In the 4th century, the early Christian thinker Tertullian asked, derisively, “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” This rhetorical query seems intended to distance philosophy—Athens—and theology or divine revelation—Jerusalem. Yet much of the Christian tradition has answered contrary to Tertullian. Athens and Jerusalem do have much to say to each other.
Now to the point at hand. To ask the question: “What does Athens have to do with St. Andrew’s?” What of philosophy and golf? (Athens—philosophy—and St. Andrews—used as a symbol for all of golf, inclusive of courses from Merion to your local Muni.) Do they enjoy any convergence? The short answer is to say: Yes, most certainly. As philosophy is oriented toward and concerned with the totality of reality as such, then, yes, philosophy can be concerned with golf and its attending realities.
“What does Athens have to do with St. Andrew’s?” What of philosophy and golf?
The topics, ideas, and realities to focus upon are many. As a sampling of seminal questions:
- What does the game of golf suggest about the human person as such?
- Does the game help us see something about our nature as embodied and intellectual beings?
- What does it say of us that we fashion games? That is, what is a philosophy of play?
- What can golf show us about friendship, and man as a social animal?
- What is the relationship between humanity and nature?
- What does golf show us about our aesthetic sensibilities?
- What can golf suggest regarding leisure and work?
- What is the relationship between friendship, competition, and humor?
- Can playing golf help us understand time a little better?
- Can golf be seen as a particular epistemological access point that gives a unique image of the person and the world?
- What does golf suggest about character, virtue, vice, happiness?
- Is there a philosophy of walking (yes)? And if so, does it impact golf (probably)?
So this is a golf site devoted to meaning, not mechanics. For both philosophy and golf I am an amateur in its present and more original meaning: a lover of some endeavor; and someone who endeavors to become better at both. Philosophy as the love and pursuit of wisdom; golf a game I and countless others do in fact love. This site is an endeavor in getting to know both golf and philosophy better, which, it is hoped, helps give a clearer and better image of the human person and the person’s place in the cosmos.
The goal of this site is to publish readable pieces. Readable in both accessibility and length (ballpark 400-800 words). I invite potential contributors to consider enriching the exploration to which this site is committed. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send along your ideas.