Can you imagine for a second walking up to a stranger, asking if you could walk with them for four hours and then texting them a week later to see if they would like to do it again? 

Probably not, yet that happens every day somewhere on a golf course. 

Unlike any other hobby, sport, or leisure activity in the world, golf has this pull to bring people together and create an immediate unity. There’s no official name for this, but we like to call it simply — the bond of the game. 

As golf purists will tell you, there is nothing more soothing than the sound of hitting the sweet spot on the club or birds chirping as you stand over a putt. When the sun is high in the sky and seems to spotlight the flag in the distance, you know that your life troubles are far behind you. 

But there is another side to the game that doesn’t get a lot of attention, and that’s the ability to know somebody quickly and effortlessly while you play. Think about all the different times you’ve played with old and young, men and women — even kids — and never really given your differences much thought. That’s how quickly the game connects people. 

What starts out as awkward introductions on the first tee quickly move to good-natured ribbing by the 11th and onto the proverbial “we should do this again” sign off after the 18th hole. Friends are friends because they have something in common, and sometimes it takes people a while to find that certain spark that ignites a friendship. With golf, the bond is instant and in some cases lifelong. 

Thank you, golf, for being a pipeline to friendship.