Updated: Jan 2
Golf is unique from other pastimes. Golf is a social sport - or it can be. It's a solitary sport - or it can be. Golf is a game of integrity. It’s a hike in the woods - or it can be. It‘a a morning stroll through dewey, beautiful, rolling fields - or it can be. Golf is a evening walk with your son, daughter, wife, or husband - or it can be. Golf is spiritual maintenance, no matter your religious perspective - or it can be. Golf is a time to slow down. Always.
Our lives are busy. Too busy. Busier than at any other time in human history. Between a work-centric culture, kids' schedules, spouse's schedules, and extra-curricular commitments, we don't leave much time for ourselves. We’ve created efficiencies everywhere and implemented technologies that allow us to do more in a day than our ancestors could have dreamed. This over-commitment stretches us so thin that our mental and spiritual health suffers. You NEED something to recharge your batteries.
Some of us have religion - which, depending on the strength of your conviction, will work its way to become THE priority in your life (instead of work or family). Basic tenants of the popular faiths (christianity, islam, buddhism) place extreme importance on selflessness and charity - things that, despite their required effort or time commitment, are things that give us a spiritual and/or mental rejuvenation. Others of us will find a similar rejuvenation through volunteering or other selfless acts outside of religious beliefs or influence.
For those that don't have religion, I would encourage you to enjoy golf (or for those that golf already, enjoy it more). Take some time to enjoy a peaceful walk. Forget about your score. In fact, try to walk 9 holes with just 6 or 8 clubs. I would also recommend playing at sunrise or sunset! Don't play for perfection or with aggression. Don't think about the game or your swing changes or your score. Enjoy the walk. Enjoy the deep breaths and fresh air. Enjoy the sounds of the birds, the feel of the soft ground, and the feel of a crisp, well struck 5-iron!
For those of us with religion, I encourage you to enjoy golf (or for those that golf already, enjoy it more)! I have played competitive golf at every level (jr, high school, college, professional) and will tell you, I will always play my best golf when I am relaxed and enjoying the walk. A heart and mind in prayer, thankfulness, and selflessness allows me to get over the bad shots almost immediately. It regulates my blood pressure and adrenaline - which means CONSISTENCY! And at the end of the day, golf scores aside and no longer important, I have spent more time walking with the divine creator of the grass, trees, and birds around me.
Slow down. Recharge your batteries. Take a deep breath. Play more golf.