The value of authenticity
Do you think Australians have ever heard of an Outback Steakhouse? Having never been to Australia, I can’t really say…but I have a strong suspicion the answer is no.
My sense is all the Aussie G’Day-ness is sheer marketing hokum designed to create a distinction for the restaurant chain amidst a sea of blandness in a homogenized strip-mall world. In some respects it must work. There’s a ton of them around…and you sure see plenty of ads during Saturday college football. But it seems soulless and empty.
The world doesn’t need any more rubber-stamped, pasteurized sameness. Hasn’t the ongoing dreariness of American Idol proven that?
What the world needs is authenticity. Realness. Quirkiness. Honesty. We don’t need any more McDonalds or Starbucks. We don’t need stuff you can get EVERYWHERE. We need stuff you can only get HERE. In this one place. It makes us feel alive and invigorated. It makes us glad we packed our bags and braved the security lines at the airport.
And, that is why we need golf. Think about it. The allure of Pebble Beach is not in the golf holes. It’s in the cliffs. The history. The trees. If you built the Old Course anyplace but St. Andrews…they’d have you committed. Same goes for Shadow Creek…er…never mind.
Regardless, the point is – you can’t homogenize golf. Or at least you shouldn’t try. Golf at its best is completely at one with its locale – from its design and aesthetic to its personality and style. You play by the same rules wherever you go…but you never play the same round twice. Even on the same golf course.
And that’s part of the charm that keeps us coming back for more.