Updated: Aug 23
Welcome one and all and welcome to my latest blog. I can't go any further without saying a massive thank you to each and everyone that read my last blog I need My Golf And I Need it Now (if you missed it click here).
As I said at the time and have done so on my social media channels (please check those out on the front page of the site) I was struggling a little bit mentally without the release of golf at the weekend. I work in an Intensive Care Department and I think the last few weeks had crept up on me to the point where it hit me and hit me hard.
I want to make this blog a short one but if you have read any of my blogs here or on the old blog site (you can visit what went before here) you'll know that brevity is not a strength of mine. However I'll give it a go.
Let me start by thanking everybody that read, shared and commented on the blog through so many different sites and platforms. The warmth, messages of support and comments from others going through an equally difficult time was touching and heart-warming and each and every one has gone a long way to helping me move forward.
As the title says, I clearly tapped into a zeitgeist. The number of hits the blog got was amazing and the comments let me know I'm not alone. It is abundantly clear not only from my blog but from a host of studies available on the internet that golf is crucial for good mental wellbeing and also has a host of physical benefits. There are so many golfers struggling under the regime of the current lockdown for whom golf, not just the playing, but the benefits of the sociability of a few hours in the company of friends or family has been a vital part of dealing with the ever shifting landscape Covid-19 has given us over the last year.
If you need any further proof of the blog catching the mood then let me steer you in the direction of one of the biggest golf influencers out there Rick Shiels and one of his latest videos. He has teamed up with Mind (a UK mental health charity) to set up the Walk 18 challenge. Watch the video in full
I have been lucky enough to play golf with Rick and also Peter Finch in a Golf Monthly Forum Golf Day at Camberley Heath Golf Club in Surrey. For those with a strong golfing stomach, Peter Finch filmed it for his youtube channel (click here to watch). Spending time in their company was a joy and both are great players and excellent company. To see Rick Shiels also tap into the moment and how we are all feeling makes me so happy on a personal basis. My blog was written straight onto the screen and from the heart which is why I think it connected with so many people and to also see someone as influential as Rick Shiels also discussing the subject is so important to getting the message onto a wider platform.
One of twitter sites that were so helpful over the weekend, especially in giving the original blog a wider platform was @TheClub (check their twitter feed) and they produced their own video about golfing with your mates which resonated with me. Check it out below.
There are a host of sites and videos out there discussing the subject. My blog was just a small ripple on a vast pond but having said that enough of you commented (and thanks again to each and every one of you that took the time to do so) to tell me a lot of people are in the same boat. I am not out of the woods in my own little journey into Covid induced dark times, but by the same token I was lucky enough not to have wandered too far that shadowy path.
Mental health, especially amongst men has had a certain stigma and like a lot of subjects is not one we are very good at talking about. As I learned over the weekend there are some out there in a worse position than me. I am simply going to put a link here and if you are struggling and don't have anyone to talk to or want to talk it over in privacy and confidence then click it and it may take you to someone that can help.
I talked about brevity at the start of this blog and I know I've gone on for longer than I should have but again, I've typed from the heart and hopefully managed to get across just what a difference some warmth and good wishes from hundreds of people I'll never get to play with has made. I hope also this blog has given you some interesting things to watch.
I've talked about the zeitgeist and so I am planning to do some more blogs on the subject of golf and mental health, certainly while we're in lockdown, and I'm going to try and find some resources or techniques for improving out mental health while we're without golf which I hope may help some out there. When I sat down at the weekend to try and put the thoughts in my mind into words I hoped the blog would be well received but I'm blown away.
I am a simple soul, and merely share my passion for golf in words with the hope that it gives people a good read. I am a golfaholic, and so lockdown has been hard. I had no idea so many were going through a similar angst. I'll leave you with a heart felt thank you and hope that this and especially the original blog has allowed a conversation to be started within the golfing community. Stay safe, stay sane and hopefully we'll be golfing again soon