The sanctuary of the driving range is a Cool Golf Thing

Rough day? Nothing a small bucket can't fix.
It's appropriate that golf balls are colloquially called "pills." They can be mental medicine at times.

These are tense times we're living in, and never have regular doses of self-care been more important to fortifying one's own well-being than in the year 2020. Strapping on boxing gloves and taking out some tension on a punching bag works for some. Lifting weights salves that scar for others. For me, there's the driving range.

I've never been too much of a range rat overall. When it comes to learning to play better golf, I prefer to fine-tune in the live-fire environment of the actual course. But not every golf swing need be made in search of a lower score. Sometimes, the seemingly frivolous act of hitting a golf ball is mental medicine.

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Just a quick bucket at the range.

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A driving range is dearest to me when the goal is less the betterment of the handicap index than the leveling out of the psyche. After all, chopping wood is not always about stocking up for winter. Every component of the golf swing is ideal for the task of distancing oneself, if temporarily, from whatever minor or major headwinds are rustling the sails. The sharpening of my visual focus onto a single dimple, the controlled outburst of backswing-downswing-follow-through and the jolt of impact coalesce into a brief, visceral pulse of reality. At times when I'm confronted by the frustrating intangibility of emotional unease, an inert, inanimate golf ball suddenly becomes a tangible symbol of that anguish. Sending it away with a 6 iron can be deeply therapeutic. Suddenly, a golf swing is much more than an odd physical flourish. It's a ceremony of self-healing.

March 22, 2019
300 words or less, every Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Commented on

Bravo! You condensed volumes into a few short paragraphs. After a day of golf, no matter what the score, the world seems like a nicer place, and I feel more at peace with it. To be surrounded by nature, animals and a clear blue sky behind a palm tree is energizing and relaxing at the same time. Kudos on your comments!

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Commented on

Well said!
Golf is such a great escape .. anytime you're able .. but most especially so this crazy (expletive deleted) year! 👍

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Commented on

Couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Gavrich.. It's funny how the isolation of working from home is so different than the apparent isolation of being on a range. I have also found hitting, chipping or putting golf balls to be very therapeutic. The beauty of the game, I guess. Keep up the great work!

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The sanctuary of the driving range is a Cool Golf Thing