My friend has written another funny article for "That’s Shanghai" titled The China Handicap. Here’s the hook:
Serious golfers say they love the game "because it offers a great
lesson in the game of life." They claim it teaches patience and improves mental
toughness. Yadda yadda yadda. I thought it was nothing more than an opportunity
to get some fresh air and learn new swear words.In fact, golf is very unlike life, mainly because of the
"handicap," a numerical calculation of one’s playing ability, or in my case, the
lack thereof. A "low handicapper" is a very good golfer, and in a competition
with a "high handicapper" he must spot that less-gifted person a certain number
of strokes on the round. The theory here is that it evens the playing field and
allows golfers of unequal abilities to compete as equals.I don’t get it. Why would unequals think that they could compete?
If you can sink a 40-foot putt on an angled glass surface with a wicked
crosswind, while I cannot get a ball downhill through a one-foot pipe and into a
manhole, well, I conclude you are the "better" golfer and deserve to "win." The
handicap, therefore, is irrational. I blame this on post-modernism, which was
embraced by golfers long before Western universities.Then I got to thinking…the misunderstandings, misinterpretations
and bad decisions I make in China are uncomfortably close to my stunted driving,
chipping and putting prowess. And like my golfing partners, my Chinese friends
shake their heads sadly and just hope I don’t maim someone with an errant
shot.So what if I were allowed a "China Handicap"? Something that makes
me equal and able to compete on a more even basis.
Go here to read the entire article. It’s worth the effort.