With a white blanket of snow on the ground and temperatures better suited to ice fishing than golf, this is a time made for thinking about golf rather than actual playing.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Thinking about golf.

One of the things that has always drawn me (and I’ll bet a lot of other golfers) to the sport is the competition. Competition with other players and competition with oneself. But, recently, I have come to realize that another draw (and maybe even a larger one) is the cerebral aspect of golf. Yes, golf as the thinking man’s game.

Every sport has aspects of mental acuity. These can range from pre-event strategy to in-sport adjustments. In sports that are more physical in nature, many of the adjustments are instinctive or reactive and often spontaneous in nature.   Golf, on the other hand and like other static sports, offers the same opportunities for adaptation during a round, but, with a fairly ample amount of time to think about what we are going to do. All of our actions and reactions require on the spot analysis before we hit the shot.

In golf, it is almost impossible to just walk up and hit a shot. From the setup to the actual swing, we are constantly thinking. It may be about our pre-shot routine or a club selection or the potential hazards that lie in front of us or a myriad of other options, but, our minds are always at work.

There is the old expression in golf, ‘paralysis by analysis’ which really sums up the amount of thinking that is required in the game. Whether we realize it or not, golf demands that we are constantly analyzing our situation. It would be impossible to play golf with any degree of success if this were not true.

Yes, all of the thinking and planning and strategies can seem overwhelming at times, but, personally, I would not have it any other way.