What kind of sport is golf? Individual or team?


We often think of golf as an individual sport. I would certainly agree with that assessment. In fact, golf may be the ultimate individual sport.

However, regardless of the individual nature of the game, your most cherished times may be those spent with teammates.

I recently returned from a tournament with my women’s golf team from California State University, Los Angeles.

My team is young and inexperienced. In fact, three of my five players on the trip were freshmen playing in their first college tournament.

The nerves and anxiety were evident even before we departed on our road trip to northern California. I had two options for travel with my team.

We could shorten the travel time by flying, or we could squeeze into the school van and take the road trip. Based on the age of my team, the road trip was the obvious choice.

These young ladies needed time to get to know their teammates, and what better way than a 6-hour road trip? By the time we arrived at the tournament site, my team was laughing with one another, and the camaraderie was evident.

They had bonded. Suddenly, the nerves that were shown a few days earlier had quieted significantly. The new sense of calm led to our team having their best tournament showing in our young existence as a team.

From this point on, I am certain that practices will become more focused, and the young ladies will have fun playing for our team and representing one another. Some of you may have experienced similar situations.

Whether you participate in Team Play at your course, or perhaps you played back on a high school team, you can appreciate the importance of having the support of teammates while you are out playing a round of golf.

It’s easy to feel like you are stuck on an island when things aren’t going your way on the course. The support of teammates can change that feeling — this even holds true for PGA Professionals.

The PGA Tour is about to wrap up the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, and the individual competition is intense. The world’s best players are all competing for the ultimate payout of $10 million.

The best part, however, is that in just a few weeks many of these same players will become teammates in the Ryder Cup. There will be less money at stake, but far more nerves than they typically feel.

I can’t wait to watch, and it will be fun to see these guys pulling for one another as teammates. Golf will continue to be considered an individual sport — because it is. However, the chance to join a team and learn to compete for one another is one of the greatest rewards this game has to offer.

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