18 Good Things About Golf: No. 14

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14. Golf is a game of good and bad luck. It is played on purpose under circumstances that ensure superior skills alone will not always determine the victor. A ball sliced out of bounds may hit a tree and ricochet back to the middle of the fairway. A perfectly struck drive may land on a sprinkler head and carom out of bounds. In an attractively thought-provoking way, golf is frequently unfair. The player who drains a 60-foot putt to close out a match knows that his victorious stroke was the sum of a thousand offsetting errors and accidents that could easily have added up in a different way. Perhaps as a result, golfers tend to be more gracious in defeat and less pompous in victory than other athletes. (I’ve heard this, anyway.)

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