Short walks with a dog and wedge help me find my swing and so much more.
I’m spoiled. My favorite golf course on earth is only three blocks from my house. Living that close to your vice can be dangerous. As you can imagine, having only a seven minute walk between me and paradise make’s it pretty hard to manage my addiction.
Despite the challenges this proximity to golf presents in my marriage, those walks to the course are some of the most important moments in my life. It’s during that downtime when I can unplug my thoughts. Like on Sunday mornings while I’m out for stroll with my dog Leon and a pitching wedge.
Armed with a few poop bags and and handful of shag balls, I march from my home to the golf course with great enthusiasm. Leon leads the way down this familiar and peaceful path. Our pace is quick and my smile is wide. Along the walk, we see the same neighbors at the same time each week. Routines make life worth living.
As if the golf course wasn’t enough an attraction, our neighborhood is beautiful. Trees shade us from the sun and their is always something in bloom. The homes in this historic district have a delightful patina too. After passing the park we wind down a canopy road and there is a small gated path used by the maintenance team. That’s where we find our links.
When we enter the golf course, I stash Leon’s leash in the fork of a live oak tree. We like this corner of the property, because there is a little wedge game range there. Tucked in between the fourth, twelfth, and thirteenth holes, this open space has a few flag targets so members can come practice away from the crowded range at the clubhouse. Leon and I usually have the place ourselves.
With five balls in hand, it takes me about 20 minutes to hit them down and back on the wedge range. It’s one hundred and forty yards each way. Plenty of steps to figure out all the questions of life.
With the proper spousal approvals in place, I can do this dance three times before having to report back for dad duty. One hour and fifteen minutes is the desired pace of play. I meditate on life and let my golf dreams go wild. It’s fun for my imagination to wander while I try to make every swing count.
On some mornings, my walk to the wedge range is great practice for my fading golf game. Meanwhile, there are other days when all I can do is sort through the pressing issues crowding my mind. Either way, I walk down to the course concerned and come home relieved. It always makes some part of my life better.
As much as I enjoy walking 18 holes, the truth is that my quick jaunts to the golf course on Sunday’s might even be better. Because time is limited, the value of each step and swing is greatly inflated. This scarcity makes the good shots feel all the more better.
It all takes me back to the nine-hole course I grew up on. In the waning daylight of late summer evenings, I would slip out behind our house and hit 4 irons down the fourth fairway. Back and forth until the cover of darkness or sting of mosquitos ushered me home. My Sunday morning walks with a wedge are the closest I can still get to those old summer nights.
I didn’t know what I had back then. I loved it, but there was no way to understand how precious a resource those one club golf outings were. These days, with two kids, a dozen clients, and a campaign for public office in full swing, I fully understand the value of a brief golfing interlude.
Each swing on that wedge range is like a metronome helping keep my thoughts in rhythm. That kind of clarity is hard to find off the course. Make some swings, take some steps, discover a few truths. Even in small doses, I’m so fortunate to have this game in my life.
One hour and fifteen minutes is the perfect amount of time for me to escape reality. With all the wonders of golf just a few blocks away, I’m never more than a short walk to finding the answers I’m looking for. It’s a damn fine way to spend a Sunday morning.
I’ve been a bit busy!
Unfortunately, my golf writings have been just as scarce as my low scores this year. However, I’ve got some fun ideas up my sleeve. Stay tuned! In the meantime, I’ve been working to get the word out about my latest book — Swing, Walk, Repeat.
Recently, the book got a few nice shout outs by Golf.com and Tour Junkies . Even my hometown newspaper has golf on their mind. Working with my friends at Back 9 Press, we’ve got some other cool appearances and reviews in the works too.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of Swing, Walk, Repeat I hope you’ll do so. I like to think of it as a guide for your igniting your golfing soul. You can grab a copy at either of the links below:
I also added a new video series on my youtube page where I share some of the stories behind the passages in Swing, Walk, Repeat. You can check that out here:
I should also mention how much fun I had hosting the Golfer’s Journal for an event at my home course last month. It was pretty cool to have so many subscribers come visit Leon and I for some golf on our home track. Catch my event recap column for the Journal here — Even Harder to Leave
Thanks as always for reading. Now go find a place to take a walk with your wedge and sort out all the questions of life!
Until next time,