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Stimulate Interest Through Your Own Golf Crowd

The 8th Secret

An enduring method of obtaining maximum satisfaction out of golfing, which in turn creates maximum interest, is to have your own golf crowd. Some people are emotionally unable to "get up a game," and very often their interest dies out because of false ideas of rejection—a sort of self-pity that develops because they are not always invited to play.
It is not wise to leave golfing friends to chance. They should be deliberately sought. The pleasures of golf, like happiness, are not created merely because we wish them to appear. Then once the crowd is organized, or you become part of one, the persons in it should become more important than the game. They will be quick to sense such an attitude, and the mutual respect that develops is one of the more rewarding aspects of golf. This respect has a tendency to turn into friendships which seem to be much closer and longer-lasting than those in other fields. It is not unusual for foursomes to maintain their ties for more than a quarter of a century. One golfing crowd at the Augusta Country Club known as the "Big Crowd" has a history older than the golfing span of its oldest members—and is still going strong. Their knowledge of each other is so intimate that golf occurrences of apparently slight significance produce banter comparable to well-liquored family reunions.
A further advantage of having one's own crowd is the opportunity it affords for stimulating competition. Interest is developed most when the competition is greatest and the odds are fairest. By betting on the outcome, you will enjoy winning and hate losing. This will help to goad you into a desire for improvement. There is no moral problem involved in reasonable betting, since over a period of time the amount won and lost will be about the same.
It is advantageous to belong to more than one group and, if possible, to a group on another course. This lends variety to play, and variety will prevent your interest from dying out. The maintenance of this interest is necessary not only for your golf, but also to satisfy your requirements for varied recreation.
People of approximately equal ability will tend to gravitate toward each other, so that the problem of whom to play preĀ¬sents no great difficulties. As a golfer becomes better, his circle of golfing friends tends to become limited to good players. This has some dangers, since the pressure is to play with them more than with good companions. If one plays with only those in his class he will find that the game loses much of its pleasures, which can lead to a loss of interest. Personally, I prefer good personalities to good golfers, and many of my most enjoyable rounds have been played with relative "dubs." The ideal is to find the best combination available but, when in doubt, settle for companionship. You can always spot the opposition enough to make an even match.
However, regular playing with good golfers is advantageous for the development of good form. We have seen this occur as an outcome of play on the modern golf circuit. Professional golf has added a great deal to our knowledge of the game because of the rapid exchange of information between experts. It is a similar condition which produces the quickest advances in the scientific field. Without scientific journals and scientific conventions, progress is very slow and difficult. We now have a condition in which golf experts are in a permanent "convention," and the successful secrets of one soon become the open property of all. To a more limited degree this occurs in smaller amateur groups such as the "steady" foursomes, and play is thereby improved. In addition, obvious deviations of form can be spotted by other members of the group more easily than one can spot them in himself.