You know the feeling . . .
You’re scrolling through Instagram and see pictures of your friends yucking it up at the golf course. Then you see them having a cocktail or two after the round. Next you see updates on your favorite golfer. A little later, Instagram is on to you with an ad for the cutest golf outfit you’ve ever seen. It feels as if the entire world is conspiring against you to remind you that you’re not out on the course.
There may be many reasons for your hiatus. Perhaps you’re injured or recovering from an illness. Maybe you’re swamped at work or have a travel schedule that makes recreation impossible. Maybe you’ve just had a baby, making the reality of you next round be somewhere in the neighborhood of “when the baby goes to college”.
A million different things could be keeping you away from the course. And if you’re anything like me, not being able to do something you love is troublesome. Whenever I’m sidelined from running, for example, I hate seeing runners on the street as I’m driving to work. It’s like they’re jogging during my commute just to rub it in. It feels the same when I can’t play golf. On the days my schedule gets busy, suddenly the universe provides the perfect golf weather and I get offers to play the most beautiful courses, which I unfortunately have to turn down.
Then, I look at my beautiful clubs and feel bad that they’re growing cobwebs in the bag. I start to worry that I’ll lose my touch and be unable to play again whenever I do start back up again. But then I remember why my dad encouraged me to learn how to play golf in the first place . . . because golf is a lifetime sport.
Golfers from age tree to ninety-three will attest to this. Golf will be there, waiting for me, whenever I come back to it.
So, if you’re sidelines from golf (or any other activity that you love) keep these things in mind:
Everything is temporary
I highly doubt that you’ve signed a contract saying that you’ll never pick up a club again. If you have to take a summer or two (or more) away from the game, don’t sweat it. Neatly pack your clubs away in a place where you can’t see them taunting you, and rest assured that someday you’ll be back. Maybe when you do pick it up again, you can treat yourself to something nice like new head covers, a new bag, or even updated clubs.
Stepping away can be a good thing
Sometimes it takes time away from something for us to realize how much we enjoy it. By taking a break from golf, we can get perspective on the game and come back to it fresh and ready for action.
Taking a break allows us to find other interests
If you’ve always spent every Saturday and Sunday mornings on the golf course, maybe you’ve been missing out on fun that’s been happening elsewhere. Try hitting the farmer’s market, or a new yoga class. Find another mom and head to the park with your kids. If you reason for your break is work-related or to do other commitments, channel your disappointment into this other project with all your might and know that you will be able to return to the game soon.
Remember: You won’t forget how to play golf
Again, let me stress that golf is a lifetime sport. If you know you’ll have to be away for a while, don’t harp on it. Relax and know that in time you’ll be back in the swing of things. But if you’re worried about losing your edge during your time away, consider maybe starting a little golf lesson fund to have a professional work out the kinks when you’re ready to get back into the game.
Focus on the moment
Whatever had you away from the game is happening for a reason. Give the here and now your attention, knowing it is exactly where you need to be. If you’re having trouble keeping your mind present, give mindfulness or yoga a try. Sometimes dwelling on a negative thought can prolong the stress, but by bringing your attention back to the present moment, you can help make this time away a bit more bearable.
There’s a natural rhythm to life that pushes and pull us on and off the path we wish to be on. When we’re pulled away from the game, the beauty of golf is that it’s always there, waiting ready to greet us at whatever stage of life we’re in. The most important thing to remember is to simply be present wholly and completely—whether you’re on the course or off.