• Ahsan Jamil

Golf in Empire State

 The blue sky, dense and leafy trees, lush green grass, the breathtaking duet of the perennial and yarrow, and the recurring appearance of the purple admiral make walking on the fairways equal to a Babylonian stroll. The melodies of the blue jays and northern cardinals, as well as the guest appearances of the white tailed deer, add more to the summer greetings of the golf avenues of the Empire State. Oh! how can I forget to mention the repercussions of the invites and smiles of the cart girls. The greasy aroma of the Corona and thirsty burbling of colorful Gatorade add another level to North American golfers’ experience. There are very few golf courses where golfers can escape the white fleet of swans. Many golf courses hire dogs to clear swan poop. Turkey also ambulate on the fairways every now and then. Sometimes a peeking fox or a determined turtle also graces the occasion. Rabbits, raccoons and squirrels are frequent spectators, and rarely snakes would appear to warn the golfers to stay on the fairways. I am sure there’s much more in those woods, but I wouldn’t follow them there.

Branded attire, fashionable shades, bot carts, expensive rangefinders, DMDs, smartphone apps, and golf watches are more essential than the wedges. Some even smoke cigars to give their shots more executive looks. Like most other things, golf in New York is also by appointment. You just can’t walk in with your bag on your shoulders. Caddies are a rare luxury, and cart rates are no less than Uber. 





Shanks and slices are an international phenomenon that knows no geography. Miss hits, overthinking, and bad tempo are common in all continents. The mistakes of golf are beyond racial discrimination. All of these things don’t matter if you would pay attention to what else is going on at the golf course. 





New Yorkers spend more time looking for each other’s stray balls than on the fairways. Music in the carts, laughter at the fellow golfers’ mistakes. The sweet and sour four-letter words “f—k” and “s—t” are widely administered on the course. The off-course utilization of these two words is also welcomed. 

A few other four-letter words—“well done,” and “good shot”—are also used frequently. The flights in North America mostly form the perfect rainbow of multiculturalism. If New York was a melting bowl of difference, its golfers were the stew it made. The acceptance of all genders and of transgender people is admirable. Blacks, whites, browns and yellows! Chirstians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, all in the pursuit of pars and birdies, playing in complete harmony.  

“We are the world, oh,

There's a choice we’re making

We’re serving our own lives 

It’s true we are making a better day

Just you and me.”

Lionel Richie / Micheal Jackson 



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