When I first thought about the Church of Golf it was done with a sense of humour. However, in all seriousness I really think it could be a thing. Ask yourself how many times have you come off the course after your round feeling like shit because you have had a real bad one. I mean you went into that round with great expectations and hope in your heart only to emerge battered and bruised egotistically. You used to think that you could play this dumb game. You half reckoned you might be a golfer. But now you know you totally suck at this maddening game called golf. Discover the confessional release from the Church of Golf.
Exorcising The Bad Golf Demons
The thing about bad rounds is that they can hang around in your psyche. The after effects of playing horrendous golf can haunt your waking hours through the week. It is almost like you need some sort of exorcism to liberate your soul from the bad golf demons. The truth is that you need confidence to play good golf. It is hard to get back on that horse if you are so far down that the very idea of playing on grass gives you the heebie-jeebies. I mean golf can crush your hopes like a really mean first date. The very idea of standing up there on that tee with folks watching you can make grown men weak at the knees following a belittling last round.
“It was a really disappointing finish for me, I didn’t really start the week playing particularly well but over the second and third and fourth round worked myself into a position but I couldn’t just really get going there on Sunday and then hit a really poor shot off the 17th tee,” he said. “It feels like I’ve finished second a lot in the Australian Open, I don’t know how many times it is but it feels like a lot and it’s not nice being the runner up all the time.
“I had dreams as a kid of putting my name on the Stonehaven Cup five and six times like some of the greats of the game have and that’s going to be hard for me to do but I’d like to get a second one.”
Oh Dear Lord, Listen To My Golfing Woes
The Church of Golf confessional could be the answer. This sanctuary could provide the therapeutic space for some much needed healing. It could be the cleansing that your mind and soul require to get ready for your next round. Why limp into another golf comp experience when you could be baptised into a whole new and refreshed you. A ritualised rebirth, which allows you to confess your golfing sins. To say out loud to the heavens what you did wrong. You know how most non-golfers find golf-talk a complete turn off and boring. So, you haven’t got an outlet to tell your story of how it all went wrong last time. Therefore, we bottle up everything inside and this just makes things worse. Ask any head shrink or psychologist! Anxiety feeds on repressed emotions and unexpressed feelings. Doubt just loves the unspoken questions inside your head. Confusion creams its jeans over your jumbled thoughts about why you played such crap golf. When and where are you going to release all this pent up crap? What structure do you have in your life where you can safely and supportively let it all out? You need the Church of Golf.
Who You Gonna Call?
We need a confessional space for our unrealised and unresolved golfing dreams and nightmares. We need to go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the perfect swing. We need to spill our guts to the golfing gods and to ask for forgiveness. We want to feel the unconditional love of golf. We long for this tender spirit to lift our heavy burden from our shoulders. We must be healed, so that we can continue our journey on the road to golfing redemption. Amen. Amen. Amen to that.
On My Knees Before The Temple Of Golf
I envisage a small temple space with an altar. Perhaps, some ancient hickory shafted clubs crossed with a century old golf ball beneath. This emblematic, iconic talisman could symbolise the spirit of golf. These were the sticks that Bobby Jones swung on a good day. Like the bones of a saint. Golfers bow down before this altar and pray. Closing your eyes and taking in a few deep breaths, time slows down and the hands of fate unwind. It is here in this special place. It is here in this spiritual zone. It is here among the ancestors, that you can reach the soul of golf. Murmuring two hail Bens. Whispering three hail Jacks. Calling forth. ‘I am sorry Lord for I have sinned.’ I have let the side down. I have duffed and foozled. I have hit it fat a few times, well, more than a few times. I sliced a couple into the depths of the deep jungle. I hooked another into a watery grave. I missed so many damn putts I wondered if I was on some strange medication. Please Lord, hear me and take my confession. Oh forgive me Lord, for I have sinned.
Repenting The Sins Of Bad Golf
Here in this safe and sacred space it is okay to curse. To swear and release the bad juju from your aura. To let it all come out and be done with. Some penitent golfers may beat the ground with their fists, Carthasis may arise, like the storm, let it out, scream and shout. Demons are shunted from their place above your head. It is time to let it all out. Just let it go. Be free of the bad shit. Be free of any doubt. Be free of yesterday. Be here now! Be reborn in the perfect symmetry of a drive that splits the middle of the fairway. Be new again in the crisply struck approach shot that finds the green. Be reborn in all your full potential like a long putt drained unexpectedly. Hallelujah be praised. Hallelujah golf is good.
Never fear that the golfing gods will forever turn their back on you. Never fear that you will lose your swing for all eternity. Never fear that the putts will continue to elude the cup for the term of your natural life. All things are realised in the green glow of paradise. All golfers are an essential part of the great cosmic plan. We, who may have lost our way, will find our swing again. We, who hath failed to score 36 points for the longest time, will be resurrected on the score board. We, who have misplaced our faith in our own golfing ability, will know the feeling of that warm sunshine once again. For this is told and foretold in the prophet’s booklet on playing better golf. If only you can trust and make room in your heart for the next nine holes of your life. If only you are willing to walk through the wasteland in search of your ball. If only you can believe in your own redemption. Thus spake the giver of golf. Thus spake the ultimate score keeper. Thus spake Sudhananda.
The confessional release via the church of golf awaits all weary golfers. It awaits the anxious and the fearful. It awaits the maddened and the angry. It is there for those who are leery of hope. It is there for those who hath lost confidence in their swing. Yes, this dire and dark place brings us to our knees. But from such lows we can rise again. We can unburden our golfing souls and be saved. We can emerge from valleys of death with club in hand to scale new heights on the morrow. A new day rises again. A golfer is reborn in the sun’s rays. Golf be praised.
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of The Stoic Golfer: Finding Inner Peace & Focus On The Fairway