Golf


The home of golf is Scotland with anyone addicted to the game hoping one day to be able to play on the Old St Andrew’s course. As notorious as it is, the regular local can play there. 

A form of golf was played long before, some saying a version in the Netherlands many, many years before, but as far as the modern day version goes, Scotland seems to be recoznised as the home of golf. 

St Andrew’s is a links course, being close to the sea where farming was difficult if not impossible. That piece of land became St Andrew’s, the bunkers where there was a natural hole. Here you played 9 holes out & returned for the next 9. There is a lot of interesting history about that. Some bunkers are so deep I think my club would break before I ever got out of it. 

When you think about the beautiful courses you either play or see on TV, the links courses are basically free of trees. The terrain is difficult and deceiving. 

Golf can be the most frustrating game imaginable. One day you play so well and think you have finally figured it out only to find yourself playing your worst game the next day.

Whether you play, watch on TV or enjoy being a spectator, golf is a super great game to challenge yourself.

I realize a lot of people would not agree with me but I really think that is because you do not fully understand the game. For the uninitiated, it just appears that someone uses a golf club and hits a ball until it finally drops into the cup but there is so very much more than that.

Personally I love playing the game. For one thing, anyone can play in their neighborhood or a local course. Those who prefer can join a private club, but either way, that does not make you a great golfer.

You can purchase inexpensive equipment or spend a fortune but that will not help you either.

For the average weekend golfer who plays regularly then you will find your average score and be delighted when you score way below.

What matters is you are outside, getting exercise, walking for a few hours, playing with friends and forgetting any stresses at work or elsewhere. Win, win situation. It is also a super fun way for the family when the kids are at least 8 years old and introduce them the game. When they grow up, they may find that so many business deals can be done out on the course. 

For a professional golfer who is one of the few that excel at the game, they too, suffer the highs and lows of day to day play.

Tournament play lasts 4 days so you need to really be consistent to get the win. After two days there is a cut with those not making the top 70 going home, no pay check.

They need to have a team around them, a coach, trainer, caddie, perhaps a sports psychologist etc. Injuries occur, not from physical contact as a team sport but having your body move in ways that are just not normal hour after hour. Eventually it catches up with you.

Everyday is like playing on a different course as conditions change in weather, wind direction, rain, tee off positions and holes moved. Those playing in the morning very often face a very different course to those teeing off in the afternoon.
Quite often the hole they are playing on is not even visible from the tee off box.

After the 4 day tournament when a player starts to feel more comfortable with that course it is time to head off for the next weeks event. Another week away from family unless somehow it is possible for them to attend occasionally. 

Other sports are played usually on a field, rink, oval, that is a basic size, with conditions not coming into play. For those who do play an outdoor sport, if weather challenges you, at least the size of the field remains the same.

If you have never played, been interested in or caught a bit on TV, take time out to realize how difficult a seemingly simple game can be. You may be surprised how difficult, challenging and great it is.

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Heroes

 

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It was truly sad to see Tiger Woods arrested, not able to walk a straight line.
At only 41, he is one of the best ever to play golf. He has changed the game for all who play today. Players who used to just play, now work out, train for hours, equipment has improved so much and the money for winning is beyond imagination. Most professional golfers will thank Tiger for their own successes.

For the average person we all try our best to be THE best at whatever we do. From the time we start school we work at getting the highest marks, beating our friends in subjects & also in the games we play. It seems to be a natural built in desire to win.

Although we strive to always be at the top of our game, we are not all winners at the same level in all things. Thank goodness for that, as what a boring, crowded field it would be.

Some people just have a natural built in talent, whether in sports, academics or arts. As we grow up we find what we enjoy, what we perhaps excel in or even areas we just picture ourselves in as we make career choices. Those with the natural talent are so often in sports. Their coaches notice their excellence & as they reach the higher grades in high school, the talent scouts come to check them out, university’s offering scholarships.

Before you know it, these talented people are the heroes of their teams, recognized for how they lead their teams to victory.

When college is finished the professional teams have searched them out and offered amazing contracts that must make their heads spin. Now the pressure has truly begun, to live up to the expectations of everyone. Teams that have not won in years hang their hopes on them. Along with that, the fans have a new hero. The better you play the sponsors offer deals to wear or use their products. The pressure must be overwhelming at times.

In a team sport there is always someone waiting for their opportunity if you get injured. In a sport where it is an individual sport there is still the pressure of winning enough to keep your tour card.

Injuries are an inevitable part of any game. Along with the injuries, time away recuperating and rehab their toll. How many players suffer an injury, their careers are over or suffer to a point where they no longer compete at the highest level.

Athletes are no different from any of us. Their “job” is excelling at what they do. Some people feel they are way overpaid. If you only look at the dollar amount, then you are missing a huge fact. Most of those hugely successful athletes have established foundations where they help a variety of needs, perhaps for children, a specific health issue, community clubs that have helped them become who they have. Government health programs do not have the needed money. The Tiger Woods Foundation has helped so many kids in their education to pursue their dreams and become amazing young people.

I am sure many people have judged Tiger for his personal life & bad choices. That has nothing to do with his professional life. When you think he has had 3 knee surgeries & 4 back surgeries along with a broken leg, torn Achilles in the past 10 years it is surprising he can even walk.

He has given so much to golf. It has been what he has done since he was a little boy and still he thinks he can get back to playing and winning again. His desire to play and if healthy he could still reach his goal of winning 19 majors.

With all that his doctors have done to help him thru his many surgeries, he must be handling so many emotional concerns about his future. As well as dealing with the criticisms from fans and press. We are all too quick to judge sometimes. Pain killers help deal with the actual hurt/pain but being criticised may hurt even more.

A long time ago a wise person once said, ” Do not judge a person until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” I hope the fans can give him a break and wish him well. Whether he is able to make a comeback, who knows. Golf is so much more enjoyable with Tiger playing.

Stanley Cup History

ice-hockey-goalie-goal-sport-39016-1Sports… whatever your sport, nothing generates as much excitement, loyalty, compassion or rivalry with your friends.

Right now, the NHL hockey playoffs are on. The NHL is the premier league of ice hockey for those who aspire to play in the best league of their sport. For 100 years, this is one of the longest trophies fought for. Called the Stanley Cup, it was donated by the Governor General of Canada (appointed by Queen Victoria) in 1892 for amateur hockey. Believe it or not, it only cost about $50 Canadian dollars. In 1917 the NHL came into being with very few interruptions since. In 1919 it was not held due to the Spanish flu outbreak & 2005 when the players were on strike.

What other trophy has the traditions of the Stanley Cup? The oldest Cup is presented to the players, not the management, every players name is on the Cup, and the players get to take it home with them for a day for whatever they wish to do with it. It has been used as a Baptismal font, a flower pot, has gone swimming, fishing, a lawn ornament & even gone to Afghanistan to visit the troops.

This trophy is the actual trophy, not a replica or yearly creation. Players holding this amazing trophy get to read the names of those who inspired them, and hold the Cup they held years ago.

Over the years the Stanley Cup has experienced some tough times. Once it was kicked into the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, has been left behind in snow banks, landed at the bottom of swimming pools & even stolen. It has a full time carer who travels with the cup now.

This is one of the hardest trophies to win with the playoffs lasting up to a possible 28 games after a season of 82 games played.

So whatever your favorite sport may by, the Stanley Cup holds an amazing amount of history.