The Inner Game of Golf
My friend Luis competed in golf at a national level for the Philippines and was subsequently rewarded with a scholarship to play at UNC. Recently, I’ve grown more interested in the sport as many of my friends and colleagues are interested in it. They often refer to golf as a “mental game,” but I never truly understood what that meant. So I asked Luis, and he gave me an interesting answer.
He told me that in Golf, you’re not competing with an opponent, but you’re competing against the course.
Comparing golf to the NBA, he gave an example of a three-point shooter. Such players practice continuously until their shot becomes second nature. When playing in a game, their shot is instinctive, regardless of pressure or opposition. Golfers must factor external conditions like weather, hole distance, and terrain into their swings. The greats make nearly flawless swings each time, and if they don’t, they focus on the next shot rather than fixating on their mistakes.
In short, golf is an inner game that requires self-competition and trust in one’s training.