I try to learn golf but in this COVID-19 situation can go out I practice in my home with hole .A friend of mine, Joe Jahovits (a fictional character), asked me the other day, why do I chase that stupid white ball around? Why do I invest thousands of dollars, and countless hours chasing perfection? Why do I play golf?
This got me thinking, why do I play golf?
I play golf for the physical challenge. I get a great deal of satisfaction when the shot comes off as I planned; the hours of hard work pay off. I play because I don’t need to be a physically big man, or young man, or exceptionally fit man. I am not playing against my opponents, but rather against the course, the conditions, and myself. If I can beat those three I win, at least for today.
I play golf for the mental challenges. Am I mentally tough enough to deal with “the rub of the green” that may befall me, accept the challenges and move on? Am I mentally tough enough to deal with my own shortcomings, when faced with choices, and I choose the wrong shot. I play because it teaches me humility; one day I think I have it, only to find out the next day, it has me. I play for the satisfaction of those days when I can live up to my mental expectations, and maybe just for that day, over come the worst muscle in golf.
I play golf because it’s a gentleman’s sport. In golf, you actually root for the other guy. “Go in the hole.” Get through there.” “Nice shot!” You help your opponent look for his ball, tell him tough break when the putt doesn’t fall. You would never hear a quarterback tell the linebacker “Nice sack, you really nailed me.”
I play golf because of the etiquette of the sport, rake the traps, fix the ball marks, replace the divots, try and leave the course in better shape for the people behind you.
I play golf because of the integrity of the sport “My ball moved, I call a 2 stroke penalty on myself” In no other sport will a player do this, the basketball player doesn’t say, “I fouled him.” The pitcher doesn’t say, “No, that was a ball”
I play golf because in a lot of ways it emulates life. With all the successes and failures, trials and tribulations, ups and downs, along the way, it is the journey that is the important thing, and not the destination. It is how I deal with it, and not the outcome.
I play golf for the beauty of the surroundings, the manicured grass, the raked bunkers, the stately trees, the bushes and bramble, the wild life that I run across.
I play golf because of the people I meet, the grizzled old war veteran, the young college student, the mother of 3 young kids, the harried businessman, the retired schoolteacher, and all walks of life in between.
I taught my wife this magnificent game so she could know the joy I get from it, and we could share many quality hours together. And we do!
I hope you get the same joy from playing as I do. Feel free to share your thoughts
PS I'd like to thank my Dad for teaching me this game, as a young lad, and giving me a lifetime of enjoyment!