As a spectator, the allure of going to golf tournaments was the fact you can’t take electronic devices on the course. No cell phone, blackberry, or pagers! Complete silence. There I was on a beautiful landscaped course, often with shared with wildlife, with no outside intrusions. Even the gallery has to be quiet and still at tee shots, mid shots and putts. There in the middle of everything was tranquility.
Playing golf requires being still. Clearing your mind and focusing on your stance, posture, grip and alignment. Approaching the green requires strategy. What is the terrain, are there any hills, sand traps or bunkers? Yes, theoretically you’re playing against a human a opponent but your true competition is the course itself.
In the beginning, clearing my mind was a huge challenge. I was always thinking about what I needed to do after I left the course. I was not in the moment and it was reflected in my shot. Golf is about technique. Getting up to the tee box you have to concentrate on the checklist. Stance, posture, grip, alignment, and club selection, check! But if you don’t clear your mind there is something you’ll miss on the checklist. On your second shot, checklist again. And lastly when putting, checklist again. To be successful you have to be in the moment.
Golf is a game cemented in manners and honor. When you’re playing it is imperative that you don’t stand where you will distract the hitter. When you have the furthest shot out, you go first. When you’re putting or checking the green, you can’t step in the line of the other players putt. You can’t cast a shadow over the other persons’ ball. While putting, someone will attend to the pin (remove the flag from the hole-to increase your chance of getting in the hole). On the next tee shot, the person who had the lowest score on the hole previous has the honor of hitting first. Yes, back in the day, it was created to be a “gentlemen’s” game.
Playing golf teaches you patience, strategy, focus, manners, being still and most importantly, being in the moment. All skills that will serve you well off the course too.


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