golf heaven

I was trying to talk my brother into going to an Ayurvedic health spa and told him that the experience was Heavenly.

He replied, “When I have vacation time, I prefer to play golf, as that’s Heaven for me.”

I remember a friend who was going down to the Bahamas to play golf, and he said, “The golf course there was the closest thing to Heaven.”

Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers in the sport’s history, apparently has the following quote inscribed on a pillow in his home, “If they don’t have golf in heaven, I am not going.”

My sister, an avid golfer, said that golf is the one sport that wherever you go, you will be someplace beautiful.

I’m glad some people have ecstatic spiritual experiences of heaven on the golf course. I agree that golf courses are usually beautiful. All the green space is cooling and comforting.

But the game of golf—heaven?

I have often wondered what it is about hitting a ball into a hole that inspires divine passion.

I’ll admit I’m a beginner at golf and therefore need lots of practice. Any sport, especially when you are learning, has its trials. Once you have somewhat mastered a sport and become good enough to be invited to play games with other people, it usually becomes relatively enjoyable—but heaven?

Trying to get a ball out of a sand trap, or hitting a shot into the water, or missing the ball altogether can make you want to throw your club and tear your hair out. That’s definitely not heaven! You can have a few good holes, then hit a bad shot and the rest of your game goes downhill, or pardon the expression, “to hell”!

I have far to go in my golf game to hit Heaven, but I have my Zen moments out on the course. I do get a blissful rush on the rare occasion when I hit a good shot. There are the rare times when calm overtakes me and my swing becomes automatic and effortless. Athletes call this experience ‘being in the zone’.

Playing golf when the sun is sinking and the evening light fills the golf course with golden greens may be a holy experience. The celestial sound of birds singing and the soft wind touching my face soothes my soul.

Okay, I confess, hitting a golf ball in a beautiful setting sounds more and more like a divine experience. Is it the beauty of being out in nature, or the actual game of golf, or both, that brings on these transcendent moments?

Whatever it is, it seems that we swing, no pun intended, between heaven and hell on the golf course, but as long as we occasionally swing toward heaven, then golf is worth the trials of the game.