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.
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.
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?