The poplar tree stands there alone in the midst of the eighteenth hole and invites golfers to hit it if that’s possible. Underneath it sits a wide bunker and lies a taunting moat on its right. This conifer is in straight alignment with the pin. Either we go over it or target away. The stroke index of this hole is only sixteen but this tree hides the pin and green completely. It seems that the designer of the PAF Skyview golf course was in love with trees so he tried not to remove the few trees that existed there. He, on the other hand, was determined to test golfers’ patience with these gifts of nature. In the middle of the last fairway, to test the nerves of trudging golfers, he mischievously built these obstacles. Most of us are exhausted and fatigued by the time we reach up to this point. We fail miserably to meet that target. Young and veteran golfers sometimes fly their balls over it. Most of the golfers avoid playing through this trica of hurdles and aim on the left side of that combination of obstacles. I, however, foolishly am the one who keeps trying to hit over that junction of evil to no avail so far. It is beyond my driving range.
“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
An easy goer can’t break the status quo. No matter which ditch I land in, I will continue the hard paths. The events of the story of my life are evidence of my tough choices.
At this stage of the game, our minds are already divided; our duty demands to finish the game and our heart desires to carry on. The idea of leaving an ambiance like the golf course to go and sit in an office capsule is daunting. But a man’s gotta do what a man’s got to do.
Beginning a journey is the hardest part of it. It’s not easy to start something. It takes enormous effort to get up and take off. The round of golf is no different than any other journey. Usually, we get bad at the first shot that is why mulligan exists. Once we disembark the tee box, the other steps get easier, the confidence begins to add up and the beauty of the field also appears to play a role. Golf is a journey of choice and golfers love to take it time and time again.
“What a joy, to travel the way of the heart.”
It’s not this particular eighteenth tee where we see such challenges. It is the way the golf courses are made. The golf course is a collection of eighteen different gardens furnished with various levels of hurdles that are created by drenched ponds, sandpits, turns, difficult topography, rough areas, and tree lines. The level of difficulty of the arena is called the stroke index. The eighteen holes on a course are generally ranked according to how hard they are using the stroke index. Usually, this means that the hardest hole on a course will be index one and the easiest, index 18. But, as with many other things in golf, it is more complicated than that.
It strongly resembles our own life. Our childhood is usually in between index fifteen to eighteen, adolescence is from ten to fourteen, adulthood is five to ten, and old age is one to five, the hardest part.
The design of a golf course is deliberately marked with interferences, hurdles, and obstacles providing players an opportunity to strategize, execute, and implement. Which is called the course management. It takes a lot of practice to comprehend and translate it into reality. That is why we claim that the sport of golf resembles the game of life.
At this point, I will leave you with Mandy Moore “singing to the song of life.”
Have a great day.
By Ahsan Jamil
Golfer, entrepreneur, blogger, author, poet, wanderer