Golf 3....Seductive Activations
By ice rivers
Not too long after the invention of "the hole", another great moment in golf arrived; the invention of the green. The green is the closely mowed area immediately surrounding the hole. If the hole stands for the essential goal then the green stands for the important goal, a more general place to aim. To reach the green predicts looming realization of essential pursuit.
A century or two between the invention of the green, another great moment occurred; the invention of miniature golf. Let's skip the whole driving and fairway thing. We're not as interested in the journey as we are in the destination. We read the last chapter of a mystery novel first so we know who did it all along and who cares about anything else?
Miniture golf is a concentration of essential goal with a diminishing interest in important goals. As it turned out, many people became activated by the single minded pursuit of the essential and thus the world dicovered a new use for miniature windmills, aquarioums filled with enamel fish and plaster dinosaurs holding fake candy canes.
Shotrly after the concept of truncated activation peaked with miniature golf, some true star invented yet another form of abbreviation namely the "driving range". This one deals with the other end of the spectrum and once again gets rid of the "hole" as history once again rhymes with itself in a colossal retreat. Here the golfer can exercise a specific strategy, while sacrificing other important activities including the essential goal.
Both of those innovations diminished the concept of "walking" which at one time (before the invention of the hole) was in fact the primary goal of the game. Unless you count the husband's goal of getting the hell out of the house and the wife's goal of getting him the hell out of the house yet keeping him away from the harlots. Everybody used to win.
Miniature golf requires some walking while the driving range requires only getting out of the car and waking to the tee, usually grabbing a beer on the way. This means that the guy gets home before either he or his wife wanted him too or he stretches it out by stopping off somewhere and sometimes with a "golf instructor"
Shortly after the appearance of driving ranges and miniature golf courses, another synthesis reared its head. This manifestation included some walking, some iron driving, an important goal (The green) and an essential goal (the hole). This innovation became known as par three golf as the fairways were shorter and narrower and the expectation is to be able to reach the essential goal with two swings and a putt..
Even with this myriad of manifestations, golf has remained a non-essential activity. Therefore, people discover or ignore the game based on their own interest and time table. Some folks activate through miniature golf. Others activate through the driving range. Still others activate because of the par threes. It's imposible to choose betweeen the game of golf and these three activators other than for purely personal reasons including the need to go "shopping" by the wife and the need to get the hell out of here by the husband who fully realizes how much his wife cherishes her private time.