IS GOLF A GOOD GAME?
When you look up the definition of golf, the results are not that inspiring. It is described as a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. So, what makes millions of people across the world play golf, they can’t all be crazy right? In this post, I am going to look through some of the reasons that I started to play golf and maybe, it might inspire you to give it a try or another chance if you are a lapsed golfer.
WHATS IF GOLF
The aim of golf is simply to get the ball around a series of holes in as few shots as possible. That’s a little like going to the dentist, you pay your money and are overjoyed if you don’t need any treatment.
A round of golf at Gleneagles Golf Club for a visitor in July is £210. According to the National Golf Foundation data, 45% of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round. So, 45% of the world’s golfers would take at least 100 shots to play a round of golf at Gleneagles. That’s £2.10 per shot. A scratch golfer would average a score of 72 which equates to £2.90 per shot. If you visited your local driving range for a bit of practice would you pay £2.90 per ball? Unlikely, just hitting balls is not why people love to play golf.
Look at Gleneagles website at, https://www.gleneagles.com/customer-care/. They would say you should play there because they offer:
“At this glorious playground of country pursuits and leisure activities you’ll find an outstanding array of world-class facilities, including three championship golf courses, an award-winning spa, and a stunning choice of dining options to suit every occasion. Our staff are dedicated to making sure you have a unique and wonderful experience”. The key phrase for me is a wonderful experience that’s why I and millions of other people around the world play golf.
PLAY FOR FUN
I remember when I first started playing golf, I would leave work (early if I could get away) and speed off to the course, run to the first tee and get around the course as quickly as possible. Seldom would I play well and then I would rush home to be with the family and not upset the wife, no pressure!
That was not fun. After one of my golf lessons, I had a coffee with the golf pro. I told him that I was thinking of giving up because I was not improving and trying to fit golf into a busy work and family life, was a bit stressful. I took up golf to help reduce stress!
He gave me this advice. Change the way you’re thinking! When you get to the course, come into the clubhouse, have a coffee and read the paper. Get to know the other members and the staff. Make time for a gentle warm-up and a few minutes on the putting green before you head out. Then play 9 holes instead of 18. That will give you plenty of time to play and have a shower or beer or both before you head home.
That advise had more effect on my enjoyment of the game than any other. It helped me relax, enjoy the club environment and meet new people. I was more relaxed when I played, which improved my performance and I am sure was better for the people I played with.
“Golf is a good walk spoiled” is a quote by famous writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens under the pen name Mark Twain. I think anyone who has played golf would have agreed with him at some time, I have for sure. If you are completely focused on score alone, it will be a thought that you will have often.
Bad shots and bad rounds are part of golf, no question. If you can manage your expectations with that in mind, it will help you lift your head and enjoy your surroundings. You are walking through a manicured garden, which someone else spends their time and considerable effort, to prepare for you each day. Often with a fantastic country, mountain or sea views with good friends, how amazing is that.
Once you have hit your shot there is nothing you can do about it, good or bad. So, enjoy the company and surroundings, walk to your ball then get ready for the next shot. Play each shot as best you can, your final score will be as good as it could be that day.
Playing golf will not turn you into a Schwarzenegger however, it can have significant health benefits. Some of the benefits include managing your weight, developing core muscle strength and endurance, maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and improving your mental health and sense of wellbeing.
If you can combine golf with a healthy diet and holistic exercise regime and a good work-life balance, your doctor is going to be very happy with you, more importantly, you’re probably going to feel great too.
“One reason golf is such an exasperating game is that a thing we learned is so easily forgotten, and we find ourselves struggling year after year with faults we had discovered and corrected time and again.” -Bobby Jones. Bobby Jones was one of the greats of golf and so right with that thought. Now you might think his quote would put anyone off the game.
One of our local golf professionals was a tour player in his past and he told me a story which I thought I would share. He returned to a tournament he had played the year previously and walked over to another player who was working on the range. He knew the guy well and was passing the time of day as you do. He asked what the guy was working on and the reply was, the same thing as last year! Well, he wasn’t as polite like that, but you get the idea.
Golf is a simple game, get the ball into the hole taking the least amount of shots as possible. However, to do that you need be able to master several golf shots over ever-changing terrain and weather conditions. Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.” -David Forgan.
I find working on my game such an enjoyable and pleasant part of my golf journey. Looking at my performance, trying to work out how I could shave a shot or 2 here or there. Trying out new equipment or training aids, reading golf magazines and watching golf tournaments. My wife gave me a drinks coaster for my office, it asks the question, “before golf was invented what did men do again?”.
It was a cold day in January, I thought I would get 9 holes in before the end of the day. I met a couple on the first tee who I had never met before and they asked if I would like to join them for a few holes. The husband was playing but his wife was out for the walk, which was fine with me. We teed off with a couple of nice drives I remember.
After the normal pleasantries, we got down to the golf and I remember thinking that this guy is a really good player and I would have to be on my toes not to embarrass myself, considering I was a golf teacher!
On the 4th tee, his wife said that they would have to cut off at the 6th because they needed to head to the airport, as they were going on a skiing holiday with the family. I asked how long they were off work for and the guy said, Len how old do you think we are. The early 60s I replied, they both laughed try 75.
On a freezing cold day in January, I meet two 75-year old’s getting a few holes in before they were heading off for a week’s skiing, amazing. What’s your secret I asked, they said keep physically and mentally active enjoy the ups and downs of your day together and play golf. Great advice!