Stop. Don’t worry. I’m not going to get all “golf health guru” on you all...promise.
That’s not the reason for this adventure, blog, quest, etc… I’m still trying to figure out the purpose of this journey, and I’m getting close. I almost have my elevator pitch ready, and at this point the pitch is slanted toward the "tranquil challenge of the game". Mixing in something about accepting one’s limitations both in ability and time to become great at this game, even though you don’t need to be great at it to enjoy.
I know I want to help promote the game of golf, and I think it should be from a soulful perspective. I think a lot of people are missing the spirit or essence of golf, and I think at some point very early in learning the game we all become obsessed with scoring, distance, and gear. That becomes a major contributor to most people who don’t take up the game or never return back for their second round.
We don’t want to be bad at the game.
My advice: First enjoy the stage, the game will come around.
The golf business; the marketers and manufactures for the game of golf are missing the spirit of the game as well. The industry seems to be compelled to sell us drivers that will allow us to launch our ball 300 feet straight down the fairway without ever practicing. Introducing us us to top golf courses lists we mortals will never ever be able to play, and all the promotional videos for PGA tournaments are high energy montages of the most awesome shots, scoring moments, and fist pumps ever. Believe me when I say I understand the promotional video business...I’m in the video business. There is a rule in the promo business; your promo should match your product, and I’m sorry to say the high energy golf promo does not match how the game actually is played even at the pro level. It’s a slow game. It’s a soulful game. It’s a game you feel.
I read the book “The Range Bucket List” by James Dodson. If you have a chance find the book, go to chapter eleven “Road Trip” and take a minute to read it. This chapter got my wheels spinning (no pun intended) and as you read you can see why I have decided to head out on my own journey. I can’t quite do it the way James did it, but the intent is the same. There’s a part in the chapter when his wife Wendy asks “where do you want to go?” and James answers; “not sure yet. That’s part of the fun. I’m open to persuasion and best offers.” That small exchange is the essence of the golf round for me. He’s headed out to the unknown to play golf, and he will play golf, but where, when, and with whom, it doesn’t matter. He’s heading out on his road trip to feel the game again, connect with people on and off the course regardless of course rating, score, or gear.
I have a challenge for you; one day take a soulful approach to the game. Try this on your next round ; don’t keep score, listen to the sounds the club makes when you hit the ball, and try walking the course. Feel the game. I’ve started to pick courses (9 holers to start) that are walking friendly and I’ve started walking again. What a difference. It’s so much more enriching. Fact is all the courses I plan to play on this oldest public golf courses quest will be walked, carts were not invented when these courses opened so we will be walking
.Maybe that’s it. Maybe we need to feel the game literally from the ground up. Walking the oldest public golf courses in the US will allow me and anyone who joins in the round to share this golf feeling. I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning, afternoon, or both; walking with like minded folks enjoying a casual walk and talk though green fairways, enjoying the sights and sounds, and feeling the game of golf.