There are so many feelings you experience during a round of golf, nay even a single hole. Elation to despair and back again takes but a few swings of the club, a bounce here or there or a few rotations of the ball.
Fear undoubtedly exists in golf, for example when you stare across a pond that suddenly looks wider than Loch Ness and is home to ball guzzling monsters. Or there’s that slightly sick feeling you experience on the first tee when half the club membership appears from nowhere to watch you drive off. Then there is the frustration of a wayward iron, plugged ball or missed putt. But the majority of golf’s feeling are in fact great.
Let’s start with that comforting tacky feeling as your hands wrap around the grip on a warm summer’s day.
There’s the satisfying feeling as the ball flies off the club-face into the sky and heads straight down the middle of the fairway.
Few things compare with the exquisite thrill of solid, crisp iron shot as the club slices through the turf after impact and propels a perfect divot in the same direction as the ball.
And there’s the joyous delight as a gentle splash of sand fans into the air after a perfect trap shot.
How about the feel of nipping a chip shot off the turf accompanied by the click as the ball spins off the clubface just like a tour pro?
Few things compare with the pleasure of a perfectly struck putt that races across the triple-tiered green on 18 before eventually falling into the cup to secure an ecstatic win over your buddies.
Or how about the weary but self-satisfied feeling of having walked 36 holes combined with the prospect of a comfortable chair and a well-deserved beer after the round?
And then there’s slaking the thirst with that first gulp of beer as it glides down the back of your throat to bring much-needed relief to your entire body.
Few things can top the undeniable smugness of seeing your ball bounce past your buddies’ as you outdrive them yet again.
Finally, there’s the pure satisfaction of gazing down at a card that confirms you’ve just shot the best round of your year/life.
Of course, other sports generate emotions but none surely offers the variety and intensity of those that go with golf. It’s this total involvement mentally and physically that contributes so much to the greatness of the game.