As the end of Canadian golf season starts to creep up, I have started to reflect back on the season and my goals, and what it will take to continue to improve through the upcoming off-season. As I thought about this, I simultaneously started to ponder why exactly I am inspired to do this. What inspires me to not only play golf, but to work hard at it, set goals, and then put myself out there by spewing things all over my blog.
My Dad introduced me to golf at a very young age. I grew up spending the winters at the hockey rink and summers on the golf course. My competitiveness originated from hockey and carried over nicely to the golf course. I idolized Tiger Woods and he drove me to want to be the best I can be. I dabbled in most sports, but the one that stuck with me year-in and year-out, through thick and thin, was golf.
Regardless of how much we think we change during adulthood, ultimately, the core of who we are is shaped the most by our childhoods. When we’re kids, we’re like blobs of warm play dough being shaped by our experiences. As we grow older, the play dough becomes firmer, and I don’t just mean our six-pack abs. Life events can influence our outlooks, we are driven to learn and try new things, we work at becoming better people, but for the most part, we are who we are at the core.
Many of my fondest memories as a kid were on the golf course. It played a big role in shaping the core of who I am today. Exhilarating memories of that first par, birdie, and eagle. Memories of pretending I had just won my 4th major in a row on the 9th green of my small town muni. Memories of using golf as a vehicle to spend quality time with friends and family, as well as learning to appreciate solitude when there was nobody to play with.
Even as a kid, the golf course was a safe haven. No homework, no chores, no worrying about the future. Just you and the smell of freshly cut grass, with a white ball you’re trying to get into a hole, which is challenging and frustrating enough to take your mind off all those other things for a few hours and let you be who you really want to be — a carefree kid having fun. At least for those few hours, nothing about the world sucked except the odd missed 3-footer.
So what inspires me to play golf?
For me, it’s not what, but who.
It’s the small town kid who shapes the core of who I am today. The kid who truly believed the sky was the limit and still tries to convince me of that. The kid who I still feel like every time I step on the first tee. The kid who fell in love with golf and will be forever grateful for it.
Or maybe I’m just a sucker for punishment.
So what, or who, inspires you to play golf?