I love golf. I love playing it. I love hitting practice balls and practicing my putting. I love the chipping green. I even like watching it on TV. Golf is great.
There are two categories of golfers; those who know how to play the game and those who just go out and hit the ball. The difference is some play the game and follow the rules and others are just out there for other reasons. The people who know how to play the game are not necessarily better golfers, they just understand the game through specific lens, it’s rules.
Golf has a set of rules that are long and complicated. Unless you play every day, read the USGA guidelines a lot or do it for a living you may not have all of the rules down, (I don’t know them as well as I should) but the rules are there for a reason. They are designed to keep the game the same for everyone and civil. They let us knows who tees off on the next hole, who hits first and what you can and can’t do on the course.
Some people cheat in golf. They know they are breaking a rule and they don’t care or count it as a way of getting a ‘better score’. But in reality these people don’t have to keep score. They are not playing by the rules. They are not playing golf, so why keep score. They are just hitting the ball.
I sometimes get lucky enough to play a portion of a round alone. I still keep score. Scoring includes penalty strokes. It doesn’t effect my enjoyment of the game because I am out there to play golf, not to keep score. I have a joy in the process and the barriers and the challenges that each round brings.
I respect the game. I am there to be a part of it; to be a golfer, to be at one with golf. I am not there to get drunk, to “score in the low 80’s”, or to work on my sales. I am there to play that shot I am looking at right now.
One of my good friends, who used to be a wonderful golfer, once told me “Never pick your club until you see your lie.” It means that you should be present in each shot. Each stroke is unique. Play this stroke. He was a golfer, not a hacker. He was an artist.
And you could say that in anything you do there are these two types of people, those who respect what they do and hackers. I think about the improvisers I see. The two categories for me come down look like in improv. There are the ones who love improvisation and those who love laughs or joking around or just the social component. Like with the golfers they both play the game, but one does it with a certain grace, honor and respect and the other does whatever they want to, to achieve their ends.
I think that, as on the golf course, there is room for both type of players in improv. As a matter of fact, most golfer used to be hackers and most improvisers used to be jokers. They have just changed their perspective on the game.
I also find that I like to play with the players that play like I do. Improvisers like to play with improvisers and jokers like to play with jokers.
I try to fill my casts with improvisers, not jokers or hackers. Are you an improviser or a hacker?