Golf - A Game of Many Levels

By: Jerry Newham

Being involved in golf for some 40 years now both playing and teaching at my Sussex Golf Academy, I have seen many great players come and go. Some continue to be succesful well into their senior playing careers, some move into other areas of golf such as course designers and architechts. Many come out of the pressures of tournaments and move into teaching golf, some even start commentating on TV, the most famous being Peter Allis, who has been and still is good in all the above. However, being a great player doesn't always mean you'll make a great teacher and vice versa. Michael Schumacker, for example is certainly a great formula 1 driver, but ask him to take an engine to pieces and he would probably agree it is best left to those that understand the mechanics.

Golf is perhaps the only sport where you can play at a professional level and compete throughout your whole life.

Winning can be achieved from your early teens right through your twenties, thirties, forties and beyond. It is also one of the very few sports where amateurs can play on the same courses as their heroes, literally walk in the footsteps of the greats and recreate the atmosphere to inspire that great shot that compares to the one they saw on TV. There is of course a subtle difference between playing a shot in front of you friends and playing one in front of 10,000 spectators, a few television cameras and ?250,000 at stake.

There is no doubt that those that are naturally talented at this game will tend to suceed more readily and not be deterred by the competitive edge needed but if you apply yourself and have faith in your ability and have the aptitude to work hard, a career in golf is certainly possible ... and what a wondeful way to live your life that would be.

The greatest pleasure I have found in teaching golf is to pass on ones experience to others and see them flourish and perhaps succeed where you decided to stop. I believe the essence of playing golf is to enjoy the challenge at whatever level, keep the fun element of playing as your main core. Whether you make it as a pro or just a good amateur your involvement in the game can be just as intense as one who makes it a living from it.

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