In the beginning, Golf should be all about FUN! It’s about going to a golf course, driving range or putting green with your Friend/Mum/Dad/Grandad/Brother, grabbing a club and trying to WHACK that small dimpled ball from here to there. For some reason, a lot of people have fun accompanying that dimpled ball on its journey around a field ;)
There are a lot of things about golf that make it FUN; the company is (almost) always good - no one is introduced to golf by people they don’t like; it’s a gift that friends and family share with each other. While many fun things in modern day society are about going faster, playing golf provides a welcome sanctuary from the 'instant' culture we now live. People (usually) enjoy being out there and are in no rush to leave. It’s a nice place to be.
At the heart of it all is the strangely compelling allure of making that ball go from here to there. At first just moving it is a triumph. The next goal is to make it fly high, then far. Eventually the hope is to make it go more or less straight. A (lucky) few get to a point where they can make the ball curve left or right at will depending on the situation. They can play high shots, low shots, 'cuts' and 'hooks'. They can GET IT IN THE HOLE (which is the point). For them, playing is fun (it has to be or why do it?) but they also find something more in the game. It offers a challenge. For them the fun is not just moving the ball, it’s moving the ball how they want, when they want. There is a certain thrill about putting yourself in a situation where you have to make a shot at a given moment. It's about competition. It’s about learning how good you can be by finding your limits and breaking through them.
Serious Golfers are Visionaries. Golf gives them a way to actualise their dreams. From Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods, Nancy Lopez to Annika Sorenstam, golf has been sustained by young imaginations that fall in love with the sense of power & control that comes from a solidly struck shot and the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving a personal best score on a hole. It makes them want to do it again, and again until the sun sets. Then they're back the next morning, feeding an unquenchable passion.
Golf is meant to be FUN. It's a time for friendship, laughter, disappointment and glory. For people who get bitten by the bug, the game means a touch more. They practice a little longer, watch the big tournaments with more interest and immerse themselves in the nuances, subtleties and disciplines of the game that date back centuries.
They don’t idolise their heroes on the European, PGA or LPGA Tours; they want to BE them. Golf is what they dream about at night and all they think about during the day. It's the tapestry on which they paint their childhood and adolescence. It shapes who they are and the person they become.
The question is how to make those dreams come true. SMARD (Smart & Hard) work is an essential ingredient and PASSION is essential. Golf is game of diligence that will test the affections of even the most enthusiastic. How does a youngster harness all of these ingredients? How do they find a reliable route from the long summer days spent scuffing the dirt to being the best golfer they can be? What lessons can the pursuit of golfing excellence provide young people about being the best PERSON they can be?
Becoming the best golfer you can be involves much more than swing mechanics. It involves thinking big while at the same time paying attention to the small details that allow big things to happen.
BIG dreams precede great accomplishments. However, the reality is that dreams of a career in Professional golf are just that. Even playing University/College golf at a high level is something which many junior golfers aspire, but few reach. It’s a worthwhile and wholesome pursuit if undertaken wisely. The lessons learned in trying to maximise your golfing potential are applicable across the spectumn of life: how to organise time, mange expectation and to deal with success & failure when under pressure. The golfer who masters these will not only become the best golfer they can be, but also the best PERSON they can be!
There are 2.5 million junior golfers in the United States alone, and there are less than 1000 men and women on the European, PGA & LPGA Tours combined! When it comes to making it big in golf, the maths in not encouraging. Dreams occur when we sleep, but in order for dreams to become reality, we need to be wide awake!
Dream big, set lofty goals, but understand that setting the intention of playing on the European/PGA/LPGA Tour or even University/College golf is only a part of the process. If you establish the Vision of playing elite golf as a way to develop efficient practice habits as well as learning how to manage your time and bring similar discipline to other aspects of your life, you will be a success not only golf, but in life too!
There many people involved in raising a successful golfer. From parents willing to invest time, money and energy, to friends and competitors that push them. Vital to this process is finding and working with the right Coach(es). People who can help you identify your goals and establish dexterous & elastic strategies to help you reach them.
As an individual progresses in the sport, they need to understand many things; the role equipment has on their performance; the importantance of matching the clubs and balls they use with their swing characteristics.
Becoming a top flight golfer requires practice; do you think carefully enough about your practice? Is it something you do for a couple of hours on a few days of the week in the summer months? The reality is that practice is oxygen for a serious golfer. It needs careful attention & planning. Proper practice habits need to be learned and refined over time.
High performance golf demands as much of you mentally as physically. You can improve your mental approach every bit as much as you can your short game or putting (it can be argued that improving your short game or putting won't happen UNTIL you improve your mental approach). There are lessons to be learned here too. Just as there are lessons to be learned about how to improve your golf related fitness and nutrition habits; how to manage your time and plan your season in order to seize opportunities when they arise.
Playing golf Professionally is a long way from the moment you first feel the thrill of a well struck shot. Although, in a way, it’s not so far removed from it at all:
Why did you want to move that white ball? What makes you want to do it again? Is it because you want to do it better? To see how good you could be?
Everyone's golfing journey is different, but the further from home you get, the more important it is to stay connected to the reasons why you play. Seek good advice, know the right steps to take and above all else: KEEP IT FUN!
THANKS FOR READING!
Oliver C. Morton
The Leading Edge Golf Company
112 Swanston Road
E - firstname.lastname@example.org
T - 07831400296