Swinging Away

By Lou Earle – March 1, 2014

When I was a kid, we played outside. Sprinting across the yard, sneaking silently in the shadows at hide-and-go-seek, chasing fireflies, climbing trees—whatever involved running, jumping, and generally destroying our bodies and clothes was how we spent almost every waking moment.

As I got older, pick-up games of ice hockey and baseball were replaced by organized sports at school. Gym class was mandatory. During school hours, gymnastics (tumbling, as they called it then) was my workout of choice, and after school, I opted for soccer, a great sport that I played right into college. There was also a rather pathetic (though memorable) season of track and field in the high jump and pole vault. Usually, the pole and I went through, not over, the bar at the same time.
As a young adult with a career and a family, athletics became more difficult to figure out. Aside from a neighborhood bowling league (which was more about the beer), I found that tennis and golf best fit my business calendar and networking requirements. Unfortunately, lessons for these sports were beyond my budget so, with great enthusiasm, I launched an intrepid do-it-yourself approach to learning. I can assure you that there is little that is intuitive about the proper execution of either of these sports. But practice makes perfect, and I became proficient enough to avoid total embarrassment.

I discovered that golf and tennis were wonderful sports for all ages; golf in particular provided a unique package—an active experience in a collegial environment with a touch of nature’s beauty. As my children grew, I committed to spare them my struggle by gently encouraging them to try it, get good instruction, and thus enjoy golf for the rest of their lives. Incredibly, they have done just that and would tell you that, for once, I got it right.

So it is with great pleasure that the AFM team brings you our first golf issue.  Some might question the athleticism of a round of golf, but try trekking up and down 5–6 miles of hills and valleys for 4–5 hours; pulling and lugging a 30-pound golf bag loaded with every accouterment imaginable from tee to green; swinging 14 different clubs hundreds of times while impacting dirt, rocks, and maybe even the ball; and swiveling one’s aching torso on every shot while simultaneously focusing on two dozen “swing thoughts” that, more often than not, end with an unacceptable result. What a gas! But just one good shot brings you back. Golf is a wonderful and addictive sport and a great way to relax, get active outside in the fresh air, and spend time with friends.

Austin is blessed to have two of golf’s greatest icons living among us: Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. These two Longhorns, golf team members, and World of Golf Hall of Famers have not only graced courses for decades with their extraordinary tournament performances, but have left their mark on the design of “tracks” that many weekend golf warriors enjoy, rain or shine, from coast to coast. Kite’s and Crenshaw’s stories span the sport and generations, and we offer our sincere thanks for the opportunity to tell their stories—and I know you’ll be inspired to hit the links as a result.

Keep Austin Fit,

Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO



Related Articles