For at least as long as the existence of the noisy fluorescent lighting in your office, golf has dominated the extracurricular “pleasure” time of all white collar offices across America. Whether it’s for a sales call with a client, a weekend outing with a college friend, or an office-wide scramble, hitting the links has become a fact of life.
But if you’re like me and are so horrible at this “sport” that excusing your absence from it by saying you need to watch your aunt’s cats would be less humiliating than actually trying to play in front of your peers, you’re in need of a different organized casual sport hobby to remind you that you were once an athlete.
1. Racquetball: My dad, a former club pro in Maryland for the indoor racquet sport squash, once told me that the similar game of racquetball is “a poor man’s squash.” If that’s the case, then I suppose racquetball is a homeless man’s golf.
Racquetball is so many things golf is not: simple, cheap, time-friendly, and full of actual exercise. You can compete at a high level after only a few days’ worth of practice, so you never feel like the piece of shit who got smoked to no avail by an overly proud former college athlete in that sport. Plus, given its simplicity, it’s just as fun and socially acceptable to play a quick game with a stranger as it is to play a set of doubles with your three gym buddies.
Just don’t be surprised when your coworkers think you’re in there playing a bunch of retirees.
2. Frisbee golf. This is the ultimate frugal man’s move here. It this sport requires exactly the same amount of athleticism as golf, but in addition to not having to pay a dime for a tee time, you also get to say you took a hike in nature, as most courses are surrounded by trees. Regardless of your work status, who doesn’t enjoy the sound of some stray pinecones scrunching between their sneaks?
Frisbee golf is an especially fresh breath of air for the white collar folk who come on this website because they’re sick of work. This environment is crawling with modern hipsters, an undoubtedly delightful interaction under any circumstance.
3. Softball: Requiring only minimally more athletic output than a day at the links, coed softball has a similar postgrad reputation as being a work-organized outlet where light drinking is encouraged. Another common bond between the two is that they’re painfully time consuming.
For what it’s worth, some unqualified scholars have argued that postgrad softball is more suited for a lower-middle to middle class crowd, and that this stigma is what keeps WASPs like me who can’t help but lose to grade schoolers in putt-putt shy from returning to the diamond–despite my glory days as a 2004 Little League state champion.
The thing is this: even though we’d all be hard-pressed to watch nine innings of the World Series with a gun to our head these days, actually being out there in the field still has some childlike charm to it. The smell of the fresh April grass and playing together with eight of your closest pals remains timeless through the decades.
Bottom line with softball: if you can’t hit the fairway, you have a lot more fair territory in this game that you suck less at. It’s worth giving a shot.
4. Kickball: Unless you live in a city with at least 500,000 people in it, there probably aren’t enough fresh youngsters in your immediate radius for this to apply to you.
But if so, you’re in luck! The newest nationwide trend in twenty-something American culture, organized coed kickball has everything: nostalgia, nature, no fees, socially acceptable public drinking, and an extremely moderate amount of exercise with your closest buds. To top it all off, since nobody has ever cared about or remembered the outcome of a single kickball game, it never gets overly competitive.
It’s fair to say that if you are in between residences, whether or not there’s a lively kickball scene should be the tie-breaking factor.
Not mentioned: Tag: We draw the line of elementary school recess memories here. You’re an adult, for Christ’s sake. Go be aggressively hipster in Canada or something..
Image via YouTube