Imagine you and your favorite golfing partner are in a version of your favorite post-apocalyptic movie. Whether the zombie apocalypse has happened or the world’s water supply has dried up, society has crumbled and the two of you are left to fend for yourselves and survive.
Surprisingly, you’ve survived for ten years and are wandering through what used to be rural America when you see what appears to be a golf course. As you get closer you see that not only is this a golf course, but it’s a golf course that has somehow been preserved for all of these years. You see there’s a golf shop, so you go in and find it’s fully stocked with every club you could imagine. It’s got the latest and greatest from the top OEMs, persimmon drivers, those Nike blade irons Tiger used to use.
Now, here’s the first big question in this scenario: what clubs would you grab? Remember, it’s been 10 years since you’ve even seen a golf club, the USGA no longer exists, and it would be impossible for you to have any aspirations of playing on Tour or winning your club championship. Would you grab your most recent custom set you were fit for before the apocalypse? Would you grab the clubs you remember playing with on the high school team? Would you grab clubs that look the coolest? The most beautiful? How much would you care about performance? Would you build a full bag or a half set in a Sunday bag?
What tees would you play from? What game would you two play? Would it be an 18 hole stroke play event with signed scorecards? Match play or some other game you two used to play way back when? Maybe you wouldn’t even keep score and would enjoy the beauty of the course and the thrill of hitting golf shots.
What Brings Fascination?
Once you and your friend have chosen your equipment and you head out to the course, which shot would you be most excited to hit? A towering tee shot on the first hole? Maybe you’d like to see a long breaking putt and see how the ball rolls. A crisp iron shot off the fairway?
The final question is, what would you appreciate the most about the experience? Would it be your brand new equipment? The feeling in your hands of the perfectly struck iron shot? The exhilaration of seeing the ball fly through the air? The feeling of accomplishment from making a par or birdie? Spending time with your friend doing something you love?
Understanding Why You Play Golf
Your answers to these questions can help reveal what you really love about golf and what your reasons are for playing. We’re often told by the media, golf companies, and our friends, that the only reason to play is to shoot the best score possible. In reality, there are so many other things about the experience of playing golf that are better than posting a good score, but they aren’t as obvious.
There are no right or wrong answers here, but you have the opportunity to compare your answers to the parts of golf that are the most important to you today.
If you wanted to grab a Cleveland Hi-Bore driver because you played with it in college, maybe you’d get a kick out of playing a few rounds with some older gear?
If today you live and die by your weekly 18 hole score, maybe you’d enjoy the freedom of not keeping score for a while or of having lower expectations.
If the sound of a pure iron shot is what you’d be excited about, pay more attention to the sounds of your shots in your next round.
A Different Lens To See The Game
The next time you play, imagine that the course is the first one you’ve seen in ten years, the clubs are the first clubs you’ve held in ten years, and the shots you’re hitting are the first shots you’ve hit in ten years. If you can do this you’ll be amazed to find out what’s truly important to you and what you love about the game. You’ll be able to appreciate how incredibly lucky we are that we get to spend time playing golf. You might be surprised: if you can approach golf in this way, it might lead to some of your best play as well.