For the record, I started this series on delight back in 2019 and had no expectations about how many I would write. While there’s no consistency in how of these essays I write, I take solace in knowing I can and will write about these moments whenever they occur. That said, I need reminders to see and feel delight.
Part of me thinks I could write an endless series just about golf but I realize that only a small percentage of you can relate which adds to the challenge of writing about it in such a way that it resonates with my readers. Golf remains not only a hobby or passion of mine but it is an oddly spiritual experience. While I love the social elements of golf, I love going out later in the evening and golfing alone. It’s a wonderfully quiet, serene time to reflect or simply shut off from the world. I realize many folks choose to run, walk or hike to experience this but for me spending time on a golf course, trying to hit shots, and analyzing my mistakes is truly cathartic.
The book The Lost Art of Playing Golf speaks to the joy of hitting shots, failing and trying again. Too often golfers get bogged down in perfection and technique and forget that it’s a hard and at times mean game where you rarely hit the shot you envision. Last night I teed off at 6:52 pm on a cloudy windy evening. Most golfers abhor the wind as it wreaks havoc on even the best shots you hit. I used to feel that way but after reading that book I love it as it adds another element that I need to embrace. Rather than fight it, I try and work with it. I hit a couple of terrible shots but I did hit a few really good ones and walking uphill, into the wind to see the ball sitting 15 feet from the pin is pure delight. Even shots which don’t appear to be that great in terms of proximity to the hole I know are perfect shots given the difficulty of the conditions.
I finished my round right at 9 pm just before sunset. I looked around and saw the parking lot was empty. I looked at my watch to see I had walked 10 kilometres. I was tired but grateful. Most golfers today ride a cart. I choose to walk most of the time and take an extra degree of pride as I play through golfers half my age as they ride around in power carts. I hope I will continue to walk well into my 60s and 70s. The combination of walking, playing alone, playing quickly, and playing in the wind on a summer evening is a recipe for delight. For me anyway.