Getting better at golf, health and business opportunities?

Getting better at golf, health and business opportunities?

Because I don’t have nearly enough going on in my life right now (ha!), I’ve decided to try and get better at golf.  I’ve tried to like golf in the past, but it didn’t go so well.  I wasn’t consistent enough nor good enough at golf to make it remotely enjoyable.  You can only go hunt in the woods for your ball so often before you decide that Mark Twain was right, golf simply ruins a good walk.

So let’s take a look at the cons of learning to golf:

  • This activity would obviously take time away from being able to do something else.  As I (as do all of us) only have a certain number of hours in the day, adding 5 to 10 hours a week in golf activities would take that amount out of other activities, as I currently don’t really have any “schedule slack” that I could draw upon.
  • There will be short-term discomfort, both physical and mental.  I’ll likely get some blisters, some aches and pains, sore back and other things such as that.  There will also be the mental discomfort of not doing something particularly well.  However, that’s to be expected in a new activity, sucking at it that is.  Finally, you usually need to wake up exceeding early to go play a round of golf, and even for us morning people, 5am on a Saturday is still a bit rough.
  • Are the cost of replacing my old clubs worth it?

    Are the cost of replacing my old clubs worth it?

    Longer-term term discomfort could exist if I continue to suck, and eventually give up.  I’m a fairly competitive person, and thus have a natural drive to do well, even if I’m competing just against myself or nature.  Golf is frustrating, if I end up quitting again, I could have long-term disappointment.  I will need to expend significant effort, and in the end it may go to waste if I don’t keep playing.

  • Finally, there is the cost.  Golf isn’t cheap either.  I’d likely get new clubs, as mine are 15 years old.  Practice balls at the range cost money, lessons cost money, and greens fees can be fairly steep.  All in, this will likely be about $1,500 to $2,000 for the first year, depending on how much I actually get out to the course.
Will golf reduce my stress, or increase it?

Will golf reduce my stress, or increase it?

And the pros of improving at golf:

  • I’d have the challenge of learning and doing something new.  Learning is one of the areas that I truly love in life, so the potential of something new with new challenges is quite appealing.  I’m hoping that the process of learning is enjoyable, both the playing, and the learning and practicing.
  • There are significant social and business networking opportunities in the golf world.  Being able to hold your own as a golfer certainly helps this process.  It’s hard to do business on the golf course if you’re a 32 handicap.  I would have the opportunity for making new friends and potentially new clients, though my current job doesn’t allow for this, I want to keep an open mind for the future.  The cost of entertaining clients can be taken partially as a business expense, so it’s possible to have some tax discounted fun too.
  • Better health through exercise.  Golf can actually be quite the workout.  The average golfer walks about 7 miles over the course of 18 holes, plus you’d be carrying a bag of clubs.  The practice time can be aerobic also.  Being out in the sun and away from the desk and couch can also help lower stress levels.  As grandma said, I’m sure that getting out in the fresh air will do me good too.
  • This would be my only real summer sport.  Due to work constraints over the last few years, I haven’t really had the time to engage in much in the way of summer activities.  That’s not different now, but at least most of my weekends are free even if my weeknights are filed.

So the conclusion?  To be determined…

So readers, weighing the pros and cons, what would you say?  Do you currently golf or know someone that does?  Do you think golf is a pointless waste?  What should I do?

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17 Responses to Golf lessons, deciding to get better at golf

  1. WorkSaveLive says:

    I’m biased because I LOVE golf. I wish I had more time to go but I’ll eventually get there!

    I would certainly take the lessons and buy the clubs if you could afford it.

    • Karl says:

      A number of directors where I work either play golf or want to pick up golf themselves, so it may be a better career move at my current employer than I had previously thought. The question I have for you, since you life golf are you also good at it, or do you like it because you are good?

  2. Modest Money says:

    It sounds like you are leaning towards taking on this challenge, otherwise you wouldn’t have even written this post. So I say if you can fit it into your schedule and budget, go for it. You need some kind of break away from the office and computer. It may take a little while to get good, but then it will be very satisfying once you start to improve. Maybe look into a good set of used clubs though. Since your clubs are 15 years old, a set that is a few years old would be a good upgrade.

    • Karl says:

      In fact I have started taking lessons, and I’m happy to report that I’m already improving by leaps and bounds, which granted wasn’t difficult given my starting place.

      And yes, I did pick up a new set of clubs too, but I did find a fantastic deal on what I was looking for, so all in all I got new toys and “saved” some money, at least as far as you can save when spending. 🙂

  3. I think taking up golf is great for all of the reasons you mentioned. I’m sure you experienced some of the short term discomfort when you first learned how to snowboard. Golfing will be great exercise for you between snowboarding seasons. As well if there are golf tournaments in your city or with your work, you will now be able to attend and play with the big guys. Go buy your golf clubs and have lots of fun this summer!!

    • Karl says:

      I’ve been a bit sore after lessons, but it’s getting better each time. It’s not nearly the workout that other activities are, but at least playing is a good long hike.

  4. jefferson says:

    I love playing golf, Karl.. I really do. But I almost never get to play.. If I play once p/year, it has been a good year.

    The problem with golf is that it is expensive and time consuming.. Two things that don’t work well with my life right now.

    But I do love it. It is a great game, and there is no better time in the world than heading out with a group of good friends and playing a round.

    • Karl says:

      Expensive and time consuming, add frustrating and you’ve got the entire downside to golf. I’m surprised that you enjoy it so much yet don’t play as much as you’d like. It’s great that you have that type of passion!

  5. SB @ FPR says:

    I don’t know how to play golf. I would rather work out or jog or play soccer or tennis to stay fit. Gosh! look at the age group of most golfers.

    • Karl says:

      There are certainly more active pass times out there. You’re right about the average age of golfers, but that may be due to available free time and cash.

  6. I gave my husband private golf lessons for his birthday years ago. He loved them, but them slacked off on his own practice and really they were for naught. I wish I’d bought him new clubs instead – I think he would have had more incentive to continue using those.

    • Karl says:

      Wow, very nice gift! I think you couldn’t go wrong either one. The problem with new clubs is that there’s always a new technology newfangled club.

  7. I recently played for the first time in a few years and I sucked. Despite that, I had fun. My biggest hangup is the cost – learning would be fun but I try to avoid expensive hobbies.

  8. I golf every week during the summer months. It is a great leisure pastime…It is fairly steep to get into the sport but once you have the clubs it is relatively cheap form of entertainment if you go to the mediocre courses. If you go to the fancy nice ones expect to pay a bit. I also get to golf with my boss and some of the CFO’s and other vice presidents from some organizations in my area. It has been a great experience and I needless to say get treated differently at work in a good way because I golf with them!

  9. Jai Catalano says:

    The picture with the golfer and child in the back is GREAT. I now love golf after seeing that.

  10. Nick says:

    I rarely golf. I’m terrible at it, but got free hand-me-down clubs and go out hacking with family. It’s really enjoyable, but would be nice to shoot under 120…

  11. […] Golf lessons, deciding to get better at golf – Karl is trying to figure out if he should get involved in golfing this summer. Is it a good idea? […]

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