I Wonder... what is the fascination with golf?
Updated: Aug 8
Golf provides a great metaphor for how I play the game of life. Okay, so I don’t actually play golf. However, accompanying my man while he plays, I entertain myself with this analogy.
I wonder how I would handle my lack of control over a little white ball, landing in a small hole in the ground, marked by a flag, in a very big field. Right on. That is an apt description of my current health and career challenges.
How would I cope with not succeeding at the seemingly impossible hole in one? It is exactly like trying to win lotto.
Would I be running after a golf ball giving up my leisure time for the love of the game, or because I have to win? Perhaps I am a junkie addicted to the thrill of the chase.
How do I react when others sink the putt, but I miss? Add this to the list of, “What is wrong with me?”
Do I look at Tiger Woods miraculously win as achievable for me? I want to be great at something too. Sigh.
Being introduced to golf has amused me to no end with this all this in mind.
Disclaimer: I know nothing about golf. But I do know all about:
That sad look of dejection
Shoulders slumped in defeat
Throwing clubs in a temper tantrum
Swearing in anger
Fleeting moments of happiness when a random shot does go well
How each game starts with keen hope for better results
Ripping up the score card if it’s not good enough
It makes me laugh how aptly these reactions describe myself. They illustrate my frustration and disappointment when I don’t win at my own game.
Perhaps my golf metaphor illustrates the same story for us all. Manifesting our dreams is what this game of life is all about, right? Using a long metal stick to whack a ball on a golf course is just one pathway to reaching that holy grail. Yet, I can’t help wondering… how well do I really play at my own game?
Through all my wondering being a spectator, there is an important lesson I’m reminded of:
The great thing about golf players is how responsible for their own results they are.
It is not luck, or which way the wind is blowing, or one’s genes, it is the action of the player that creates the results. It is a game of competing against yourself alone, where each level is won by the standard of one’s inner mastery.
I’m massively inspired by this. I think this is also why the sportsmanship of golf is universally respected. It is also why I admire my man so much. It is because of who he is that he has overcome significant hurdles, when others in the same boat have faltered.
I wonder what it would be like for me to take responsibility for how I seek to beat my hurdles. After all, it is my state of mind that governs how I experience things. It was my Grandmother’s advice for me before she died recently when she said, “Enjoy your life.” How can I do that if I’m always stressing and struggling to achieve an outcome I think is out of my reach anyway?
I have a radical idea and jump down the rabbit hole in my over-active imagination. What if this ‘zone’ that is mentioned by many athletes is a magical power called having fun whilst playing this game called life?
Ah, that elusive state of being that transcends that trap of looping thoughts of self doubt and feeling constant pressure (without needing alcohol). I can easily visualise so many fantastic scenarios about winning championships galore, but not needing to, because I’m already happy.
Hmm, how do I get there?
I wonder out loud about needing to reduce my stress and all the things I worry about and my man says, “Just don’t think about it. Stop thinking and be present.”
Um, why didn’t I think of that? What a brilliant idea. He’s a genius.
I smile. I get out of my head. In this present moment I meet my joy driving in a golf cart. He smiles back at me.
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