Have you ever read the definition of play? How about this for a definition of play as a verb, borrowed for the internet;
engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
Is it possible to play golf that way? Have you ever seen anyone actually playing golf that way?
As adults, maybe we take it all too serious, perhaps we have forgotten how to play. I think we know how to play. If you have ever spent time at a bowling alley during league play you have certainly seen adults playing. Ever watched adults playing softball, baseball, tavern pool, frisbee, or fishing? The list goes on and on. Why do we see so much joy during those activities and so little during golf?
Most of us wouldn't ever do those other activities if they weren't fun. So why do we golf? Certainly it is not for a 'Serious or Practical' purpose.
My grandfather used to tell me that I couldn't choose to play golf well but I could and should choose to have fun while doing it. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to choose to have fun while I golf. It can be difficult to have fun when the play is slow, or when you are playing poorly. I remember playing with my grandfather when I was about 12 and having a horrid game. I was grumpy, angry and frustrated. Graps asked, "Why are you being such a #%$$?" My answer was because I was playing so bad. His response, as always, was brief and to the point, "Why be upset, you're just not that good!"
I play those words in my head whenever I play poorly. I try to use it as motivation to get better. A reason to practice, a reason to have fun practicing. I did learn that even though I couldn't choose to play well I could choose to learn to play better. Oddly enough the more I strive to get better the more fun I have.
Now if I could only find a way to get the other golfers to play faster.