Golf courses, like many golfers, tend to take themselves a bit seriously. Just like a golfer who sulks the rest of the round after a double-bogey on the first hole, there are certain telltale signs of a fairly serious golf course. One indicator is a literal sign posted near the first tee with an imperious list of course rules, many of them beginning with "NO" or "DO NOT" in bold, leering letters.
Similar brusque admonitions often appear on golf course websites as well. I'm particularly amused by private clubs that publish long detailed breakdowns of their dress codes for all to see and fear. These notices, often well-meaning enough, nevertheless put a visitor on the back foot, apprehensive of setting a toe out of line.
On the flip side, there are courses like Amherst Country Club in southern New Hampshire. I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting but judging by its website, it seems like a place that does not take itself at all seriously. The tip-off as to its relaxed ethos is its course information page, which amounts less to a rote sequential description of the course than a sardonic creative writing piece by someone who truly understands what it means to toil at golf. Its subtitle sets the stage: "A Hole By Hole Tale Of Progressing Psychological Dismay."
"Welcome to what may/may not become your worst/best decision of the day/week/month," reads the first sentence of the first hole "description," and the piece builds to a weird climax at hole 13, which reads, "I've never actually played this hole. Let me know how it goes: email@example.com."
A public golf course with a postmodernist-absurdist hole-by-hole narrative? I need to get to New Hampshire soon.