Should golfers implement music into their routine?

Photo illustration by Erik Luna

There seems to be a direct correlation between music and sports. If you go to any large sporting event, you will always be surrounded by music.

Baseball players have walk-up music that plays as they approach their at bat. Basketball arenas blast music during timeouts, and sometimes even during portions of the game.

Football games are the same way.

Golf, however, is not that way. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear music blasting from somebody’s cart or golf bag. But, you will never hear music being played through speakers associated with the golf course. What you will see, though, is a growing number of players practicing while listening to music through ear buds.

Personally, I like the idea of incorporating music into your practice regime. Sometimes it can help a player stay focused, while other times it can just keep you from becoming bored. But, what does the music you choose say about you?

I love going to baseball games and listening to the walk-up music for each of the players. It’s all so different, and it allows us to perhaps gain a little insight to the personality of the player we are watching. There is certainly a story behind the chosen song, and I am fascinated to find out those stories! It makes me wonder what my walk up music would be.

The greatest memory I have that associates a particular song to my golf dates all the way back to my sophomore year of college. I was perhaps playing the best golf of my life at the time. I was settled into college golf and had cemented myself as one of the top players on my team. My favorite album at the time was “Ten,” by the band Pearl Jam.

The third song on the album was “Alive,” and I loved it immediately. I began listening to the album while practicing on my own, and it actually made me enjoy practicing a bit more.

During this time, I traveled with our team to a tournament hosted by the University of Arizona. I played some very solid golf the first day, and found myself tied for the lead with some lefty from Arizona State named Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson had just recently won the Tucson Open as an amateur, and I was now paired with him for the final round of the tournament.

This was a moment I would typically have been nervous about, but I remember remaining calm throughout the entire round. The reason? I was playing “Alive” in my head from the moment I struck my first tee shot. Sure, Mickelson and I enjoyed some conversation between his signing autographs throughout the day, but the music in my head kept me calm.

We both shot 71 that final round and, eventually both lost in a three way playoff with another player. That day taught me to appreciate the correlation between music and sports.

What would your song of choice be?

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