By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer

In the movie A league of Their Own, Gina Davis, the star player, tells Tom Hanks, the manager, she is quitting because the game is too hard. He replies, “It’s supposed to be hard; if it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” The difficulty is often cited as a reason golf’s population has declined in recent years or why people don’t take up the game as readily as some might like. I think it’s nonsense. Like anything that is a challenge, few will embrace the challenge, but most won’t. But in a country of 350 million, a few is still a lot. They say 24 million people play golf. Plenty for a thriving industry.

Is it too hard? Balderdash! Yes, it is hard, but it was never meant to be easy. The game is supposed to test you. In playing it, you learn as much about yourself as anything else you experience in life. Simply put, golf takes effort, and effort takes commitment. It also requires a desire to be good at it because it doesn’t come quickly. To those few that have the mettle, the game is very rewarding despite the hard. As Kipling wrote, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, then you’ll be a man, my son.” Or woman, my daughter – don’t want to be politically incorrect.
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