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I have been learning to take lightly from golf of late. What do I mean by this statement? The game of golf, as many of us well know, is a myriad of highs and lows, demanding a plethora of skills and a Stoic sensibility. Over the last few years I have been going at it like a bull in a China shop. Playing competitively up to 5 times a week and practising several times per week as well. I rebuilt my swing after copious lessons and YouTube video consultations. My intention was to become the best darned golfer I could be. End result I burned out and became mentally fractured. Now, I am reappraising my approach to golf and have taken a few steps back in a bid to regain my love for the sport.

Closeup on golf ball in grass

Golf Gives More To The Grateful

I got to the stage where I had so much emotional scar tissue from playing all the time that I could not stand over a shot without having a serious headf***. Taking the club back became a major problem and all the joy got sucked out of the game for me. Taking a break from the game of golf and readjusting my goals has begun the healing process. It’s a bloody game after all. It’s funny I never thought that there was such a thing as too much golf. Taking lightly from golf has recalibrated everything in my personal golfdom. Playing more for the fun of it and remembering to have a laugh with mates out there.

take lightly from golf

Rediscovering The Fun Of Golf

Yes, my handicap has gone out and scoring has been inconsistent. However, do you remember what I used to say about single figure golfers having no real friends. There is always a price to pay for all that obsessive practising  and grinding out on the range and course. The dark maw of golf can suck the living bejesus out of us. All that gripping regripping, waggling and OCD stuff. All that intent focus on the score. I feel like that I am rebalancing my engagement with the game of golf for better or worse. Better for my psyche and soul, perhaps, initially worse for my scoring prowess in the short term.

golfers on green grass field
Photo by Obi Onyeador on Pexels.com

Remembering My Start In Golf

Learning to take lightly from golf, once again. Because we all used to go into games with less expectation at the beginning of our golfing journeys. At the start we were amazed when we made solid contact and saw our shots go soaring off down the fairway. There was a certain degree of humbleness, which was natural for a newbie. Then, as we progressed along the golfing prowess timeline we somehow lost that humility and replaced it with expectation. Confidence is important when playing strokes, I do not deny this, but this can become something else. A bloated sense of entitlement, as if golf owes us something and this is a big mistake.

Good golf is a balancing act and toppling over is always a distinct possibility. Anyway, I am playing much less golf and enjoying it more. I take lightly from golf and my appreciation of the experience grows immeasurably.

green grass field near body of water
Photo by Tom Piotrowski on Pexels.com

Life is good. Golf is good

Appreciate the aesthetics of your situation out on the golf course. Take the time to smell the flowers every now and then. Open your eyes to the birds and beasties enjoying their time amid the lush green grass, bushes and trees. Reconnect with flora and fauna for peace of mind and that Stoic universal buzz. It is not always all about you and your damned score!!!

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of The Stoic Golfer: Finding Inner Peace & Focus on the Fairway.

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