One thing is very true about golf: The game certainly has its fair share of passionate adherents. After all, the sport has a tradition stretching back to at least the Middle Ages; it’s a hardy sport cultivated by hardy people. The game’s Scottish roots are deeply entwined with the sparse and wild landscapes of Scotland itself.
Golf can be a difficult and even frustrating game. But surely there must be some reason why so many people devote their lives to this sport.
Why Do We Golf?
Let’s face it: Some days out on the links just aren’t that enjoyable. Think about it this way: A round of golf will usually depend on the weather conditions in your area. Have you ever had a rain storm start in the middle of your golf game? That mile-long hike back to the clubhouse is no fun. And a golf game during the dog days of summer can quickly turn into a truly sweltering experience.
But it’s the blisters that really get me down when I’m golfing. Firstly, golfing requires an enormous amount of walking. I still remember my first pair of golf shoes: To this day, I don’t think I ever managed to break them in. They looked snazzy enough: By the end of a round of golf, however, they would leave you with serious blisters on your heels. Years ago, I quietly tucked that pair of golf shoes away in the garage and haven’t looked back since.
Weighing the Costs
That is to say nothing about the blisters that we get on our hands from golf clubs. By the end of a match, it’s easy to have second thoughts about your next round of golf. Even a good day out at the driving range can result in serious blisters.
And did I mention the cost of golfing these days? A good set of golf clubs certainly doesn’t come cheap! And golf is one of those rare pastimes that requires a good wardrobe of clothing to boot! Some golf courses even require that golfers follow a dress code. And if you want to outsmart the weather and the winter season, you need to spend considerable amounts for an indoor golf facility or a virtual golf simulator!
The Parallels Between Golf and Life
Despite all of its pains, why do we golf aficionados continue to engage with the sport on a regular basis?
The truth is that golf is a lot like life. Understand the challenges of life, in other words, and you will quickly come to understand the challenges of golf.
In life, for example, challenges help us to build character. A life free of any stressors would be a nice thing. I certainly would enjoy such a life! But that form of existence would do little to help us build character. When we make mistakes or experience difficulties in life, we grow as human beings. In other words, the most patient type of person is the person who has had to be patient. “Wise people don’t become wise by never facing down a problem.” – GolfClubsGuru.com
Golfing as Personal Development
This close connection between life experiences and the development of personal values is also true of golf. Even when I have had a bad day out on the golf course, I have still learned something about myself and about life.
Maybe I’ve learned something about patience thanks to that sand trap I got stuck in. Maybe I’ve strengthened my problem-solving skills. Maybe I’ve just had time to contemplate how I will approach my next week at work. Maybe I’ve learned to take my mind off of work!
Cultivating Personal Strength
However you look at it, golf’s many difficulties are often golf’s most interesting aspects. I can’t think of many sports that are like that: If I fall down a hill while skiing, I don’t learn much from the experience other than the fact that falling down hurts.
If I get blisters on my feet while playing golf, however, I know that those blisters are a bit like battle scars. They remind me that I spent time in nature and that I used my free time to do something interesting with my day. Those blisters remind me that even on a bad outing, time among the trees, flowers, and natural elements is time well spent.
Golf is indeed frustrating at times. But many of us regard our time out golfing as something almost sacred. And it’s well worth working through the hassle to reach those moments of zen.
When it comes down to it, golf is actually one of the best things that many of us will experience in life. So let’s celebrate this wonderful sport!