JABONG! I love golf. Seriously?

Sam Snead couldn’t have said it much better when he said “Forget your opponents; always play against par.”

Most people would say that golf is a sport mostly for old men, exclusive only for the executives and bosses and a boring sport reserved only for the rich and famous. A sport less of controversy and drama but centers only on a star named Tiger Woods.

But mind you Golf is one of the most complex and challenging sports that man have invented  and it can bring the best and worst of the player itself.

One thing that separates it from others is its unique way of competition. You don’t compete with your opponent per se but compete against yourself. Confused?

Let me take it this way. In golf, you can’t alter the shot of your opponent by playing defense or distracting his shot and vice versa. You hit your shots the best way you can and manage your mistakes to a minimum. You can’t control the game of your opponent and the same goes for him. After you hit a good shot, all you can do is wait and pray. That’s right. Pray that your opponent(s) will hit a bad shot.

Golf is a sport played by a group of people. Against each other, yes, but mainly it is played against the course and your level of skills. The nearest thing you can say by playing against each other is by comparing your individual scores.

Each game is played on a golf course with 18 holes, although in some instances it is played  with 9 holes, but the the main goal is to hit a small ball ( 1.68 inch diameter) in the lowest number of strokes into a 4.25 inch diameter hole. Easy ? Yes if it played with no obstacles.

But it was never been the intention of our forefathers of golf to make the sport easy. That’s why the creation of bunkers or sand traps around the greens. That’s why the undulating ,fast and slow greens to make the putt unpredictable ,and make it precise and challenging. That’s why the creation of dog legs to make it harder so that you can’t just rely on a straight shot. And in addition , lakes, canals and water hazards they called jabong were invented  to annoy your judgment and distract your rhythm and concentration.

Just as in other sports ,golfers must plan their game ahead before starting the game and even while playing. They need to make instant decisions in every shot that may improve or ruin their game. For this to happen golfers should have a deep understanding of their strengths and weaknesses with the shot types ,distance and  club selection. But believe you me, nothing is guaranteed to happen in every shot, no matter how well prepared you are. It has to be perfect or have the benefit of luck.

Golf is a test between your skills versus your opponent’s luck. It’s very common for players to practice for hours at driving range, study the course and plan his game according to his skills but always hoping for the best with the hope of a flaw in his opponent’s game.

The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% physical “ says Jack Nicklaus many times to emphasize how tough the game really is.

There are so many lessons in golf that could be translated into daily life that can be a more fulfilling one. It  allows us to enjoy the moments that matter ( when we hit a good shot) and have the enough courage to learn from the mistakes  and have the patience to recover / wait when pursuing certain goals.

On the hindsight, rarely we have a sport that challenges a player to focus on achieving a specific goal, requiring complete calmness and total concentration of the game all the time and above all enjoy the great views, the smell of the fairway grass and the sound of leaves of the trees that most of the golf courses are offering.

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies.” – Bobby Jones

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