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Golf is a widely known sport played around the world, yet it is often played by very selective individuals. If you have ever come across anyone who plays golf, you will also have witnessed how people around that person question him why he’s playing golf.
It is no surprise that folk often ask golf lovers why they love the sport so much and what makes it their favorite sport. When I started thinking about taking up golf I asked myself… Is Golf For Me?
These kinds of questions can only be answered when you play the sport yourself and try it. To understand if golf is best for you, there are a few things you should know before making the decision.
1. Do you like sports that involve skill more than physical activity?
Without a doubt, every sport has some sort of physical activity. However, when it comes to Golf, you have to have certain skills. These skills are more important than physical activity because it is these skills which make you a good golf player. When you are playing the game, you will not have to run around or use your stamina. Your body should be fit and your back needs to be able to bend into proper low positions. However, other than these basics, your physicality does not play a vital role in this sport.
The skills involved in this sport are technical and you have to learn these before you jump into the field. If you generally are better at learning new skills and picking easier ways to use these skills, then golf is for you. If, however, you prefer a sport in which you can use your physical strengths more, then you should not opt for golf. Unless you want to try your hand at the World Long Drive Championship. Now, this really takes strength and technique.
You can never truly know what you enjoy until you actually play the game so do give it a try.
You will hear many PGA coaches talk about smooth effortless swings. That is truly where the power comes from, not your physical strength. Have you ever seen a snooker player screw the ball back? That is a skill which involves timing, smoothness, and technique. No part of screwing the ball back involves physical strength.
The same principles apply to the golf swing, I have witnessed a 5’6″ young lad out drive a 6′ strong built man many times out on the golf course and win the longest drive competitions. How? By having a smooth and technically good golf swing.
One of the biggest parts of playing golf is putting, often overlooked when people think of golf. Most think of driving and hitting the ball as far as you can but putting is just as important and takes practice and skill, not physical strength.
You can practice your putting anywhere, at work, home or even on holiday. I love Golf Gadgets, you can use to help you improve your golf. One of them is the PuttOUT golf training aid. This fun device will not only improve your scores but as make you a more patient player.
2. Are you a patient person?
Unlike many other fast-paced sports, golf is one where you need to be patient and calm throughout your play. It is not a sport which ends in a few minutes or even one or two hours. Golf generally takes around four hours to complete a full 18 holes. These four hours are not very exciting or eventful for spectators watching us average golfers. Nevertheless, for the folks who play the sport, these hours are full of determination, hope, and the odd good shot.
Have you ever heard the saying, I hate golf, I hate golf, Oh Good shot… I love golf!
If by nature, you are not a very patient person, you should not pick golf. If you feel like you can stay focused and your mind can keep attentive for a long time, then golf is something you will enjoy. Nonetheless, we will not discourage impatient people from trying out this sport, we just don’t want you to be that angry golfer we all see at the weekend.
Numerous golf experts were once individuals who were hasty and did not have the required patience in them to play golf. With time, they improved their game, skills, and their level of patience and achieved a higher status in the sport. This sport teaches a lot to a person and brings a calmness to their personality that they did not know existed.
Golf also teaches you over life values like sportsmanship, kindness, consideration, and patience. This is why golf is very good for young people to take up as it teaches them life values. My Children love the game and have become very polite, kind and helpful Children through playing golf.
Getting children into this amazing game is great for the interpersonal skills and social interaction. Take them to your local golf course and see if they can join a beginners group. They will have fun and make new friends.
HSBC Golf Roots is the Golf Foundation’s national programme to enhance the lives of young people through playing golf. Go check out their website for more details, the link is above.
3. Have you crossed your prime years and are entering the late fifties?
If your answer to the above-mentioned question is ‘yes’, then golf is for you. Golf is not a sport that needs to be played only when you are young. Unlike football and cricket and most of the other popular sports around the world, golf has no retirement age. You can retire when you want, no one will question you for playing the sport even when you are entering your older years. In fact, most of the people who have crossed their physical prime tend to start playing golf. They become excellent players in their late fifties and sixties and feel young again. As mentioned earlier, this is a game of the mind more than it is one of physical strength.
Golfers of a more mature age can adapt to the game in many ways. You can start to use a push along golf trolley or electric golf trolley instead of carrying a golf bag. This will ease the physical strength needed to play a full round. Carrying a bag full of clubs for 18 holes can take its strain on your body and lower back pain is one of the most common golf injuries and needs to be avoided at all cost.
More mature players take losing easier as well which keeps them coming back for more as they don’t get too disappointed if they lose.
Going to the golf club every other day and meeting new buddies of your age is not something you can get in any other hobby. Your social life remains healthy and you get to stay connected with people. Several sports do not offer this chance of being in the limelight when you are in your fifties.
