Before you play golf again, I have a little question for you: Why? (The question works for non-golfers too)

The day after the Masters is traditionally a day of renewal for golfers.

If not for the coronavirus, we would be rehashing another Sunday thrill-ride at Augusta National.

Last year, we were caught up in the afterglow of one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports when Tiger Woods inexplicably won the Masters for his 15th major after it appeared that his battered body and soul were incapable of more.

Having watched a good portion of yesterday’s Masters Rewind—yes, I felt some excitement during the back nine—I’m a little more antsy this morning about getting this golf season finally going. 

As we settle into Week V of the lockdown, antsy describes what a lot of people are feeling. In the last few days, I’ve heard more than a few times, ‘I want my life back.’

My conversations have included lots of speculation about what is life going to be like post-lockdown. Most people are hopeful that we’ll have a stronger sense of purpose, we’ll focus on what’s truly important, what’s good for the planet.

We’ll finally get to play golf. Yippee! Many of my readers in the golf business will also get to resume their jobs and careers.

For readers in the golf business, I invite you to a join a Zoom call at noon EDT April 14 of industry professionals who are learning from each other during and after the virus lockdown. To join the call, click here.

However, that could still be weeks or months away.

So why not put some of that nervous energy to good use, and take a moment to consider what’s truly important to you?

I feel like such a crusty old coot in writing this, but here goes: ‘Wouldn’t it be a shame not to use this time to reflect on what’s important to you?’

I have an invitation for you. It you accept, it takes only about 15 minutes, you can do it while drinking whatever you like, and there is no sweating involved.

I have a question for you:

‘Why do you play golf?’

(Non-golfers: This is a great exercise for examining whatever you do. E.g. Why do you sell insurance? Why do you teach? Why do you manage people’s money? Why do you volunteer? Why do you play music?)

To answer the question, get three 8 ½ x 11 pages and a pen. Find a space in your home where you won’t be disturbed. Choose a time when your mind is relatively clear, such as first thing in the morning.

(If you would rather type, that’s fine. Writing longhand is more of a mind-body experience, but working on a computer works nicely too. )

Write across the top of the first page, ‘Why I play golf.’

Start writing and keep writing continuously. Do not stop and think, correct words, cross sentences out, or look things up, etc. Let the words flow out of you, whatever they are, even if are ‘I don’t know what to write.’ Just Just write and write and write.

If you are typing, just keep going forward. Don’t use the delete button, or backspace to correct mistakes. Just keep plowing forward. Allow whatever’s inside to spill out of you on to the page. 

Writing in this free-flowing way allows you to go down into your subconscious. That’s where the gold is.

Keep writing until you fill all three pages and stop. If you are typing, stop when you’ve typed about 800 words. (There’s about 250 handwritten words per page.) 

When you are done filling the three pages or your word limit, put it away. Don’t look at what you wrote until later in the day, or even the next day.

When you read it, I’m quite sure you will find it fascinating and surprising. 

(If you’ve done this before, as many of my clients have, it’s a great exercise to do every once in a while.)

More on this Tuesday.

I’m providing free coaching sessions during the lockdown. If you would like to connect for a complimentary 30-minute session, send me an email to tim@oconnorgolf.ca

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf and mental performance coach, an award-winning writer, and Head Coach of the University of Guelph golf team. He is the recipient of the 2020 Lorne Rubenstein Media Award, given by Golf Ontario. He is author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story, and co-host of the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman. And he plays bass in CID—a punk band!

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