Working in the golf industry for 25 years and incurring an infuriating mental frailty regarding chipping had put a massive strain on my relationship with golf.
A disastrous display in our lads golf trip to Marbella at the tail end of last season had me declaring myself done with the ‘stupid game’ and I simply was not enjoying it as I continually contrived to take a double bogey after a promising tee shot.
I had deliberately avoided playing golf this year until the tragic outbreak of COVID-19. Amid the disruption of normal daily life, my teenage son asked if I would take him to the driving range to which I reluctantly agreed but declared “I will just watch you hit some”. However, within a few shots I was taking the club off him and showing him where he was going wrong and amazingly, I started striping everything with a Rory Mcllroy beautiful high draw.
Galvanised by hitting about 20 balls so well I let the thought creep in that maybe, just maybe I was not done with this infuriating game and my long-held plan to sell my clubs and abandon the sport could wait a little while longer.
Fast forward to 3 three days later and I had started to say a phrase that, like most people, I thought I would never say: “I’m self-isolating”. Fourteen days in front of me where I am unable to go out not even to the shops and I was in a state of panic about how I would fill the days with something other than looming home improvements.
As I work in golf, I was taking careful notice of all developments regarding COVID-19 and how it is affecting the sport. First the Players championship was cancelled, so there was no prospect of watching that, followed by the Masters being postponed shortly after and my initial fears that all courses would be closed and golf mothballed until the autumn when the weather is reverting back to cold and miserable then looked increasingly likely. So, I resorted to practising golf in my back garden until the golf courses re-opened recently, much to my delight.
It is to my, and many others, belief that golf remains one of the safest sports to play at a social distance and, subsequently, myself and many others are able to flock to golf courses to spend their new found free time playing golf outdoors in the warm weather, amongst friends and at a safe distance.
This has been a saving grace for people’s mental and physical health, as well as those finding isolation difficult.
My Facebook has become abuzz with people organising a game, asking me what clubs they can buy from GolfClubs4Cash and checking what golf clubs are open whilst getting quite excited about a few hours out in the fresh air with their mates. I must add that the golf courses have inadvertently become amazing at advertising themselves and the game, emboldened by it being one of the true sporting options at that time to keep people outdoors and socialising.
The doom and gloom around golf was replaced with everyone extolling its virtues. I think golf will be better for it in the long run.
For myself while in isolation, I had taken the time to content myself with a few instructional videos from Padraig Harrington on how to chip better and continue to practice it in my back garden, the divots out the lawn are testimony to the fact that I’m not perfect but more certainly optimistic and grateful to pass the time playing this sport.
Helpfully with time on my hands I have started watching YouTube clips of memorable Opens and Masters tournaments, the ones from when I was young and golf made such an impression on me: Seve in ’84, Nicklaus in ’86 and Sandy Lyle in ’88. I can almost feel, taste and smell what golf was back then and how much we loved to play as juniors. We would make our way to the course in the morning – 18 holes, a quick break for some chips and cheese then back out for another 18 holes. Then, if it were light enough, we would have a putting competition after that before reluctantly going home with a plan to repeat it all again the next day. I shot my best scores ever in these days using hand me down bladed irons a wooden driver and a Top Flite XL.
I have concluded golf has been made too complicated and we need to simplify it again. This period has renewed mine and so many other people’s love of golf and the sport continues to provide a sanctuary to those suffering during these unprecedented times. With my revived love of the game, I am already looking forward to indulging in more games over the summer.
At GolfClubs4Cash we have the widest range of second-hand, affordable golf clubs for sale on our website and on our eBay store to help you get season ready and play your best game yet and we also buy Clubs 4 Cash, you can submit a quote using our quote form to find out more. We hope you are all safe and well during this time!