I mean, after all, everyone loves the 19th hole, Right?
4. How do you deal with challenges?
Learning to deal with challenges and to figure out the easiest way out of them is a tough task that not everyone can do. If you are a person who knows how to handle any challenge thrown your way, you can be a good golf player. Golf will never challenge you physically as you play to your own physical capabilities, but it will keep you up all night trying to figure out ways to beat your opponent. The strategic thinking involved in this sport is in itself a challenge that needs to be met head-on.
We have all had those shots where you know you should play safe and just chip it out of the rough, but we try that impossible shot through trees, and over water. Only to end up back in trouble or OB.
Most people who love golf are those who have accomplished tough tasks in their life. They have never backed down from seemingly impossible situations. In golf, they apply the same cognitive process of risk and reward and combine it with swing mechanics and personal tendencies to achieve the impossible. The emotional, physical and most importantly, the mental challenge of this sport brings about an adrenaline rush. Only people who deal with challenges head-on can handle this.
Have you heard the saying play the shot you have and not the shot you want?
We are not saying play safe on every shot and don’t ever take risks but we are saying many more mature people play with the heads rather than their heart. Have you heard of Old Man Pat famous on Youtube? He’s like 74 or something and plays to single handicap numbers because he simply plays the shot he has and pats it down the middle every shot.
But listen, have fun and take a few shots that are difficult, risk and reward and all that. Just don’t complain if you wreck your scorecard doing it.
There is also another reason why many older people take up this sport- it is the perfect pastime. After all, some of the best golfers reached their peak performances at a later game. Read our post: Top 10 Golfers Of All Time.
5. Is professionalism an important part of your personality?
The last yet most important point to consider before deciding if golf is for you is to evaluate your personality. You have to be a professional person if you want to play this sport. You must have seen golf players and noticed the way they dress, talk, walk, and carry themselves. Golf players cannot wear casual clothes when they are on the course or even in the golf club. It is against the rules to even wear accessories which are too fancy. You will find these same rules apply in all golf clubs no matter where you live.
This doesn’t mean to say you can’t make a statement on the course and be yourself. You simply need to understand that golf clubs are a little stuck in their ways and have strict rules.
The language used by golf players is also very strict and formal. The whole idea behind the sport is to promote a culture of professionalism in people, no matter young or old. For some people, keeping this professional attitude up is difficult. They cannot adhere to the rules and laws. While this is okay, it cannot work if you want to play golf because it will exhaust you. You can learn to be professional and you might even like it. But if you do not think you can put up with professionalism, then you should not take up golf.
Am I fit enough to play golf?
Many senior people play golf and love and enjoy the game. But I also asked the question ‘ Am I fit enough to play golf?’ The answer is Yes, No matter what your physical ability you can always play golf.
You may need to adjust a few things to help you reduce the chances of being injured or feeling too tired. Here’s a few ideas to help.
- Only play 9 holes
- Miss out long par 5 and play more par 3’s
- Get custom fitted clubs to reduce poor ground strikes
- Don’t overdo it. Stop when you feel tired.
- Buy an electric golf trolley
- Rest between games
- Eat well and eat the correct foods before and after a game
- Don’t play in hot weather, play in the cool evening
- Use sunscreen lotion
- Drink plenty of water
All these little things can help you enjoy the game more. Injury is the last thing you want as it can take a long time to recover from some golf injuries like golfers elbow. Read all about it in one of our article and learn how to avoid this horrible and painful golf injury.
Final Thoughts on if golf is for you and me?
To simply decide if golf is for you or me, you would have to consider all these factors. In the long run, you should not regret your decision of investing in equipment and memberships which you only used for a month. A wise person will always give the sport a try. Because without trying, you will never know what you missed. Moreover, they would not keep up the sport just because of certain peer pressures. If you do think that golf is perfect for you, you should not waste another minute and just go for it.
I have never looked back after taking up the sport and I have traveled and seen some amazing course and countries. I have met some wonderful people and made friends for life. I have also shot the odd good round as well, but they’re rare!
The social side of golf is one of the main reasons I play golf. I love meeting up with my friends and going for a round of golf and having a chat then a beer afterward. What can be better than that? We travel around the country playing in a golf group and have visited some of the best golf courses in the UK and abroad. I would have never seen half of these places if it wasn’t for golf.
Read our guide to the TOP 10 GOLF COURSES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
It keeps you fit and healthy, Improves your flexibility and is great fun to play. I always say a bad round of golf is still better than a good day at work!
So to answer the question we started with, Is golf for you and me? Well, It’s for me, that’s for sure. Is it for you? Only you can answer that question but we strongly recommend you give it a go.
Get out and play, you won’t regret it.
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