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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 280
THE JOY OF PLAYING SHOTS W hat do you reckon are the three words you hear most in Australian golf? For me ‘you’re still away’ is a contender but I’d hazard a guess that it’s actually ‘five a two’ closely followed by ‘six a one’ and ‘four a three’. We are obsessed in this country with competition golf and, in particular, the Stableford format. On just about any of the 365 days in the year you can find an official competition being staged at a club somewhere in Australia. (Christmas day may be an exception though I’ve submitted a card for handicap purposes more than once on Boxing Day). The attraction of Stableford and competition golf is understandable. The scoring system is genius in its simplicity and even newcomers to the game quickly pick up how it works. For golfers with limited time, playing competition also validates their time away from whatever else they could be doing instead of playing. But I sometimes wonder what we miss by being so constantly focussed on ‘card and pencil’ golf. There’s lots of ways to enjoy the game, and lot of things to enjoy about it, aside from focussing just on score. While it’s not for everyone, playing alone can be a great way to spend time. It affords a great opportunity for contemplation, about golf or other life stuff, while also having the added value of doubling as practice. Playing two balls and attempting shots you might otherwise not consider in the more formal setting of a competition can be good for your game but, more importantly, your soul. If alone time isn’t your preference then playing with one or more friends, golfers or not, can also be refreshing. Most of us have a mate who’s as ‘into’ golf as we are and there’s hours of fun to be had making up games to play against each other. Maybe a three-club challenge, or a format where you get to choose what club your opponent has to hit for their next shot – and they yours. Sure it’s good fun but learning how a driver reacts when you try to hit it from 100 metres won’t hurt your game, either. Imagine Bubba Watson playing by these rules? Introducing new people to the game, particularly kids, can also be a great way to remind ourselves what attracted us to golf in the first place. Once in the cycle of regular weekly comp golf we sometimes forget the simple joys of holing a putt or a chip shot. Those things should mean more than an extra point on a scorecard and they do to the golfer who’s never heard of a DSR and thinks a wipe is something you use on a baby. Being a club golfer and playing comp is great fun. But playing the game for its own sake from time to time is an important reminder that there’s more to being a golfer than just numbers on a scorecard. VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen. Heading out on course by yourself and attempting a range of shots without scoring is good for the soul.
GA Express 279
GA Express 281