Learning a new sport at age 75, or any age, is a bit like buying a car. The first decision, of course, is whether you actually need a car. There are buses and now Ubers to give you a range beyond your legs. In a like manner, you may decide in an instant that you don’t need any sport for your old age. And if you did choose a sport to become involved in, you may know instantly that it would not be golf. That is the way I was for most of my life. Instantly, totally, and fervently adverse to golf. I’m glad I avoided it until now, because golf is definitely more suited to old age. (Mark this as “B.O.” – Blogger’s Opinion.)
However, having enjoyed playing sports all my life, and finding myself in old age year 75, I predicted I might soon need a new sport. Back to buying the car. Perhaps the ideal way to buy a car would be to borrow – or more likely rent – one that you are interested in and drive it for a week or so. With golf, I think that is as simple as finding a place to hit a few balls. The driving range is such a place and many, many golf courses have public driving ranges associated with them. Say the cost of a bucket of 30 balls costs you $5. They will usually loan you any kind of club you want to smack those balls. If you are not still an athlete you will miss them all. But probably you will connect with a few of them, even the first time out.
Now if you don’t get some satisfaction in hitting a few of the balls squarely (and you will probably miss or miss-hit a LOT of them this first go), then golf may not be interesting. However, if you crack one, just once, and it travels high and away from you over the green in front of you, arcing against the sky, you may like the feeling. This contact is the prime feeling in golf, and beyond all the many other reasons for “buying” into this new sport. It’s a brand-new thrill! And those of us age 75 do often wonder if there are many truly new thrills left.
I’ve already mentioned another experience to guide you to golf: the miniature golf course. These exist of course in amusement parks but also in the back lots of gas stations. Some have loop-the-loops and others have swinging bridges to putt across, but it is all putting. It is all putting the little ball the last few feet until it drops into a hole. Putting is the next prime feeling in golf, tapping the ball into the hole. If you never are able to drop the ball in the hole when you try, you may not be interested in golf. But when a long one drops in, even at a dinky miniature golf course on the side of gas station at some state highway, you feel like you’ve done something. You feel like a real golfer.
If you enjoy smacking a ball from the ground to the skies, or watching for seconds as your long crazy putt meanders into the hole, (or both), those are the best reasons for you to consider golf as your next sport. Playing with family or friends is a distant second. Playing for business or community contacts is a very remote third reason. But smacking and putting are pure play, kids play. Fun play.
Good or bad, everyone has their reasons. Whatever your reason, in some of the next posts I’ll relate some steps toward actually playing the game at age 75. Some ways are cheap, some pragmatic, and of course some elegant and expensive. Golf, especially in America, has many sides and reasons catering to the 40 million people who say they are golfers. At 75, you are in the prime situation to experience golf in any way that suits you.
Copyright 2019 — David Hon