From time to time we’re all guilty of neglecting areas of our life that we need to pay more attention to. From taking care of ourselves physically through staying active, investing more time in ourselves by reading or working on our spiritual well being through prayer. Sometimes we must remind ourselves that there is an activity that you can take part in every week, or daily if you’d like, that covers all three of these bases and then some. I’m talking of course about our favorite outdoor activity: golf. In this post-Tiger era many people fear that our beloved game is decreasing in popularity. I refuse to believe this and prefer to think that we’re just neglecting our overall well being by not getting out to the links enough. Exercise through golf, reading greens and strictly adhering to any spiritual beliefs or superstitions you might have in order to aid you in getting that infuriating ball to go in the cup are all parts of the game. If you’ve been lacking in these areas and found yourself straying away from the ways of the course here are my excuses to play weekly and get your (golf) life back on track:
- Staying active through the game– This is a bit obvious but keeping fit is something that applies to us all. This is an excuse to do something that will keep you fit by exercising at a place that sells beer, burgers and candy bars. That sounds like my kind of gym. Plus there’s the golf, which is nice too. One weekly outing to your golf gym not enough to keep you in shape? Go twice, especially if your clubhouse does taco Tuesdays.
- Golfing regularly keeps you young – If you’ve ever been lucky enough to get a tee time at 6:15 A.M. on a weekday morning you know exactly what I’m talking about. The average age of golfers on weekday mornings is probably well over 70 years. How do they manage to stay in such a condition that allows them to play 18 holes every morning? By playing golf every morning! These seniors wouldn’t be in the shape they’re in unless they kept active. A body in motion stays in motion and these warriors of the sport would probably be in the geriatric center at the local hospital if it wasn’t for their love of this great outdoor game that keeps them going. It’s usually the case that this demographic of seniors possess much greater skill than many younger players who don’t play as often. For me, there’s no worse feeling than being outplayed by a man three times my age and can remember watching Ben Hogan win his first major. Looking forward to the day when I’m an old man and can make some fit, much younger player feel equally as bad about his/her golf game is what keeps me coming back for more. Keep your swing chops up and you can live that dream right along with me.
- Golf is a great way to keep social – People have been using golf as a way to brown nose to their bosses for years. This is proof that you can at least attempt to use golf to get what you want. You’re single? Even better! The local golf course is a great place to meet your potential soul mate. Plus you already have golf in common and you know s/he is in at least somewhat good shape if they like to get out to the course and play a round.
- Golf is a great activity to do alone – If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound? If it takes me three balls and five strokes to get off the tee box yet somehow my score card says I made an amazing par and there was nobody there to say otherwise, did I really lie? Exactly. It’s easier to cheat when you’re alone, take it from someone who needs all the help he can get on the links. If you ask me, my short game is good enough to rival Lefty’s; as long as I’m alone and there isn’t anyone to say otherwise. Don’t feel bad about it. There have been “greater” men and women than you and I who’ve done it too. Bill Clinton was infamous for his “Billigans” and wasn’t afraid to make his own rules on the course (although he’s a former U.S. president and has a couple of infamous moments of dishonesty that he’s known for). If Clinton can lie about his game (both on and off the course) in front of millions of people, you can certainly do it when you’re the only one who knows the real truth. In a world where social media invades most of our privacy and lets you know what your ex’s cousin had for lunch we need to keep some mystique in our lives from time to time.
- Golfing Reduces Stress – You may think I’m joking about this one but it’s true. Sure, walk into any wooded area on the side of a fairway and you’re likely to find a club that’s been broken out of frustration here or there, or maybe you’ve even seen someone standing on the edge of a tall bunker wondering if a head first dive into the sand would be a quick way to end it after four putting a par three. But golf does act as a distraction from the non-golf related things in our lives that cause stress and it forces us to focus on the task at hand; like figuring out how in the hell you lost a $50 wager to an 85 year old over 18 holes.
In all seriousness this sport does come with its perks, like that sweet feeling of making the ideal club selection and nailing the perfect approach shot right onto the green or sinking a putt from fifteen feet out. When the game is bad it can be cruel. But when it’s good it’s one of the most rewarding activities you’ll ever take part in and is certain to improve your well being. Get out to your favorite course at least weekly and behold as all in your golf life becomes right again.