What I Love About Golf

There are many of us who are addicted to this magnificent game. It seems that golf is a game which you either love or hate. Golf elicits an extreme reaction from almost everyone who tries to play it. Perhaps this is because golf is not an easy game; in fact, golf is probably THE most difficult game you can tackle.

For the sake of those who do not agree that golf is so difficult, let us take a little look at the extent to which golf poses the human mind and body a challenge. What other sport do you play with such a long club, such a small ball and such a large playing arena? It would make sense that the longer the racket or club the more room for error in its application, would it not? And the smaller the ball is, the most difficult it is to hit with accuracy? And the further away the target, the more room for error in one’s aim?

If that doesn’t convince you as to how difficult golf is, let us look at other elements which have a major impact upon this game. The condition of the golf course varies in terms of type of grass, length of grass, whether its damp or dry, sand or grass, and so on. An individual golf course changes from one hour to the next, one hole to the next, and then each golf course is entirely different from another as well. The weather has a major impact. There are also different games within the game of golf – match play or medal, and so on.

Then of course, there is the length of time it takes to play golf – one has to focus for this length of time. And to top it all off, because you have time to think between shots there is a lot of time in which to “mess with your mind” and subsequently make a corresponding “mess” of your shot! It’s a lot easier on your mind to play a more reactive sport!

Golf is a very, very difficult and demanding game, but this is its attraction, this is what causes golfers to become totally addicted…either that or you absolutely loathe the game of golf. Golf is an extreme sport in that it does provoke these extreme reactions on account of its challenges. Everyone who is learning this game and just beginning to play golf can identify with the pure sense of JOY experienced when that one shot sails into the air and the ball lands exactly where you wanted it to be. The feeling of “I CAN play golf”, “I CAN do this” is like nothing else – it is totally orgasmic. And a mental note is made immediately to get lessons, to practice and to play more often.

You can hit 100 or more shots in those first few rounds of golf, and perhaps only one or two shots elicit this orgasmic reaction, but that is enough. You can spend four hours on the course, and the shot you remember is that one and only perfect one; you play it over and over in your mind and it motivates you to keep on going, to rise up to the challenge of playing golf.

What is funny is that when you get more to grips with the game, and are a pretty good golfer, it tends to be the bad shots which you replay in your mind. This is another challenge to be overcome. 90% of good golf is played in your mind and so you need to train your mind to play good golf. Your very personality is seen and expressed in your game; golf can teach you a lot about yourself that you may not have previously realized. Golf challenges you to grow as a person, and I think this is what I love most of all about golf.

To play golf well you have to master both physical technique and your own patterns of thinking. Golf hypnosis is an amazingly effective way in which you can train your mind to play well, and overcome the many obstacles which your own mind would otherwise create. Whatever level you are at in your game of golf, however good you are at golf, more challenges constantly appear. Once again, this is the cause of the golfing addiction which so many of us are familiar with.

I played yesterday at the Palo Alto Hills Country Club and it reminded me (as every round I play does) of what I love about golf. I love the fact that I’m out of doors, in the fresh air, in the sunshine – it makes me feel as free and relaxed as a bird. I love the beauty of every golf course I have ever seen, the greenery, the flowers, the contours – the contact with nature is grounding, balancing and it helps your spirits to soar. I love the golfing etiquette; how polite and friendly golfers are to their fellow players. I love the company of fellow players, the stroll and chatter. I love the fact that your game doesn’t affect another’s game – you’re playing the course as opposed to the person and so golfers of every ability can play happily together. I love the exercise. And then, of course, there’s the challenge of each and every shot…

You might find your ball in an “interesting” position in a sand trap, or find that you have to stand one foot in and one foot out to enable contact with the ball. You may have to work out how to de-loft your club and hit a half shot between tree trunks and beneath overhanging branches. ANYTHING might happen out there on the course. Golf is unpredictable, it is a constant and perpetual challenge and it is great fun. I LOVE this game.

Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis and author of the GolferWithin mental skills tool-kit mind training system for golfers who love the challenge of this great game!