Development of the NPOR Style Guide: Introduction

Inspired golf writing occurs when the writer is able to capture the spirit and story of a round of golf. As with many games and sport, golf requires emotional control. Uniquely, golf features a passive antagonist which incites and compels players to certain emotional states throughout the round. A golfer can dissociate himself from an opponent or the field in match and stroke play, but must always integrate with the golf course. The internalized emotional battle raging in a golfer’s mind throughout a round lies at the very soul of the game and effective golf writing must incite memories of such melees.

In past posts, I have used an unofficial and up-to-now unpublished style guide to assist in outlining key points about golf. In the interest in consistency, as well as to further develop several of the meta aspects of golf and golf writing, this post will begin to outline several key style points. I find it appealing to set down rules that allow me to probe differing levels of abstraction for the physical and objective challenges in golf. For example, a 200 yard forced carry over a severe hazard such as a lake will inspire great fear in some. The 200 yards over water is very objective, measurable and quantified. However, individual golfers will find these objective points raising varied and strong emotional responses due to past contexts encountered. With this in mind, effective golf writing bridges the gap between the objective and subjective and to hone and develop the tastes of any particular golfer. Furthermore golf writing both begs and answers the question as to why a particular quantifiable golf shot like the 200 yard carry above may work in one context, but not in another. It then becomes possible to make the argument that quality golf architecture can be measured from the quality of the writing inspired by the hole or course.

I hope to use this developing style guide to achieve the end of inspired golf writing. Furthermore, I hope the style guide itself can generate discussion on the previously mentioned meta aspects of golf writing. The rules here are not written to inhibit but instead to provide a starting point for analysis.

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