I remember as a kid growing up watching Jack Nicholas play golf on TV and even had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Nancy Lopez in person and thinking, how hard could golf really be? You have someone to carry your clubs and to consult your best move out there on the course. Well, at the age of 7 and of course later on as an adult, I soon realized that it was much more difficult.
Golfing is one of those sports where you would think you wouldn’t need to be fit to play. Just look at some of the golfers from the past, not the best fit people I’ve ever seen. Well, since I am not a pro and I don’t have a caddy or a cart, 18 holes of pushing/pulling a golf bag around and at the same time trying to hit a golf ball, one may change their mind about the level of fitness required to play the sport.
When you do carry or pull your own clubs, they say a round of golf is like walking four to seven miles. Of course this doesn’t take into consideration the actually swinging of the club and the squatting and bending that you do throughout the round. Well if one is not in decent shape, I could see a pretty miserable morning or two the next day. This is probably why despite being a recreational sport, being in shape is not just a plus, but a requirement. Today’s professionals hire trainers to get their bodies in the best shape. Take a look at the sport today, many of the men and women on the tour are in top physical condition. They want to play there best and make sure that their bodies are ready for the grueling rounds that golf has to offer.
We have touched on the physical, but there is a mental part to the game as well. Understanding the course, the way the wind blows, the way the grass is cut, the position of the holes on the greens, and I am sure so much more goes into successfully navigating the sport. In addition to all of that, you have the metal part of your own subconscious. Many break downs that can occur during a tournament, aren’t necessary physical, but mental. Feeling overly confident or not confident enough, or losing your concentration. All these things can and do happen to the best of us. The important thing is what you do after those moments. Do you pick yourself up or continue to bury yourself? I sometimes feel it is often harder to heal from a mental pain that a physical one, however at the end of the day with a mental breakdown the only thing bruised is your ego.
Ultimately when approaching the wonderful game of golf, you want to be fit mentally and physically so that you do your best. I argue that by truly enjoying the game and having a great time, you will feel your best!