By Alex Doucette, Golf Operations Manager for Monaghan Golf Group at Gleneagles GC, Ambleside Par 3, and Bowen Island GC
The winter season, gives any golf professional a lot of the time to think. One of the things I've been thinking about lately is why I love golf and how much I can't wait for the spring to be here again. Here are, in no particular order, the ten greatest things about golf:
- Every Game is Different – Even if you play one of the best rounds of your life one day, you can play the same course, in the same conditions, with the same partners and have it all go wrong on the very next day. Chasing the magic of that first round is what can keep you coming back for life.
- The Great Outdoors – Most of us live in a condo, work in a tower, or commute down a freeway of fumes. The golf course is the green paradise we need to take in some beautiful scenery and breathe some fresh air. It doesn’t hurt that golf courses occupy some of the most beautiful real estate around.
- Travel – Did I mention beautiful real estate? Golf is one of the best reasons I can think of to explore the world around you. Whether it’s Pebble Beach in California, Cabot Links in Cape Breton, Royal Dornoch in Scotland, or even you favourite local course, there are plenty of reasons to grab some friends and go for an adventure.
- Great Company – Even if you don’t like you own friends sometimes, I promise you can make new ones at the golf course. The next threesome you join as a single could be the start of a lifelong friendship. Golf is a very unique sport in the way it brings people together, and is one of the only sports where win, lose, or draw, you can share a drink with your partner during and after the round.
- Same Course, Same Rules for Everyone – “The one thing I really like and the one thing I think is very, very important to protect is all golfers in the world are playing under the same set of rules. It makes it so I can play here with the amateurs on the same terms and that's a very, very strong thing for us as golfers. It makes it easier for the fans to connect with us.” - Robert Karlsson
- Family – “Fathers and sons have played golf together for as long as there's been golf. The Tom Morris team - Old and Young - the Willie Parks - Sr. and Jr. - all the way up to Jay and Bill Haas, have made it not only a game but also a family business. But the real heart of golf's generational pull is a lot simpler. Parents playing golf with kids, grandparents with grandkids or a family four-some on a lazy Sunday afternoon is one of the game's treasures. Where else can you spend four hours, not just watching but playing together, outdoors, high-fiving, learning, laughing and loving than on a golf course?” - Bob Weeks
- Scoring Your Personal Best – Golf can be a challenging and frustrating game. That being said, there is an enormous sense of accomplishment that comes from conquering the challenge and shooting your new best. The only thing better? Doing it again!
- Exercise – I believe golf is often overlooked for its health benefits. A typical eighteen hole round can burn up to 2000 calories if you carry your clubs. This is a great way to keep healthy if you’re not into flipping tires in a warehouse at your local gym, and a lot easier on the joints.
- The Masters - The Masters is the greatest tournament of the golfing calendar. Not only does The Masters signal the unofficial start of the golfing season for many of us, but the beauty and history of Augusta National and the tradition of the Green Jacket, white caddie suits, the patrons and Butler Cabin is like none other in sport.
- Longevity – Golf is a sport that you can play throughout your whole lifetime. You can learn the game as a young child and continue to grow with it long enough to teach your own children and grandchildren the principles and life lessons that golf has to offer. Not many other activities can offer this, and it’s one of the things that makes the game of golf so remarkable.