A few thoughts about how golf can be on your mind

Even when I’m not playing a lot of golf, I am thinking a lot about playing golf.

Like right now. For a variety of reasons – mainly, the holidays and just circumstances – my playing schedule has been limited lately.

Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing the last few months. You might have been hesitant about leaving the house during the pandemic. (Don’t be – numerous studies have shown that golf courses are perfectly fine places to be.) The weather might not be cooperating in your area. Or you’re just busy.

But how often do you think about our great game? How obsessed are you with its allure, its idiosyncrasies and its magic? Here is how it has taken hold of my heart and will never let go:

I think about golf every time I hear someone’s driver make contact with the ball. That is often. I live near the 15th tee of a golf course. Words cannot adequately explain what a joyful experience it has been to live here for six years.

I think about golf just by walking outside – because there’s always a chance I’ll find another golf ball that missed the 14th or 15th fairway and bounced out of bounds near my place. In fact, I just found one a few minutes ago. It’s a Bridgestone that looks almost new. That alone makes it a good day.

I think about golf every time I turn on the television – because I have anything golf-related programmed to come up on my home page. I regularly to check in to see what’s going on or even to re-watch tournaments I’ve already seen.

I think about golf every time I get in the car and drive for more than a couple of miles on my street. I live near four other golf courses besides the one I live on. If I go east, I drive past three of them. If I go west, I get to see who’s playing the muni near the freeway.

I think about golf just by being in my living room. My putter leans against the wall, with three balls next to it. Every chance I get, I hit a few putts from one end of the room to the other. You can never putt too much.

I think about golf simply by looking at the wall above my putter. There hangs the photo of the 13th green at Augusta National. Is there another shot that’s more beautiful and challenging at the same time?

I think about golf every time I look at the beautiful clock my daughter gave me. Someone with a great eye took the clubheads of 10 irons and situated them around a small clock. Years ago, my daughter gave me a gopher head cover, an ode to the movie “Caddyshack.” Now that’s good taste.

I think about golf in daily conversation. I often say that someone seeking success “needs to see the ball go in the hole.” I regularly refer to things going “out of bounds.” A bad day is a “triple bogey.” I think about the peace of a routine par. It’s part of my lingo.

I think about golf every time I see a retirement community situated on a nice golf course. Riding my cart to the clubhouse, seeing my friends and teeing it up often … now that would be the life.

I think about golf when I open my “memories box,” which contains old scorecards going back more than 40 years. Among them are my cards from St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Prestwick in Scotland. Now THAT’S the perfect vacation.

And, of course, I think about golf when I actually get to play golf. No matter the weather, no matter my score, there’s no better activity than trying to put that little white ball (yes, white, not yellow or orange … yuck) in that little hole.

So don’t just think about golf. Go play. Now. Don’t give it a second thought.   

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