‘Why do I play golf?’ Such a simple question, such a short question, but unless you are brutally honest with yourself about the answer we believe your progress will always be somewhat limited.
If you have a big enough why then you will always find the how. So why do you play golf?
Be careful as your brain creates an answer for you because it is likely the answer is a conditioned response to what you think you should say – even to yourself. Our premise is that since you began to play the game in the first place, the reasons you kept striving to get better may well have been hijacked, for reasons we will explain.
The culture of the game and the messages from certain sections of media may well have skewed your thinking.
What we want to stress more than anything is that we believe for you to get the most from your remaining time with the game of golf you need to be playing for your own reasons.
Not anyone else’s construction of the purpose of the game.
The authentic reasons for you as an individual. When you are in touch with your truth then you can begin to play a game really worth all of the time and effort.
Many players we have worked with over the years have been liberated when they actually give themselves permission to play ‘their’ game as opposed to ‘the’ game.
One way you can begin to unlock the answer to the question is to go back to the beginning. Just take some time to think back to the very earliest memories you have of the game.
How did it all start for you? What was it about this strange ball and stick game that drew you in the first place? How did the relationship begin? Who got you started?
Cast your mind back to what may for some be a very distant past and allow the vault of your mind to open up to the memories of where it all began. The reason for this is your first attempts to play the game were more than likely taken for the purest of reasons.
Something in the game itself captured your imagination and got you interested, the game drew you in. At the very earliest stages, it probably wasn’t about what golf could bring you in the future it was about what golf provided you in the present.
For many, the sheer joy of swinging a club through space and finally making good contact with the ball and seeing it fly up into the sky started a love affair that lasted a lifetime.
To strive to be the very best you can possibly be, we think, is a great reason to play the game. But the line shouldn’t blur so golf becomes something you are as opposed to something you do.
To embark on a journey of personal mastery would be a wonderful answer to the fundamental question of why you play.
As the legendary golf coach Fred Shoemaker said: “To fall in love with the idea of mastering a game you will never master.”
This is a perspective about what you can do to improve yourself as opposed to falling into the ego trap of comparison with others.
When you are clear with your why you then stand a very good chance of finding the how.
The Lost Art of Playing Golf
This excerpt was taken from Gary and Karl’s book, The Lost Art of Playing Golf which is available in hardback and Kindle formats.