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Dan Sollom | My name is Dan, and I’m a golfaholic

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By definition, the term translates to something like ...”a disease that afflicts those who play too much golf and ignore the other areas of their lives intended to give meaning, fulfillment and purpose.” Yup, that’s me.

Well, I’m actually a functioning golfaholic — meaning I don’t totally ignore those other important areas, I just temporarily put them aside for those four hours while navigating the fairways and greens on those lush courses that beg me daily to swing away and attempt to sidestep double- and triple-bogies.

I’m coming forward with my affliction so that maybe I can help others recognize the fact that they, too, may be infected with the malady that both frustrates and rewards the soul and helps find the acceptance that will give them permission to say, “I’m OK, it’s just a silly game.”

For me, it happened later in life, well into my 50s; maybe because I had more time and a few more dollars in my pocket to play the game with more frequency, or maybe because I finally understood that this game was never meant to be totally mastered, but rather enjoyed with friends that had the same ‘problem.’

Sure, it’s a competitive sport, but that’s just the side game. The real game is played within those three inches between your ears. Am I right about that? For instance, when you make that first birdie of the day, why is it that the very next hole is a blow-up — a double- or triple-bogey, or worse? Some call this the birdie curse, or even more colorful names not suitable for print. It’s not a physical problem, it’s all between your ears. Why is that? That’s golf, I guess. And that’s what golfaholics spend way too much time thinking about.

So right about now you’re asking yourself, “Am I a golfaholic, too?” I’ve asked my Facebook friends to fill in this blank: “You might be a golfaholic if...” and here are a few of their responses:

  • “If you’ve ever broken light fixtures in your home while swinging a golf club.”
  • “If your carpet has visible trails from putting practice.”
  • “You play more than 100 rounds a year and go through a dozen golf gloves.”
  • “You spend more on golf equipment than your monthly mortgage.”
  • “If you have four or more pair of golf shoes.”
  • “You drive two hours each way just to play that special course your buddies told you about.”
  • “You tee it up 15 minutes before sunrise five days a week in the summer.” (You guys know who I’m talking about.)

So here is the bottom line for me — I have accepted my affliction and vow on a weekly basis not to let it run or ruin my life. I know it’s really about the people I choose to be with and the new friendships made along the way.

For some, golf is just a good walk spoiled, but for me, it’s about finding ways to ignore the birdie curse and simply follow up with a par or better. Yup, my name is Dan, and I’m a golfaholic.

See you on the first tee...