Playing great golf is not natural for most players; or so they think. Many believe it takes effort, practice, tenacity, desire, and hope! Most amateurs find it difficult to match the silky smooth swing of Ernie Els or the power of Tony Finau! There are many reasons for this huge disparity between games, but understanding the real Art of Playing Great Golf might help.
There are many definitions of the word art. One is: an occupation requiring knowledge or skill. For professionals, the word occupation is extremely important. Comparing ourselves to athletes who work at golf for a living is really an unfair comparison by anyone’s standard! Thus, the definition of art in this context does not really fit the premise of this blog.
Another definition of art is: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. This is a little closer to our reality. Most amateurs learn to play golf either by playing, reading, or watching other golfers. The knowledge and understanding of their game will determine how refined their observations of other golfers are. This particular definition is important to understanding the Art of Playing Great Golf, but it is a little cold and narrowly focused for me!
The definition of art I like is: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects. I would modify this definition slightly to say ‘the production of something aesthetically pleasing’ aka – a beautiful golf shot!
The Art of Playing Great Golf has nothing to do with low scores. It has everything to do with the feeling you have after that perfect shot! The feeling you have when playing in beautiful surroundings. Or the feeling of contentment while playing.
Think of the last time you hit an iron purely. The crisp sound of contact, the fluid motion of your follow through, and the perfect ball flight. You watch as your ball cuts the air like a hot knife in butter; it is perfect!
Or, the long putt that snakes its way and drops in the hole. You immediately know that the ball is going in when it leaves your putter. The solid contact in centre of the putter head leaves no feeling in your hands, the roll of the ball seems effortless, and the excitement that builds as the ball approaches and gently falls away from your sight is almost breath-taking!
Lastly, walking the fairway on your favorite hole brings tranquility to your soul. The whisper of a gentle breeze, the warm inviting sunlight, and brilliant green of the grass are stuff that dreams are made of!
These and many more are what I consider the Art of Playing Great Golf! It is the experiences and memories that last a lifetime are really what makes golf a fantastic sport. Everyone has the ability, every time we step to the first tee, to create art while on the course! Next time you are playing, take a moment to stop, clear your head and absorb your surroundings! You might be surprised at what you find!
That is the Art of Playing Great Golf!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!