Not many people think about "plays" involved in every sport. Whether, it's basketball, football, or even golf, if you don't play, then you don't know the mental game that's involved.
As I've continued to learn golf, I've learned there's so much more than just being able to smack the ball as far as I can. Sometimes, it's not about hitting it far. Sometimes, it's about laying up, so your next shot isn't over a bunker. Have you ever heard of the saying, "Work smarter, not harder?"
I didn't expect it would challenge me to learn more and be smarter. Every time I golf I realize it requires a little extra thinking and problem solving before picking up a club. There are a couple of situations where you may find yourself learning.
1) Understanding distance and being able to add up your strokes can be a challenge. You have to remember your strokes at every hole. If you don't, then you're hurting yourself. You'll start to realize your memorization skills are improving with every round.
2) You may not realize it, but you're learning every time you visit the same golf course. Your mind is remembering each hole, including the layout. You'll start to remember that the last time you used your 6 iron, you overshot the hole. This time you'll use your 7. Again, you're exercising memorization.
3) Finally, if you're a smart golfer, then you're constantly reading about how you can improve your game. The more you read, the more your mind grows. That's the beauty of life. You can learn forever.
The next time you're at the course, reflect on how much you've learned since the last time you were there. What do you remember? What can you put to use this time? Then, have fun with it.
Let's start with an anecdote.
I was practicing my chipping on a beautiful, warm, sunny day in January with a few other people around me. One woman was on my left side and one man on my right. She seemed a little uneasy, as though she was just learning. I certainly was with her on that uneasiness, since my chipping skills aren't all the best, yet. But, whatever. She was doing great. Practicing diligently.
She went to practice a longer pitch and skulled the ball into the man's path. That's when all hell broke loose. The man on our right began to shout expletives, not necessarily directed at her, but we all knew what he was thinking. So, she picked up her clubs and walked away.
This really happened. I stood there in complete shock, looking around at all the people who were at the course that day. It was pretty crowded and yet, no one did a thing.
This is the kind of situation that bothers me. His outdated way of thinking could have completely discouraged her from coming back. And this is a time when we need to make golf more exciting to get people interested and coming back.
How is it that we're still living in a world with gender issues on the course?
Oh, the millennial generation. I love being young right now and feeling empowered by all the "millennial movement" conversation out there. There's even a whole Twitter chat that's dedicated to millennials talking about millennial things.
So what are the sports that all young people talk about? Well, there's football, basketball (especially March Madness), soccer, and even Crossfit!
I get it, not every sport is going to be favored by the masses. But, golf is one of those under appreciated sports that so many young people are passing by.
My story started when I was young. My dad taught himself to golf and became obsessed with it - as most people do. When I was about 5-years-old my dad put me in golf lessons. Nearly 10 years later, after abandoning it completely, I'm now finding myself excited about it every weekend.
While so many young people look over golf and proclaim they will try it when they're old, I am one of the ones who is enjoying it and practicing it at a younger age. Here are my reasons why NOW is the time to learn the game, not "when you're old."
1. To Perfect It While Your Agile
Golf may be one of those sports that people say you don't need to be athletic for, but if you're competitive then this is going to benefit you in the long run. When you're older, you aren't as flexible and certainly not as athletic. If you can learn how to get your stroke down at a younger age, then you'll perfect your game and have more fun later in life.
2. To Learn How to Be Patient
If you're a Type-A personality, then you'll certainly appreciate this aspect of golf. Since I've started playing golf again, my whole demeanor has changed. I've been able to take my time, be deliberate, and not lose my cool in tough situations. Yes, that even means during rush hour traffic. Golf is slower paced, requires incredible mental strength, and expands your mind.
3. To Get Outdoors and Enjoy the Sun
There's nothing more rewarding than spending a day outdoors. Too often, I hit the gym and workout in a dull lit building, which is why I love getting out for a day of golf. It's peaceful and stress relieving to get out on a golf course. Why wait to enjoy the beautiful scenery until your older?
Plus, if you're going to get better at the game and eventually travel to beautiful golf courses around the world, you'll want your game to be at its best. So, take a lesson from me and start practicing. Golf isn't just for old people. It's competitive and can teach you life skills. Don't pass it up.
Ah, the mountains. There's nothing like the open air, the powdery snow, and the sight of a family having fun playing in the perfect scene.
These are all the things I imagine people enjoy about going to the mountains to snowboard and ski. As for me, I have no idea what that's like. I've never been skiing or snowboarding. Truth be told, I've never even been to a mountain.
How my body will adapt? No clue. One thing I do know, is that I'm going to have to be pretty brave to step out in that chilly weather and learn a new sport.
With that, the thoughts that are going through my mind are as follows. If you're in the same situation I'm in or were in this situation when the season started, then you'll definitely relate to how I'm feeling at this moment.
1. What does 20 degrees feel like? If it feels like I think it is, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to freeze before I even make it to the mountain.
2. I wonder if gliding over snow feels the same as gliding over water, but like, harder.
5. I wonder if this is like swimming, where you get so tired you just can't go anymore until you have a nap. In which case, is it ok to nap in the ski lodge?
These are the thoughts of a 24-year-old woman who has never been to a mountain.
Photos via Unsplash.com.
THE LESSONS BLOG FROM AMY, THE GOLFER BABE
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