Have you already played your last game of golf? How would you know?
It’s a strange thing, but we always seem to assume that we’ll be back on the course sometime. Perhaps you have a round arranged for later this week? Maybe you don’t have a specific future date, but you’ll get back out there, right?
A while back I was on the course on my own, grabbing a quick 18. I was hitting it well, keeping well out of the rough and the gorse bushes, and so was making a good pace.
There were a few clear holes in front of me (which I like), but eventually I caught up with the figure that I had seen in the distance at various points on the front nine. His name was Mike.
We agreed to finish our round playing together (this is one of the great delights of golf for me – the way we bump into “strangers” and share time).
Over the remaining holes of the round we complimented each other’s good shots, commiserated with putts that should have dropped and chatted about all things golf.
Mike shared something with me that struck me. He had only being playing rounds of golf on his own for the past six months. In the twenty or so years before that had played two or three times per month with one of his good friends.
His friend was a good golfer, better than Mike, although he was the kind of guy who was always in a hurry, never happy with his game, and quick to criticise his own mistakes. In Mike’s words he was, “always trying to get somewhere”.
You may know someone like this – you may be like this yourself.
But something happened one day, and Mike’s friend became ill. An illness that meant he could now physically no longer play golf. And so Mike became a solo player, occasionally bumping into others like me and sharing some company and some golf.
What really struck me was that Mike told me that his friend really missed golf. He missed the banter, he missed the shots – he basically missed getting out and spending 3 or 4 hours hitting a ball round the course.
It’s a curious thing to me, because by the sounds of it, Mike’s friend was the sort of guy who “never was where he was”, if you know what I mean.
He spent a large part of his golf life experiencing impatience and a lack of acceptance of his game; he didn’t take the time to appreciate what he could do, and rather focussed on what he couldn’t do.
And so, when he was actually playing golf, he wasn’t enjoying the experience as fully as he possibly could.
And now it’s too late. He’ll never swing a golf club again.
Playing Golf With Awareness And Appreciation
I wonder how his last round was?
Would he have played it differently, experienced it differently, been alive to every aspect of this wonderful game if he had know it was to be the last game of golf of his lifetime?
I think he would. I think I would. I’m sure we all would.
Let’s hope you haven’t played your last game. But perhaps you’re next one might be. Knowing that how differently will you play? How different will your attitude be?
Let’s savour every moment we play – in golf and in life, because we never truly know when it’ll time to lay down our clubs.