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Debate: What Are You Most Looking Forward To – Social Or Competition Golf?

Jeremy Ellwood – Social golf

For various reasons, my competitive spirit has been somewhat blunted in recent years, so with competition golf already taking a bit of a back seat relative to the past, this is a pretty easy one for me.

Add in to the mix that what used to occasionally almost pass for a golf swing has been deserting me at an alarming rate, and golf has become much more of a social experience for me these days.

It is, of course, still a huge part of my life, even if competitions are not.

I have really missed the experience of playing with golfing friends both old and new.

In particular, the endless on-course banter and simple pleasure of just being out there amid beautiful surroundings, which you don’t always appreciate scorecard in hand.

I have to say I have also missed my solo rounds hugely, where it’s just me alone with my thoughts, both deep and trivial.

These elements of our great game are much more important to me now than the often disappointing numbers I have to sign for on a scorecard on one of my rare competitive outings.

They are undoubtedly what I have missed most during this enforced break, so I have resolved to enjoy them all the more when we are once again able to plan our lives freely.

Related: 6 positives to come from golf’s Covid-19 lockdown

Fergus Bisset – Competition golf

During this bizarre sabbatical from normal life, all of us are greatly missing time spent out on the fairways.

One hour-long stroll from the front door and a putt on the carpet doesn’t really cut it, does it?

Of course, generally speaking, I am simply missing golf itself. But thinking the other day about what I am really longing for most, I realised it was club competition. I love having a card in my hand and playing for something.

That’s what golf is all about for me – putting my game on the line and really trying hard to record the best possible score I can.

I’m not a trophy hunter and that’s not what I like about individual competitions. It’s really the chance to feel like I’ve done myself proud – returning a best score, achieving a handicap cut, making a few birdies.

For me, there’s no better feeling in golf than holing out on the 18th green to complete a competition round I’m pleased with.

Admittedly, they’re few and far between, but that makes the exhilaration all the greater when one comes along.

And then I miss the camaraderie afterwards. The words of congratulation or commiseration one hears from fellow members who have also enjoyed testing themselves competitively that day.

With no knockout events to look forward to at the moment and no club matches, I’m missing the social side of those to boot.

I miss the banter before them, the competition within them and the friendly meal and maybe a beer after them.

For me, competitive golf is what it’s all about.

Yes, I love a stroll around the course with no pressure on performance. But give me a scorecard or a friendly opponent and I’m playing on the Elysian Fields.

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Debate originally printed in the July 2020 issue of Golf Monthly magazine