Thanks to reader John for this nice perspective by the WSJ's Tim Carroll, who weaved his Monday-Augusta lottery luck into a column about the democracy of golf:
My first three rounds of golf in 2007 couldn't be more different. One round was royally high-end, to say the least. Another was at a friend's respectable, but not lavish, home course. The third took place on what some might describe as a cow pasture -- but that might be an insult to cows.
I'll remember all three with affection -- the last maybe even more than the other two. That crystallizes for me something special about golf: It's a great leveler. It doesn't matter where you play or how good you are. Sometimes when you return home to see the parents and eat a Mom-made dinner, it can be just as wonderful as a meal made by a four-star chef; maybe even more so. This sport that some consider elitist can be about as democratic as it gets.
As A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh and an oft-quoted sage in my household, once wrote: "Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad." A bad golfer can better his normal score by just a shot or two and be walking on air. Similarly, while it's a treat to play the name courses, sometimes an afternoon walking with a caddie down a perfectly manicured fairway isn't as fun as a casual evening carrying your own bag at a scruffy muni with your friends.