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Golf is a goal oriented sport! The golfball is ´whacked ´ with a club with the aim of hitting the ball into a hole. BUT, the ball does not always go where it is intended to.

Nevertheless, it still offers fulfillment and happiness where even beginners can achieve a magical stroke. Still, one can only start calling themselves a golfer when they have proven to repeatedly hit the ball in the right direction.

 

In the beginning those that have chosen to take on the game of golf attempt to internalise the complex difficulty of the perfect golf swing. During this time the ball hardly flies through the air at all and if it does succeed in taking flight it may not reach the desired destination. But when a fluke hit of the ball is successful, it is enough to get the soul rejoicing in pure delight. Unfortunately, this ride on the wave of success is usually short lived as the next hit catapults the golfer into a pitiless abyss of despair. Therefore, not only philosophers will agree that over time golf helps teach the golfer the meaning of being humble.

Over time the respective errors in ones swing develop into a proper kind of golf swing. When the golfer eventually manages to hit the ball more often, the confused voices of the psyche start to surface and the game becomes a test of the nerves. An experienced golfer soon learns that golf is a game of „ mind over matter“!

Those who are willing to take on the challenge of the game realise the fact that golf is a sport of strategy. It is important to avoid the tricks of the golf course architect using courage, luck and skill to master the 18 holes on the large, green, outdoor chessboard with as few strokes as possible. As if this is not enough, the various pitfalls that nature presents brings additional stress and raises the risk of failure which can result in great frustration for the golfer. Accepting to „play the ball the way it falls“ demonstrates the meaning of what the old Scots would call the „Spirit of the Game“.

Golf demands strong concentration, but it can not bear strong egomaniacs. It requires respect of the other players, of the rules of the game and last but not least, the ability to „smell the roses“ along the path. These are all essential ingredients of the game.

When one is lucky enough to have the gods of golf smiling down on them providing a perfect game, the highest level of bliss and satisfaction can be experienced. Yet not many are granted more than one such stroke per round and find they have to accept that they will also have thousands of bad strokes . These bad strokes are mandatory if one wants to develop and improve their game.

Golf requires clear thinking and decision making. The inner turmoil of the golfer is appeased by the ritual of the „ball response“ that for the advanced is the quiet precision of the craft: to the right the woods, to the left the water and before them the fairway. How is the ball positioned? From what angle is it best to play the green? With what kind of stroke, with which type of iron and where to exactly? The golfer takes his position, grabs hold of the club and focuses on the target. At this point, through deep concentration, all external distractions are shut out, ´what if´s´ are ignored and through one fluid motion of the swing the ball takes flight and is executed exactly as planned.

Golf „happens“ when the golfer lets go of their wants and needs and allows themselves to put full trust in their swing. This helps to build the golfer´s self confidence and trust in themselves and to question the meaning of life: who am I, why am I here and what is my goal?

If a thorough impact of a stroke is played in the HERE & NOW the game of golf will be a gateway to the experience of being. If we have arrived at this point then we have experienced the true nature of golf. Then the fairway is the path, the green is the goal and golf has lost its myth and developed into a goal oriented game in the fresh air making one active and promoting relaxation.

© by Eugen Pletsch, 2012

 

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