It occurred to me this past week as I was creating a narrated intro to Struggle-free Life on utopiancapitalist.com that a GOLF COURSE and the game of GOLF itself are perfect metaphors for a utopian ideal!
Perhaps the movie Seven Days in Utopia should have been enough of a hint. If you didn’t see the movie here’s how it goes…
Luke Chisolmn, a pro golfer phenom in Texas, is having a string of bad luck games. He wanders off the road while driving near a herd of cattle in Utopia, TX and ends up in the pasture with a broken car to match his spirit. He’s befriended by a local cowboy who offers to help him with his game and life in general.
Lessons like painting a portrait of his intention before the swing are odd at first. Especially from behind a tree in the rough. Yet the end result is a renewal of his inspiration and golf game.
A tense ending is up to the audience to discern.
Looking back on that movie, other movies as seemingly diverse from Utopian ideals as the wacky comedy Caddy Shack and thinking on my summers in LaGrange, TX playing golf at the Frisch Auf! Valley Country Club make the metaphor crystal clear…
Utopia is a boundary without specification that accommodates all perspectives that do no harm. In this way it’s like the boundary of a golf course. Within the course – including the rough – players are guaranteed a consistent environment free of gophers digging a hole under your ball, free of automobiles intimidating your cart, and with endless possible challenges for your skill to square off against.
Utopia (and the golf course) contains the same mix of circumstances for life as the world at large – struggles, challenges, achievements, safety, risk, certain and uncertain terrain. Yet a utopian society purposefully provides its citizens with what they need to limit the negative movement of struggles, the damaging circumstance of too much risk and the danger of uncertain terrain so that players can keep up with their foursome, enjoy the game despite setbacks and obstacles and improve their performance while maintaining the desire to continue improving.
Just like life, the game of golf expects you to make progress. You cannot aim your ball for the flag on Hole 1 from the tee box of Hole 2, for instance.
Struggles you can avoid with a safe approach or risk encountering when the reward of shaving a stroke off your score is at stake are part of the game in golf. Sand traps and water hazards are common. The metaphor of having a specialized club and talent for navigating a sand trap is a powerful one when you consider that most situations of struggle in life do not come with their own guidelines for recovering. Struggle in general is not typically regarded as the path to an achievement.
To overcome most struggle in life leaves the struggling at the starting point of their next challenge on the way to a goal. Can you imagine feeling proud among your friends for living through unemployment while balancing food stamps or finding a way to avoid moving back home with your parents when you are unable to pay the rent during the same struggle?
The first mention of Golf as a game was in a proclamation banning tit by King James II of Scotland in 1457. He favored the metaphor of archery over the Utopian metaphor of linked achievements that exercised the mind, body and spirit as well as the creative subconscious.
Given the brilliant and compassionate mind of Andrew the First, the first apostle of Christ, who I have read anecdotally may have visited Scotland and the British Isles from the Black Sea region it makes sense that the game would be a perfect metaphor of an ideal social architecture that mirrors biology and life more than the geometry that it is innovated on. Good job, Saint Andrew!