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thinblueline

When It's All Said And Done, Is A Lifetime Of Golf Really Worth It

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If you are thinking this way, you should probably quit.  I play to relax.  Whether I play good or bad I always have a good time.  Sure, playing better is always great, but golfing for the regular guy is more about havign fun.

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Don't necessarily have an answer for the OP, think most who have played for many years go through some flat periods where you think maybe I could be doing something else. One of the sites in Australia had this comment which I liked (albeit a bit flowery). The Peter Thomson reference is that he is not considered a very good architect (has a fondness for bunkers in the middle of fairways):

The fun in golf is to overestimate our ability and then, just occasionally when the stars are aligned, we succeed in playing the shot, or having the round, or winning the tournament of our dreams. Overestimation is essential for the success of golf because it is linked to hope. The same hope that encourages us to turn up again next week, allows us to believe that we will have a better year this year and inspires us to play just one more Peter Thomson course. It is the same hope that links us to Alan Robertson and Old Tom Morris, to Hagen and Hogan and Todd Hamilton. It is the hope that, after years of searching, proved an African American man could be found that was worthy to join Augusta National. It is the hope that makes golf what it is, the true embodiment of greatness for all men, creating in its participants a noble spirit that embiggens the smallest man.

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Personally, golf has saved my life.

I was in a very dark place when i picked up the game because I was searching for something that would occupy my mind from the many bad thoughts I was having.  By finding golf..I found something that I absolutely love to do and have also strengthened some great friendships into brotherhoods and made many more new friends and aquaintences along the way.  Its allowed me to reconnect with my father in a way we hadn't been able to find in years.  Its given me a stretch of time to be free of lifes worries and stresses.  Its given me a secondary focus for becoming "better" at something.  I have a personal goal to strive for.  I don't care what my game looks like to anyone else or what anyone else thinks of my scores.  The only thing I concern myself with is how it matters to me.

I look at the cost of golf as invaluable to my personal well-being.  When I was diagnosed with anxiety...golf was yet again the outlet for me to feel "comfortable" and "normal"..even if it only lasted for the round initially.  I'm forever in debt to the game because without it and the brothers I play with..I probably wouldn't be around.

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Take a break from keeping score.  I found out a long time ago that unless you make a living while playing golf, what's the point of keeping score?  I see so many folks coming off of 18 and they look pissed.  It's supposed to be fun.  If you want a hobby that makes you unhappy, get a 2nd job at freaking Taco Bell.  At least you'd have some money coming in.

My friend and I try to play once a week.  We drink beer, bad mouth our old ladies & work, talk about football season, talk about investments, gold, silver, smoke smokes.  Sometimes talk about golf.  It's more about relaxing than beating your personal best.

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What were you expecting to have to "show for it", after so many years? Money? Fame? This is a good thread because we all need to ask ourselves why we're out there from time to time. To me it's about the journey, not any destination. Of course I always want to shoot lower scores but the nature of the game means that's not always gonna happen. I have a competitive fire to always try though, and that's why I love the game. I suppose if that fire went out someday I'd stop playing.

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Here's why I play:

The parabola of a well struck shot

The feel and sound of a pured iron

The heady distances achieved (just think, a 400 ft home run is just a solid PW)

The creativity of shotmaking

The challenge of the most diffucult game on the planet

The mysterious connection between confidence and performance

The patience it instills

The beauty of forged musclebacks

The fun of taking my buddies' money

Beer tastes really good afterwards

I really could keep going but I do have to do some work to earn my paycheck..

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The payback of golf is the fun it gives you. If you don't love the game for what it is, then you should find something you do enjoy.

The idea that a hobby or sport should have a payoff is ridiculous to me. Not everything in life has to have a dollar value return. Sometimes the return is worth far more than money, as it is for me in golf. Sounds to me like maybe the OP isn't financially secure and and just realized his money is better saved than spent.

That, or he is akin to my grandfather, who spent his whole life pursuing the almighty dollar. Any hobby that didn't result in making money was foolish and stupid waste of time in his eyes. I can still see the anger in his voice when my parents put me in hockey at 4 years old, bitching about the cost. Which is sad, because the family is rich, the cost of hockey was next to nothing for a man like him. I never once recieved a birthday or x-mas present from him, and never got a penny I didnt work for from him growing up. (Though my Grandma gave us grandkids plenty) To the day he died, I had never seen him take a vacation, go anywhere that wasn't business related, or buy himself anything nice for the sake of having it. He would buy a truck, which he needed for work, and keep that truck for 10 years, even though there was nol reason. The OP reminded me immediately of him. Its sad, all that money, and he lived and died a miserable man.

He must be turning in his grave, because his 2 kids and 4 grandchildren are enjoying the money he spent (and the family businesses are still going strong, and making bundles, even through the recession), as when my grandmother died after him, she had split the money they had equally between the 6 of us (Two kids and 4 grand kids), and gave my dad and his brother joint ownership (they had been managing and running the business' since their dad passed). I hope that isn't the OP's focus, because its a miserable way to live.

