My dad did a wonderful job exposing me to various sports growing up. We would kick a soccer ball around, throw the baseball for hours, get up some basketball shots, smack tennis balls, and hit the golf course. I was also exposed to downhill and cross country skiing for a few years.

This translated well into joining sports teams throughout my schooling years. I was a tri-sport athlete up until high school. I played on the soccer team, the basketball team, and the baseball team mainly. I was also on the cross-country ski team (the hardest athletic thing I’ve ever done) and then did one year of the golf team in the 9th grade.

Sports felt easy and fun, but never really deliberate, outside of baseball. It was baseball that I loved playing and went on to focus on in high school. I was a left-handed pitcher, with a sustainable pitching motion (for arm health), good movement on my fastball (it tailed away from right-handed hitters or jammed left-handed hitters), despite never throwing that hard.

I played throughout high school, but gave it up in college to focus on studies primarily. I just lost the zeal for sports and instead focused on Weightlifting as my primary activity. I stayed like this through all of my 20s, really.

When I turned 30, I did dabble with disc golf, but I never got into it fully. It was OK, but for some reason throwing a frisbee never felt like something I enjoyed or wanting to get better at. It was unfortunate, but I basically gave it up within a few months.

Around the time I turned 32, I moved back to New England to be closer to my parents. My dad would invite me out to play golf, and I would oblige, despite not feeling like I had much golf skill in me from that 9th grade golf team experience. The golf outings were more frustrating than fun, but the bonding with my father was worth it every time.

One week turned into two, which turned into two months of golfing every weekend toward the end of the golf season. My game wasn’t getting better, but I wanted it to be better, and that seemed to trigger a deeper desire to focus on golf in my 30’s.

The great thing about golf is that you can play golf your entire life. It’s also co-ed friendly, makes it easy to meet people on the course, and also is an individual game where you are largely playing against yourself. Similar to weightlifting, I can essentially practice on my own. I love that independence.

It reminded me of something too. When I was about 9 years old, I played in chess tournaments. I remember it clearly. I told my dad that team sports were fine but I wanted to “win something on my own.” At the time, chess was an outlet to do just that. It wasn’t a team sport, it was an individual accomplishment to compete and succeed as a chess player.

I like to think that golf in my 30’s and beyond is my way of indulging the spirit of my 9-year old self again.

My initial goals for the 2024 year in golf are:

  • Break a score of 80 on a par 72 course
  • Get an official handicap under 15
  • Go to a PGA Tour event in person
  • Play on at least 7 courses