What's Great About Golf

What's Great About Golf

A book I've long been waiting to read arrived the other day, and I quickly tackled the stories from many of the best writers in golf today. What's Great About Golf is a series of short essays, each author sharing what they specifically love about this game. 

If you love golf for a wide ranging set of reasons, you're sure to love the variety of perspectives in this book as much as I have. That said, I was specifically drawn to an essay from Joel Beall titled Together and Alone which speaks to many of the themes Hole and One is built upon.

I'll never do justice to his writing by telling you about it; instead, suggest you snag your own copy of the book here

While I'd like to do instead is to build upon James' theme with my own take on what's great about golf - the unique benefits of flying solo...

Golf has always been a sport of wide-ranging appeal for me, but what truly sets it apart is the personal experience it offers, especially when I play solo.

Many people love the social aspects of the game (me too!), yet there is something uniquely fulfilling about heading out on the course alone. It's why playing golf by myself has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy the game.

It gives me a chance to find mental clarity and relaxation that I rarely experience elsewhere. The daily juggling and controlled chaos that comes from being a solid teammate at work, a present Dad, a good husband and more leaves very few moments of tranquility.

When I'm out on the golf course by myself, I'm taken by nature in a way that pleasantly surprises me. The gentle rustling of leaves, the distant chirping of birds, the sight of rolling greens... it all has an unexpectedly great meditative effect on me, allowing my mind to unwind and recharge. This solitude helps me focus on each shot without the distractions that come with playing in a group.

It's also an opportunity to set your own pace with no rush to keep up with others or wait for them to catch up. Practice different shots, experiment with your swing and revisit challenging holes. I promise you that this unparalleled opportunity to focus will lead to significant improvements in your game. Analyzing each stroke and making adjustments on the fly deepens your understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement.

Playing golf alone is better exercise than most expect, too. Walking the course, carrying your own clubs and taking all the practice swings you want will lead to a nice workout. It also improves cardio health, tones up those muscles and peps up your endurance. And now that you'll be a bit more tired, it'll help get a good night's sleep.

But it's not just physical gains you're racking up. Playing solo is like a crash course in independence and self-trust. Without your usual squad to lean on, every decision falls squarely on your shoulders. It's a confidence booster like no other. Navigating the course solo hones your problem-solving skills and toughens you up for whatever life throws your way, on or off the greens.

I could go on and on (if you read this blog it's clear I do), but I'll come full circle back to what James Beall writes - playing golf alone is a deeply enriching experience that offers numerous mental, physical, and emotional benefits. Here's to giving it a shot next time you head out, and who knows... maybe it'll soon become your What's Great About Golf perspective as well. 


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