man playing golf
0 7 mins 3 yrs

Some folks say about me, “all I do is golf.” Now, sometimes this is said disparagingly, as if golfing is a vice akin to drinking, taking drugs, or being lazy. Golf, as those who play the game know, is a tough sport to play. Playing a lot of golf teaches you that life is not fair. Perhaps, my detractors do not approve of middle aged men engaging in pursuits outside of work? I know that my own father was a workaholic until he got Alzheimer’s disease and soon after died.

Golf is a But a Game

Golf is a game and real life is a life and death struggle. This is the coloured lens that many look through when judging the merits of a person’s responsibilities during stages of their lifetime. The game of life is counted via the amassing of material possessions and looking after family for most folk. The Protestant work ethic does not like life being referred to as a game because it is far more serious than that in its view. Golf may be of Scottish origin, but it is still categorised as a recreational pastime in the minds of most. To say, “all I do is golf,” is a deterrent to those who tread the straight and narrow path.

The Grass is Always Greener on the Golf Course

To men and women who feel chained to a lifetime of work and family responsibilities, which prevents them from playing more golf, a life of golf can appear wonderfully attractive. Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side, especially if that side contains a golf course rich in green grass. Playing lots of golf provides plenty of exercise and fresh air, which is good for my health. Much of modern life is spent sitting down involved in sedentary occupations. Health experts know that this type of lifestyle is literally killing us via heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Cancers, and numerous other illnesses.

Golf is a Healthy Physical Pursuit

Golf, if played without motorised golf carts and excessive consumption of alcohol, is a very healthy physical pursuit. I posit that if the entire population played golf twice a week and walked the course, we would be a far healthier nation. This would save hundreds of millions of dollars every year spent on saving lives through expenditure on health. Regular exercise away from TV, phone, and computer screens is what we human beings really need for optimum health. Every round of golf is four plus hours, and this is usually unaccompanied by eating, which keeps the calories off as well.

Modern life is a multi-tasking mega-fest, where we must engage in a multitude of stuff made easy by electronic labour saving devices. It is a push button touch screen type of existence. We live in our cerebral suite upstairs leaving the hard physical work to machines and unlucky poor people. Golf in contrast to this is a hands-on activity utilising tools, which haven’t really changed that much in hundreds of years. Sure the materials are lighter and stronger, and the ball goes a hell of a lot further but a Homo sapiens still has to swing that club.

To say, “all I do is golf,” is akin to a meditative mantra in many ways. It is a motto acclaiming a simpler approach to life. The arena is a grassy paradise ablaze with sunshine and fresh air. The ball lies at rest upon the fairway and awaits my best effort to launch it green-ward. I check my stance and position at address. I waggle my chosen club and mentally rehearse my swing. I take a deep breath and begin my backswing. I feel my body and the correct sequence of movements. Club face meets ball and the rest, as they say, is history.

Whether the outcome is the desired one or something else I must deal with it. Golf is a game full of surprises due to the size of the playing arena and its geographic make-up. Moving a small white sphere over vast distances by striking it with a variety of golf clubs is a risk laden adventure. Mental strength is required in addition to physical dexterity. How attached one becomes to the outcome of shots played in light of the score to par can determine how bumpy the emotional ride can be over eighteen holes.

If we all played golf on a regular basis in the manner I have outlined, the population would be healthier. Sure, it would be tough to get a tee time and we would need to build a lot more golf courses. The game of golf teaches patience and adherence to process. It would quiet the minds of many via its meditative qualities amid the beauty of mother nature. You cannot play good golf and be thinking about a hundred other things. The game demands that the participant is present in the moment to play his or her shot.

During my many rounds of golf I observe the flora and fauna around me. I am walking amid these creatures, as they go about their business. I feel the breeze as they do so too. They are involved in their survival to find enough sustenance and shelter. Sure, their activities are imbued with more meaning than mine in life and death terms, but it is a pleasure to observe them up close. Birds, lizards, kangaroos, and insects all engaged in their lives. Walking with them brings me nearer to the basics of a shared life on planet earth.

If all you do is golf, which is pretty unlikely in real terms, or if you play more golf than most, then, it may be a good thing for your physical and mental health. Of course, if you are neglecting your responsibilities this a separate issue which needs to be addressed. It does not need to be an either or either situation, but we must all honour our commitments. Playing golf requires a clear mind and steady heart for best results. The golf course is not a long term escape venue for those fleeing their responsibilities. Good communication can resolve most things whatever the wash-up in the end from this dialogue.


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