For the people of Manhattan just being a golfer is a struggle, to say nothing of the steeper challenges faced by those who dare to try to be good at golf. And as I was reminded of on a recent visit I am far from alone in this plight. The struggle spreads across all ages and socioeconomic classes and its ramifications will run deep into future generations of shitty golfers.
Chelsea Piers holds a bunch of different sports day-camps for kids and golf is a fairly popular one. So for most of the summer the facility gets littered with kids' golf paraphernalia. On this particular day I walked in to find the practice green area even messier and sadder than usual.
Signs of the struggle were scattered all around the artificial turf. I felt sorry for these campers. The few kids in the program who actually like golf probably face disappointment and despair on a daily basis. The rest must be in absolute hell. It's one thing to have to chip and putt balls against one's will, it's a whole other level of injustice to sit on fake grass inside a hot parking garage while being forced to experience the game of golf through drawings and written words. I tried to decipher these sad word-attempts--which I assume were part of some kind of golf-familiarization exercise--but failed to make sense of anything beyond "golf cart haos".
I tried to shake it off and get on with my own practice. But on this day golfers arriving at Chelsea Piers Golf Center to practice were disappointed to find the facility closed for a private event--a not entirely out of the ordinary occurrence. In this instance it was a car manufacturer-sponsored promotion for which the whole range was refashioned as a soccer pitch for the day, any and all signage or references to golf around the whole facility taped over. If the business of golf really is shrinking it's hard to feel too bad about it, here in Manhattan at least.