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I'm the OP, and just wanted to add that it appears several of the posts on this page 3 are questioning my thoughts and character, which is fair enough when a guy starts a thread like this, but it also appears the writers of these recent posts did not read my follow up on page 2, which might have given the newest posters some insight on my latest thinking.

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I play to get a nice tan, get outdoors and hear the birds, hang out with my buddies and just have a great time.  Whether I ever become a scratch golfer is entirely irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by thinblueline

I'm the OP, and just wanted to add that it appears several of the posts on this page 3 are questioning my thoughts and character, which is fair enough when a guy starts a thread like this, but it also appears the writers of these recent posts did not read my follow up on page 2, which might have given the newest posters some insight on my latest thinking.

Brother, don't take anything personally.  This in an internet forum of golf nuts.

You've spent 20 years playing golf.  It's ABOUT TIME you questioned it.

Take a break.  Explore a totally different hobby.

Guitar, fitness, cooking, whatever.

And come back to it, when you're ready.

There is a lot more to life than golf !

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Originally Posted by Used2PlayALot

Brother, don't take anything personally.  This in an internet forum of golf nuts.

You've spent 20 years playing golf.  It's ABOUT TIME you questioned it.

Take a break.  Explore a totally different hobby.

Guitar, fitness, cooking, whatever.

And come back to it, when you're ready.

There is a lot more to life than golf !

You say this as if it's inevitable.  Why does it have to be?  I've never seen any reason to question why I play.  I play because I want to.  If I didn't want to I wouldn't play.  I wouldn't come on a golf forum trying to find a purpose.

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Good point.

I guess at some point, you invest such devotion to anything, one tends to question it at least once.

Like a Priest having a "crisis of faith".

But, you're right, some may never.

Fore !!!

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Originally Posted by Used2PlayALot

There is a lot more to life than golf !

Wrong.

There is a lot more to golf than life.

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The above post is incredulous,a silly silly remark,stating golf has more complexity,emotion,reality and importance and all that encompasses it to life,dear me

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Tongue-in-cheek is a phrase used as a figure of speech to imply that a statement or other production is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended and it should not be taken at face value . The ironic usage originates with the idea of suppressed mirth—biting one's tongue to prevent an outburst of laughter.

Interaction and conversation online is often done without being able to see the faces of the other parties. By using emoticons , one can convey a humorous slant to what might otherwise be perceived as a serious statement. A smiley such as :P may be used to signal jocularity, and has been called the tongue-in-cheek symbol. [ 8 ] The expression may be denoted more graphically with forms such as :-? or :-J . [ 9 ]

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Originally Posted by thinblueline

I dabbled in golf with my dad as a teenager, but didn't get serious about it until my mid 20's. I'm in my early 40's now, and I am at a point where I am really reflecting on whether or not the time and money I pour into this game is a worthwhile endeavor. I have all the shots in golf but rarely put them all together in a complete 18 hole round. My scores average from the high 70's to low 80's, and it doesn't seem I get much better or worse, regardless of the amount of time I spend practicing, because I always seem to have 2 or 3 "key" horrible shots that lead to disastrous scores on those holes. I have spent a lot of money on clubs, balls, shoes, gloves, range balls, greens fees, a few lessons, tournament fees, etc... over the years, to say nothing of the incredible time spent on this game on the range, at the course, and travel in between, and I'm really wondering what I have to show for it.

What gets me is, even if I was finally able to break through and shoot scratch to mid 70's...so what. A million people can shoot scratch to mid 70's. What does that do for me that has any lasting value. It's unlikely I will ever make money in this game so the time, money and effort to shoot lower scores just becomes some kind of bragging rights thing.

I know every hobby costs time and money, such as hunting and fishing, but even hunters and fishermen have their harvest to show for it and enjoy with the whole family at the dinner table.

I just kind of feel I am at a crossroads with golf. I'm at the mid point of my life and I'm really wondering if I should continue to spend the time, money and effort in pursuit of perfection in golf for the last half of my life, or give it up and pursue something else in my spare time that is more meaningful and valueable. I will say, to not practice at all and to play only sporadically will likely have me shooting in the upper 80's to low 90's, and when I'm doing that, to be honest, I'd rather be doing something else.

I guess I've kind of lost sight of what I'm doing out there, so I thought I'd ask fellow golfers if they've ever experienced similar feelings, and how they've handled them, or what new goals have rejuvenated them. Sorry to be a downer for everybody, but looking forward to hearing some feedback. Thanks a lot.

If you're looking for a reward that you can display, or physically show to other people, Golf is no longer for you. Golf, for me, is simply a time to get out and forget about literally everything that is going on in life, or around me. It is so nice to get out on a nice day with my father or friends and hear the leaves blowing, 80° sunny weather, hear the birds and wild life, have a few drinks and just have fun. I am not looking to be a scratch golfer in my life and I know it most likely won't happen because I will never be able to play more than twice a week.

If I can go out and have a good time and enjoy myself with family and friends and shoot a decent score on top of that, rain or shine it was a good time and 4 hours of mind-clearing freedom. I've played a terrible round of golf before and still feel more relaxed afterwards than I did before I got there.

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Note: This thread is 2300 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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