this statement is true. Rumors fly that the golf business and golf courses are in trouble and losing profits. If this true, why would we continue down the exact same path that we have traveled for years?

Perhaps it’s the mega corporations that have come between us? In a constant search for market share, they have destroyed themselves by producing cheaply made products, releasing new models entirely too quickly and refusing to allow retailers to truly participate in the gigantic mark up. There seems to also be an unholy alliance between the corporations and the media platforms that cover events while pushing distance over everything. This carries over to ego driven amateurs who think they are on par with Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson when it comes to length, the tees they insist on playing or the clubs they use on the course. When a young kid watches a PGA golfer tee off on a 450 yard par 4 with an iron, they assume that this is best for themselves as well. Here’s the rub, while a tour player may be able to generate the skills and speed to use less club and get an 80 yard roll on a pristine fairway, that 13 year old kid is going to struggle to have 250 yards left.

Clarification my dear. Can you just allow me to be myself? I only seek to exist in peace and stability and allow each of us to be free from the pressures of conformity. If you are a true long ball hitter, a scratch golfer, a pro of any sort or have a group that wants to battle for cash and all agree to tip it out, then by all means, the tips are open for you. By true long ball hitter I mean that almost all of your tee shots exceed 300 yards not that  you think you’re long because you once bounced off a path or hard pan or even had a massive breeze with you and lucked it to 340. There should be zero judgement passed upon the tee set used and if you are as good as you think, you should should be able to play as well from the red tees as you do from the tips.

Does length matter? Seems as though length has also been a problem between us. More and more, local tournaments that were typically for all skill sets have become slanted toward the really great players. The number of flights being reduced, the tees being move way back to favor the biggest and the best out there. Of course there should be a championship flight that allows the best to compete at crazy low scores and from crazy distances but there should also be enough flights to allow the lessor skilled or older players to use a more reasonable tee set and to compete with others of similar skills. I wish to also put an end to some misinformation. Scorecard distances are not the determining factor for choosing proper tees. It’s possible for a 7,000 yard course to play short and it’s equally as possible for a 5,900 yard course to play much longer. Choose your playing partners wisely and stick with those who you can agree with on the course. Life is too short to have sucky golf partners.

I guess what I’m trying to say golf is that perhaps it’s time for us to mix things up a bit and expand our horizons. Maybe it’s time to add other people to our relationship or different rules. Let’s spice things up by changing the old, tired ways that have led us to this location in our relationship.

To those who are long, I salute you and am constantly amazed by your talent. To those who believe that 275 yards equals 350, I say that I’ve got a bunch of friends for you to meet and find out what hurt feelings are all about. To those regardless of length, who understand what it means to get along and to love the game in all of the right ways, I say let’s party.