To say, ‘I am a golfer,’ is to say ‘I am a traveler.’
You may ask, ‘To where do you travel?’
I would answer, ‘To my Self.’
-W.T. Firth. A Golfer’s Journey
A great attitude to approach our golf experience is Self Reflection. The ancient sage Patanjali lists Svadhyaya, (Sanskrit meaning ‘Self Study’) as one of the five important “observances” (niyamas) designed to build character, lessen suffering and encourage success. Playing golf with the quality of svadhyaya, as a student of golf (and the inner game) will allow each shot to be your guru. “Some of us may be quite comfortable examining our motives and attitudes. Others may find it very difficult to reflect upon themselves.” states T.K.V.Desikachar.
To reach our potential as a golfer, we must take advantage of the numerous opportunities to pursue our skillful inner knowledge.
- What do you need in your pre-shot routine?
- What emotions surface under pressure?
- How do you react after a bad hole?
- What are your alignment tendencies?
- Putting under pressure are you too aggressive or too timid?
- When faced with tight fairways, what happens to your swing?
- How do you act when you don’t get what you want?
Every element of the game can be viewed as a self-study. We inquire, question the root causes and nature of the mind and the game. After all, golf is a vehicle for transformation. . .
Dodie Mazzuca is the Director of Instruction at Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, AZ (November – April). She also teaches golf in Santa Cruz, CA (May-October).