Going deep is a term tour players use when we shoot a small number. Usually sub-par rounds well past four under. This isn’t the type of “going deep” that I want to discuss in this article. What I’m talking about is going deeply into why you play golf – for reasons that you might not even understand.
I was recently in a business meeting with some associates. We were discussing real estate – a topic that I am completely unfamiliar with. I listened and tried to learn the lingo. I tried to follow along. Homeowner disputes, titles, zoning restrictions – it was a foreign language.
Confused, my eyes narrowed and almost closed. You know the feeling when you just can’t quite keep up with the conversation. Just as I almost entirely zoned out of the conversation, one of the partners noticed me struggling and, in an attempt to save me, asked “So what do you think about all of Jordan Spieth”s troubles this year?”.
My mind re-engaged. My eyes regained their focus, and I thought “Who gives a crap?”. (I didn’t say that out-loud). But really, who gives a crap. That might be a better question for Jordan’s agent, girlfriend or parents. However, not for me. What happens to Jordan Spieth has nothing to do with me. It never has and unless he decides to stand a foot further from the ball and line the club on a Single plane – probably never will.
My mind went further into this internal conversation. Is this what golf is? Has it become a search for drama? A few weeks ago they blamed Jason Day’s poor performance on some family troubles. Who will get a divorce next week? What has golf become? It’s no wonder the game is declining. We keep focusing on what golf isn’t.
We have stopped focusing on the real reasons that we play. To get away from all of that CRAP.
Let me tell all the golf commentators out there something revolutionary:
Golf isn’t a game of suffering and drama. It is a game of self-discovery and growth. It is hard work, successes, and failures. You win, and you lose – it’s life.
The new excuse of not playing golf is that it takes too much time. Another way of saying “I’d rather do something else.” The question should be “what else are you doing to recreate?” “What are you doing to get away from the normal stresses of life.” Where are you finding peace, joy, and re-creation? That is what golf used to be.
Now I hear club members getting mad that the weekend round took too long. What? You mean that you had a few extra minutes in nature, in a beautiful environment with your friends? It sure sounds like it sucks to me.
If you are stress that golf is taking too long – the problem is that you are living in the future. You are thinking about some future event that is affecting your present time on the golf course. What a waste of a good round of golf. What a waste of a moment.
When I teach Moe’s swing students often ask me “How long before I get it?”. Another way of saying – I’m not enjoying these moments of practice and learning so what can I do to skip this process and get to the good stuff – hitting it like Moe”. This is another way of avoiding the moment and living in the future – a place that doesn’t exist. This is insanity.
Thanks Todd, I needed this. I’ve gotten caught up in all the CRAP, and forgot that golf is supposed to be fun and good for me.
No place I’d rather be. I’m going out in an hour or so to hit some balls before my league game starts. I practice A LOT, so I have high expectations for my game. But there’s always an area to improve upon. When I was much younger I used to go out after work to a range with lights and hit until they turned them off. Now I practice on positions EVERY DAY, YEAR ROUND. But the payoff is playing well. The answer to “when will I get it?” is you will never get it completely there is always a movement to perfect or make better. But that is the beauty of the game; it’s a journey not a destination. I don’t always play as well as I’d like but I never give up and am going to try and get better even at 65. Still a 2 hdcp but I’m going to work on the wedge game and putting a little more. Hard work! That’s what people need to “get.”
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Thanks for that Todd!!
I teach Mindfulness to clients every work day and most need to hear that this moment is all there is. Standing on the golf course, it doesn’t matter if the shot was good, great or sucked. In a few minutes there will be another one. Being with friends, new or old, being outside, can be heaven. This swing is all there is. Handicaps and scores can be a handicap if you have a goal to struggle towards.
Yes, I am working on a cleaner swing. But only this one. I practice much more than I play. And it is all play. Love to see that expressed so clearly.
Well said, Jim. Great reminder for us, Todd.
Todd, your observation itself “went deep.” What a perfect observation not only of golf but of life in general in the times in which we live. We all could benefit in many areas of life if we would only “slow down and smell the roses.” Thanks for your sage advice.
A great article for today’s Convoluted times we live in!