Time Is A Reason To Play, Not An Inhibitor

by Mark Corrigan - I’ve never agreed with the idea that time inhibits people from playing golf.

If golf is still viewed that men go to the golf course leaving their wives and kids at home, well then, yes this could be seen as a negative.

However the 'Leave It To Beaver' households are long gone and the clubs that haven’t adapted to the new culture of, 'It’s All In The Family' will be left behind.

Golf is currently trying to sell itself to the masses. 'Grow the game' is the message.

There’s always been hurdles when people suggest why they can’t play. Money being a major concern, and yes, it is expensive. Convenience too, as in, "is it close to home?"

Often, time is the big reason people say they can’t play golf. My question is, "Who are you playing with?"

Golf typically takes 4 hours to play. If you consider 9 holes the right amount for you, that’ll take 2 hours and yes there is time on either end. I’m not disputing the actual allotment. I’m speaking of the perception of time.

Life in the 21st century is fast paced, jobs allow us to live. Our families require attention. We speed from one activity and obligation as if on a treadmill that can’t be turned off. I often see golf as a way to steal some of that time back.

Time on the golf course is usually spent with people we respect, people we enjoy, people we guide. All of a sudden spending 4 hours with my family, there’s nowhere for my boys to hide. Hiking down the fairway, away from distractions, chasing a little white ball but learning about what’s really important, relationships.

My animals, some call them children, simply think we are chasing a little white ball for 4 hours. Little do they know they play golf for about 12 minutes, the substance of it all happens in between the shotmaking. Learning about life is way better when you don’t know that you are taking a lesson.

We are trapped on the course, nature surrounds us, physical activity becomes a wonderful side effect. But understanding others, sharing something simple, without it feeling like a debriefing of yesterdays events, now that’s golf and yes, it takes time.

Conversation always seems so less stressed when golf is perceived as the primary activity. Isn’t asking someone to golf, really asking a person, “I like you and I’d like to get to know you better” or “I like you and I want to spend more time with you.”

Remember you are out in nature for 4 hours with 3 other people. You better enjoy their company or you need to find new golfing buddies. Maybe golf for you is a solitary endeavour, then it would be viewed as therapy, that too is undeniable.

I’m not disputing that corporate golf doesn’t always involves people you enjoy but what better way to get to know someone quick. People can fake it in a meeting for an hour but golf peels away the layers like a bandaid exposing a wound.

I’ve always felt that if interviews were held during a round of golf you’d never hire the wrong person. It’s even better when the person can’t play golf well, how do they react when things don’t go according to plan?

Around the 15th tee my mind often realizes that the round is near its completion, more often than not I wish we could keep going. But maybe that would ruin too much of a good thing. Like Jerry Seinfeld said once, 'leave them while they still want more'. Leave ’em while they’re still laughing.

Golf and time should be celebrated as one. Yes, golf takes 4 hours and you're going to thank us for that. Time spent with loved ones, mentoring through play. Time spent with friends that give us fulfillment. Exercise and fresh air that acts as therapy. Social time that gives us sanity. Time well spent I’d say.

Now go grab some of that time back. Share it with people who need to slow down. They’ll thank you and you’ll thank yourself.

Golf is always giving, even when it’s not.

I’ll see you on the 1st tee

About The Writer: Mark Corrigan is an Associate Professional at Pinebrook Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alberta. Along with his teaching duties and role as 'golf ambassador' thanks to Mark and his writing skills, the monthly newsletter put out by Pinebrook G&CC is - as Mark so humbly tells us - continually sold out. We at Inside Golf feel very privileged to have Mark contributing to the iG brand. 

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