The Complete Black Belt of Golf

by Fargy

Golf. A game. A martial art. Get your kung fu juju out and get your mojo on for how golf shows us how games are more than just a game.

Games are systems we create to find control and meaning in our life. Let's take a look at how golf does that, how it is more than the sum of 19 holes, and how that connects to other parts of our worlds and lives.
We shall start with what golf is, and then move on to what it really is.
Soon everyone will be golf club fighting.

What golf is.

Golf is hitting a ball into a hole.

The distance and objects between the start point and the hole may vary, as will the players gear and experience.  But the objective is always simple.  Ball into hole.

Golf's first written commentator is James the Second who decided it stopped people from learning archery and banned the game in 1457.  Presumably because archers would be handy to have if someone invaded, rather than a bunch of golfers rushing to the defence of the realm.

However the game has recovered from that setback, here is one quote from the US, where golf is worth more than $70 billion per year...

“We are bigger than the motion picture and video recording industry, we’re bigger than the newspaper publishing industry. A lot of people don’t think about that when they think about their average round of golf, but the way all of the economics roll up into 16,000 courses nationwide, it really makes us a powerhouse."

Which is a lot of money for hitting a ball into a hole.


What golf really is.

Time and SpaceGolf entrusts the player to create the future.

We curve the ball through time and space according to our will.

Yet time and space don't always agree with being bossed around.  That is one one part of the contest, one part of the equation, we pit ourselves against the Universe.

We also contest against others.  We try to distract each other with friendly jibes and jokes.  While at the same time we try to keep our focus.  We sneakily cheat.  We buy the best clubs we can.  We get others to train us.  We carry out a training montage, for golf.

And then there is where golf becomes a martial art...

We fight against ourselves.

We must isolate our thoughts, concentrate our purpose, and keep things as simple as they are.

Hit the ball in the hole.

Yet the sunlight dazzles us, our score might worry us, our friends joking may annoy us, we might not be certain of our club choice, external worries abound.

Do you have the juju to be serene?

Why people play golf.

Golf has broad applicability, nearly anyone can play.

Health benefits of golf are good, walking always is.

People are attracted to the successful image that playing golf gives.

Social interaction.

Hobby enjoyment.

Inspired to be Tiger Woods.

Enjoyment of seeing the ball going where it's meant to.

That last point is the emotional tag.  We feel good when we hit well.  We feel unhappy when our ball heads into the bushes.  We had total control, so we take the failure personally.

And that leads us back to the martial art of golf.

To succeed at golf we need to turn inwards and examine ourselves.

If we get emotional about golf we can more easily get worse at golf.  Yet emotion is part of why we play, we like watching the ball go where we meant it to, so we must keep a useful component of emotion and use the energy of more distracting emotions, like anger.


The complete black belt of golf.

Golf is about one thing.

This whole martial art is one secret.

Hit the ball.

Whether you can concentrate enough on that ball...

Whether you can go through the swing and only think of the ball is the secret.

Once you can do that, you are on your way to black belt golf master.

Do you feel disappointed?

Do you feel that there is more?

There is, but you need to hit the ball first.

Updated: 09/28/2013, Fargy
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