Go Is Like Golf


This was a "proverb" that someone giving me a teaching game related to me the other night at the Twin Cities Go Club.

The average golf hole has a par of 4. Half of those strokes are usually putts. Half of golf is in the final 10 feet of the hole.

Go is similar. Many points can be lost or gained in the endgame. Just as golf can be won or lost on the basis of your putting abilities, go can be won or lost on your yose skills.


Fhayashi: Hmm, so do you fuseki for show, and yose for dough?

Andrew W: Flippant as your comment may be, I suspect for a pro the answer is "very much so, yes". From what little I can tell (and in Japanese pro practice more than Korean), many games are decided in the big endgame - where one player just has slightly less bad aji than their counterpart, and this is converted into a two point win.

Bob: In golf, on a par four hole, in order to have two putts to make par you have to get on the green in two shots. So you'd better have a good drive and good iron shots. That seems to translate into go as in order to win in the endgame you've got to stay in the game through the opening and middle game. Of course you need good endgame skills, but in order to make them count you've got to have good opening and middle game skills, too.

Grauniad I think there's a deeper similarity. Both games are psychological and test your personality. Both require a balance of concentration and relaxation. Both games can be ruined by a moment's carelessness. Tennis, e.g., does not test your personality in the same way: you don't have (so much) time to think during a rally, it's all more instinctive.

Anonymous: Golf is a good walk spoiled, Go is a good sit spoiled...

Fenris Yet I always thought Go was like tennis in at least two respects. Firstly, you can win at Go or tennis because your opponent makes too many errors, and there is a similar distinction between forced and unforced errors. It can be quite unsatisfying to win a game of Go simply because your opponent made too many unnecessary mistakes. Secondly, in both tennis and Go you play each point. Your move creates a whole new game, as does your opponent's. In Go you can turn a lost game around; in tennis you can lose the game but if you make your opponent fight hard for every point you can win the match through attrition. This second point might also apply to each hole in golf (a game I admit to not knowing as well).

fernobob: And computers can't beat humans at tennis.

Tas: ...Nor golf

Go Is Like Golf last edited by Tas on May 21, 2008 - 12:28
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