Let’s face it, to most people, golf is an intimidating game. People shy away because they think is too hard to learn how to swing a golf club (let alone 14 different clubs in the bag), learn the rules, understanding golf etiquette, keep score, and equipment selection. These are some of the barriers I would like to break down for all ages and skill level.
To begin with, let me talk about my golf journey and how I dealt with some of these barriers. My name is Anoulom Soutdarany, and I am a golf enthusiast. I have been playing golf for about 15 years now and wished I had started earlier. Golf is simply the best sport to play and I believe it to be the purest sport to date. There is no referee to make controversial calls. No instant review to determine the outcome of the game. There is simply no ambiguity in golf. Either the ball goes in the hole or it does not. I just love the essence and simplicity. Also, it’s the only sport that you can play that uses the same equipment and rules that the professionals are using. It’s not like I can go play football and expect to get the same game that the NFL players are playing. This is another aspect of golf that I love. I get to measure myself against Tiger Woods. Tiger wins every time, but that is not really the point here.
Another aspect that I love is that golf is a life long sport. People often play it in their retirement years. And along the way, you meet the most interesting people and make lasting friendships. One of my most memorable moments happened to me a few years ago when I was randomly paired with a war vet. His name was Hawk. Yeah, that dude. First of all, I thanked him for his service. We talked during the round and I found out that he is playing with two rods in his legs. He was a sniper in the Iraq war and had suffered massive injures to his lower body. It really put things in perspective for me. It was such an honor to play a round with him. Another tidbit that he told me about was the First Tee of Greater Austin, https://www.firstteeaustin.org/. that his daughter belongs to. It is a nationwide non-profit organization that promotes the game of golf and life virtues. It is a great way to introduce kids from the age of 5 to 17 to golf. This organization does a fantastic job of removing barriers to golf. They provide golf equipment such as golf bags, clubs for both left handed and right handed kids, balls, a practice facility, and volunteer coaches. Along with teaching golf fundamentals, they focus on virtues that are central to the program such as: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. All values to live your life by. A failure in one golf shot is an opportunity to make a great shot. Golf challenges you in so many ways that it just becomes an invaluable tool in life. Needless to say, I enrolled both of my boys in the program.
One of my boys later picked up the game of golf again in the 8th grade. When I’m not playing a round of golf with my golfing buddies, I am a caddy for my son at his Junior PGA events. I am having so much fun out there with him, father-and-son time at its best.
Another aspect of golf that I love is the friendship that you build over the years with family and friends. I’ve introduced the game to my best friend when we were on vacation one year. Now it’s a regular outings when we’re on vacation together. My son now joins the golf outing and we just have a blast! In addition, Christmas and birthday gifts revolve around golf balls, attires, and golf rounds.
In addition to the lasting friendship, the golf courses themselves are amazing spaces. Each golf course is unique with their own challenges. When I see these courses in person or on TV, I’m just in awe at how amazing they are. All golf courses are beautiful in my opinion but some just stand out more than others. For example, golf courses in the sunshine state of Florida are just amazing. No wonder people retire there. It’s has low taxes and really amazing golf courses.
This next crew is the crew that got me into golf. We played best ball cart vs cart for six years regularly on the weekends. They helped explain the game to me and of course and gave me the best advice on my swings (not really). It was during this time that I started learning about the golf mechanics, equipment, terminology, rule and etiquette. Of course my swing evolved over time, and I had to figure out my swing. It’s not perfect but good enough to beat these guys.
Eventually one of the member retired to Colorado. So it was time for a road trip. I was told that the ball traveled further in that attitude. He was right. It did! Also, I’ve witness my first hole-n-one with this crew. Tom, the one in the blue in this picture, had a hole-n-one several years ago. We never saw it go in because it was a blind green over the hill. It was incredible but anticlimactic because we didn’t physically see it go into the hole. The ongoing jokes with the group is that Tom really never made the hole-n-one because we didn’t see it go in. A squirrel could have pushed it in. He searched and searched and didn’t think to look in the hole until several minutes later. Now, they witnessed two of my hole-n-ones. It’s just an amazing moments to have shared with them. I personally believe that if they weren’t there they would not have believe me if I told them I had a hole-n-one. Playing golf with them has just been so much fun!
Our next golf trip we are planning will be to play the Trent Jone’s golf course in Alabama and Florida. More to come on this …
I would like to share my passion and love for this game with you. This is the main reason I’ve created golfingeagle.com is to help golfer of all skill levels simply enjoy the game of golf. I have worked with a team of golf researchers to help create this content jammed packed with useful informations and product reviews. I hope you enjoy your golf journey as much as I have.