Golf Aversions: It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride.
‘I hate this hole! I despise slow play! I can’t stand unsolicited advice!’
Sound familiar? AVERSION is the flip side of desire. Listed as one of the five human afflictions, aversion is the negative form of the ego’s relationship to worldly objects. When we are living in our limited state of mind, there are certain things we have to have (desires) or we don’t feel okay. Aversions are conditions and situations we do NOT want. They are the dislikes we push away. For example, bad bounces or playing with an annoying golfer. How do these afflict your game?
Another translation describing suffering created by aversion is a ‘bad axle’ (duhka). If we envision a golf cart with a bad axle, the ride is going to be bumpy. If we don’t do something about it, eventually the wheels come off. Similar to our golf games, it’s convenient to blame others, the weather and the course conditions for our discomfort. If we don’t take responsibility for our aversions then the ride will get so bumpy that we will be thrown off our game and even out of the golf cart. That’s embarrassing! (FYI, speaking from experience, there is no graceful ways to be thrown from a golf cart. I thank the members of the 1993 Harbor High School boys’ golf team for my teenage humiliation. Go Pirates!).
Memory storage also influences our aversions. For example, fear of bunkers or a challenging driving hole may have mental scars affixed to them that leads to reluctance in our future shots. Our tension levels increase, commitment levels decrease and our past ‘bunker aversion’ is now being dragged into our future bunker play.
There will always be desires we can’t fulfill. However, by managing to avert aversions, we can make ourselves stronger so the challenging shots and situations don’t throw us off our game . . .or out of the golf cart!
(This is the fourth of a five part series on the afflictions inspired by Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra.)
Dodie Mazzuca is the founder of Golf PROformance and teaches golf and Mindfulness for Golf programs in Santa Cruz, CA.