I remember the 2002 golf season. I was really struggling with my weight and I was also really struggling with back issues. The back pain was so severe that I had to stop playing golf for most of that year. I only had 12 games that season.

When I finally resumed playing towards the end of the 2002 season, my handicap really had not changed very much — I was still playing to a 6. I had not lost my swing and that was due to an awful lot of coaching and practice.

Golf cost me. Not just in money but also in time.

I was taking lessons from one of the top teachers in Canada, Bruce McCarrol. During most of my years playing golf, I was working with Bruce on a weekly basis. He helped me bring my handicap down from an 18 to a 6. He helped me develop a strong and repeatable golf swing. And he taught me many things about the game of golf.

I stopped playing golf in 2008. It is a very tough game for a perfectionist like me to play. To keep a low handicap required a lot of hours on the course. Time away from family and from other interests. If I didn’t shoot a strong score, I would get frustrated. Sometimes even angry with myself.

During 2008 I was changing jobs and moving to a new city. I was making a lifestyle change. I closed off my golf membership at King’s Riding Golf Club and I packed up my golf gear.

I did play a round of golf with my son down in Arizona back in 2010. I’m not sure why but I played a surprisingly strong round given that I hadn’t picked up a golf club in a couple of years. I played a rental set of clubs and I had a wonderful time.

I missed golf.

As we have been purging things around the house, I found my golf clubs. My beautiful set of Ben Hogan forged blades and TaylorMade drivers. I brought them out from storage and cleaned them up. The clubs are in great shape.

It may be time to lift sanctions against the game of golf this year. Golf is not a game of perfect and I think I might be in a better place with golf. Young enough to still play reasonably well, old enough not to care if the score is off.

5 replies
  1. Bill
    Bill says:

    Good luck; I hope it works out. Both Sunny and I have thrown in the towel. I suspect for similar reasons. May be I’ll reassess abstinence at a later date.

    • Richard Cleaver
      Richard Cleaver says:

      Thanks Bill. I had no choice but to throw in the towel for about 8 years now. Golf was no longer a game but a frustrating challenge that seemed insurmountable and, at times, inexplicable. I will find out soon enough if I can keep it in perspective 🙂

  2. Michael
    Michael says:

    Funny, I feel the same way. Never got to a 6, but got to a 10 and then it changed. To get lower and stay lower was too much time … so I just started enjoying it, not driving to the lower score.

    Been a few years with all of the travel, but will want to pick them up again next summer – to enjoy the game, the walk and the fresh air.

    After all, the only competition is yourself and if your inner self wants to have fun and not drive to a goal then .. there is no competition. Just a great view.


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