Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What we can learn from golf

The Gap from Alice Springs Golf Fairway
In January I moved from Central Australia to a southern location 1,500 km away. In doing so, I had to join a new golf club.

I'd played at the Alice Springs Golf Club for around a decade. The club is in a beautiful location with a view of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, part of which are visible in the photo.

Strolling around the fairways chasing that elusive little ball was an excellent way for me to meet my exercise goals and the clear blue sky, beautiful ranges were good for the soul. I always felt physically invigorated and spiritually enhanced after a game of golf. But wait, there's more ...

One thing I love about golf is that you get up to 17 chances to improve your performance. No other sport has that benefit. Let me explain. You start from fairway one (where you tee off) and in 10 or under hits, you must work your way from the starting point to the end point where there is a flag in a hole in what's known as a putting green. The lower the score, the better you have played.

When you have completed fairway one, (hole one), you continue to hole two and so it goes until you get to hole 18. Every hole is a new challenge - you get 17 additional opportunities to improve your performance from hole one.

Of course, if your performance in hole one is perfect, your challenge is to continue that for each of the other 17 holes.

Robin at Al Ain, UAE
So what can we learn from golf?

Training is Useful

If you want to play golf and you get some training from a professional, it should help you perform better. Things like how to hold your golf clubs, how to swing your club etc can all make a difference.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you practise, practise, practise, you'll probably get better at golf. This is the same in any field of endeavour, especially those requiring motor skills development.

Knowledge is Essential

In any activity in which we are involved, we need some type of knowledge. Golf is no different. Not only do you need to know which club to use for which hit, you need to know the rules and etiquette.

Losing your Cool Doesn't Help

Golf can be very frustrating; missing hits, slicing balls that disappear into the scrub, topping balls that only move a short distance, hitting the ground below the ball and not getting a clean shot, a ball that hovers on the side of the hole in the putting area - there's plenty of opportunity to lose one's cool. I've seen an adult player intentionally destroy a golf club after several bad shots.

Golf can be excellent for learning anger management.

No Challenge is too Difficult to Overcome

When your golf ball lands in a waterway or a sand pit intentionally designed to make it difficult to get out of, you know that you will be able to rectify your position. It might help increase your score, but you'll eventually get out of the sand pit or recover your ball from the water (or perhaps place a new ball instead).

There is always Someone Better

Golf reminds you that no matter how good you are at it, there is always someone better. You need to celebrate what you are good at but not get disheartened because you aren't the best.

If you are in fact the best at something, then you are indeed fortunate.

Exercising can be Fun!

While I find it difficult to go for a long walk just for the sake of walking, I find golf enjoyable and finish up walking quite a few kilometres. It takes the pain out of exercising because the exercise becomes a consequence of playing golf.

It's a bit like having friends with benefits.

When you consider the above topics, it's evident that there is a lot to learn from golf. Unfortunately, it's a relatively expensive sport and something that not everyone can afford, but if you can afford it and it appeals to you to chase a silly little dappled ball around a beautiful fairway, then I highly recommend it to you.

Do you play golf? Is it something you'd like to do? Tell me what you think about golf and what you can learn from it.


1 comment:

  1. Another thing I learned is that although I love being with my wife, all of us need some time to ourselves. She goes to knitting, embroidery and quilting groups to do what she loves and to have some time away from the love of her life (ahem). She always comes back. For me, it's the same except my escape is golf.


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