What Does Meditation Have To Do With Golf? Everything. ~ Lori Wald Compton

Via elephant journal
on Sep 13, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

Days One Hundred Eighty Seven To One Hundred Ninety.

I play golf at a country club in Cleveland, Ohio and when I play, I almost always walk. At my country club, if you walk, you’re using a caddie and ever since I began playing the game about fifteen years ago, Carlton has been my caddie. Carlton knows my game of golf and when someone knows your game, they know a lot about you.

There are two things you need to know about Carlton. One, he’s drunk a pint of Mad Dog 20/20 every day for the last forty-five years. Two, he ain’t ever had a cold.

Photo: h.koppdelaney

We’ve walked a lot of miles together, Carlton and I, and we talk mostly about my golf game, which is and always has been in a state of disrepair. Mostly I feel bad about this because it is a disappointment for Carlton. He believes in me and in my game. His advice is usually, “Keep your head down. Let me watch your ball.” He also keeps track of the consistencies in my game: how long I hit a full sand wedge (60 yards); my favorite shot (from behind the trees, under the branches, over the bunker—this is all in one shot); the pause at the top of my swing (he doesn’t like when it gets too long).

But lately, Carlton encourages me to keep up with my meditation. That’s because this year, since I’ve had a daily meditation practice, he has noticed a change in my game. We laugh about the mind chatter in my head and agree that the meditation practice has softened the old loop of negative thoughts. If you play golf, you’re probably familiar with how it goes: You can’t make that shot. You never hit this club well. A two foot putt? You always miss those! The game is difficult enough when I’m surrounded by the serenity of the golf course and the encouragement of Carlton. It’s impossible with negative energy swirling around in my head. That negativity flows pretty quickly into my swing.

The game demands respect, both for the game and for the player. Honor the game. Honor yourself. Honor the hope that one day I’ll play a game that makes Carlton proud.

Lori Wald Compton started a daily meditation practice in February of 2012. She blogs about her journey at slowbreathsoftheart.com.




Editor: Malin Bergman

Like elephant Spirituality & elephant Meditation on Facebook.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]


20 Responses to “What Does Meditation Have To Do With Golf? Everything. ~ Lori Wald Compton”

  1. DEW says:

    Fun article and thought-provoking. The moral the story might be that one might never have too much golf or meditation.

  2. Lisa says:

    I really enjoyed this article. Golf, meditation and an interesting relationship. It has it all!

  3. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Agreed. And here's hoping that I might get old enough that one day I can shoot my age. Or that my score improves drastically!

  4. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Thanks, Lisa.

  5. Judith Mansour says:

    Golf and meditation, who would have thought… loved the article.

  6. Lee Hart says:

    Golf – a meditation walk. Yes it is. I play only miniature golf, every hole a par 2, and the game is mostly about those 2 foot putts (is that the correct language?) I can easily turn par twos into par sixes as the ball swirls in and out the hole over and over. Daughter Jane, a real golfer, laughs and says when you get to eight we'll move on. I did once and we did. After the game we hug and laugh and say wasn't that fun, then later we report that mom played a 75 on 18 holes. WOW!
    Meditation is just like that: in and out, in and out, in and out – light touches of awareness, nothing grand, cheerfulness bubbling up, joy in the making. Thanks, Lori! I love your blog!

  7. Olivia says:

    How about golf—meditation—writing? I know first-hand that you are a gifted writer, I only know about your golf as described in your post, and I do know you have palpable passion for both. Perhaps your game would be well-served if you start the day with a great cup of coffee, then sit down to write until a gem emerges, follow that with meditation……then get on the golf course as fast as possible. What if you take your now mellow and inspired self to the first tee and allowed that self to guide your game? Success, perhaps, could emerge from a worthy and fresh approach. Worth a try!

  8. Emmy says:

    Maybe Carlton should be the golf pro instead of the caddie.

  9. Marty says:

    A great article.

  10. Bruce Corson says:

    Nice article. My experience, paralleling yours, involves martial arts. First off, I hate golf. Despise the game. Used to be able to play while I was working, with customers, and still thought it would be more fun to write reports than golf. However, when I did still occasionally golf, I found one thing that improved my game immensely. Well, I still had to pick up after ten strokes, but I was a lot closer to the pin at that point. Here's what I did: achieved a black belt in a martial art, which taught me to relax. You can't break concrete with your hands without totally relaxing. Loose, relaxed muscles and joints, which flow from a loose, relaxed meditative mind, made some of my shots just fly. When the shot happened to fly in the right direction, my score was a lot better. Cheers!

  11. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Meditation and EVERYTHING.

  12. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Light touches of awareness, indeed. The easier the swing, the better the ball.

  13. Lori Wald Compton says:

    I will try. Let you know!

  14. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Ha! Then who would I walk the course with? Still, I'll tell him your suggestion.

  15. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Thanks, Marty.

  16. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Bruce, you may hate the game (and I don't blame you!), but you have a lot of passion about the silly sport. Congratulations on achieving a black belt. I often feel like breaking concrete when I miss those two foot putts. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Simone Jowell says:

    Love your writing Lori – and this piece inspires me as I drag myself out of bed for my meditation practice.

  18. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Thanks, Simone. Hope the effects of your practice last long.

  19. Sharon Lebovitz says:

    I love this Lori! And I can totally relate -especially since I'm usually walking the course with you! I think I need to start meditating too…….

  20. Lori Wald Compton says:

    Okay. Let's do it!