What I’ve Learned About Reading Fiction from Watching Golf

You may have noticed that the cover of my latest release features a golf ball. That’s because one of the scenes takes place on a driving range and is based on a real life experience. Personally, I’ve given up trying to learn the game and let my husband go out to the course so I can have quiet reading or writing time.

But over many years of observing the game both in real life and on television, I’ve picked up the following:

In golf, patience is the key. It is a slow sport to play, and can be slowed further by lagging players in front of you. (You can however, speed things up by playing golf on the Wii machine.)

In fiction, patience is also needed. Reading a love story is a slow, unfolding process that makes us wait for the payoff at the end. We also must sometimes wait patiently for the next story in a series. (You can however, sometimes speed things up by ordering your books as downloads for immediate receipt.)

In golf, there is a code of etiquette to be followed. Many rules apply out on the green. It is considered the “gentleman’s sport” for a reason.

In fiction, there are also rules of etiquette for readers like not revealing “spoilers” and ruining the experience for others. And not criticising an author, focusing instead on her work.

In golf, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.

In fiction, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.

So in what ways is reading a superior hobby to golf?

--You don’t need to wear plaid pants or a collared shirt to read a book.
--Reading is a year-round sport, regardless of weather.
--You can buy many books for the cost of one typical round of golf.
--You can re-read a scene anytime, but in golf “mulligans” are frowned upon.
--No special equipment is needed to read, unless it’s reading glasses.
--You can’t play golf on the beach or in the tub.
--If you completed grade school, you won’t need special instructors to help you read.
--You can read all alone, without needing to call your buddies.

So send your spouse out to the driving range and curl up on your couch. Tell us, what books are in your TBR (to be read) pile?
And do you play golf?


  1. What a clever and thought provoking post, Robin! Loved it.

  2. What a wonderful analogy!

    Great post.

  3. I couldn't agree with this more. I took golf as one of my college credits. I took the class with my brother, who was an avid player. I was horrible. The day we were practicing with the "wood" I heard my brother snickering, and then realized I had picked up a LEFT-HANDED club--and I'm right- handed. He was laughing so hard that we got in trouble for cutting up in class. Golf vs. a good book...that's an easy one. ;)

  4. LOL Theresa. Thanks everyone for the comments!

  5. The only golf I ever played was mini-golf. Does that count?

    Guess you still need patience if you get stuck waiting for the group in front of you. :)

    However, I must admit when I go to play-- it's not to be there for the sport, but rather to spend time with the people I love.

    That's why I enjoy a great romance too-- I get to spend time in the lives of special character's that grow real more real to me with each page that I turn.

  6. Great post Robin. Didn't Mark Twain say that golf was "a good walk spoiled." I think he preferred reading, too - as do I.

  7. Yes, it is definitely a good walk spoiled. The courses are lovely and you want to enjoy the scenery, but people want you to keep chasing after this ball that has a mind of its own. LOL

  8. Very clever post, Robin. Like JoAnn, I can only relate to miniature golf, but great analogy!

  9. Thanks again to everyone for their kind words ; )