In golf there are rules – approved equipment, attire and game regulations. In surfing there is freedom – liberty to choose what board to ride, what to wear, and when and where to surf. These two sports may seem worlds apart, especially considering that one is based on land and the other in water; however, there is a significant connection that many people overlook. Inspiring the search for this connection is Australian surfer and pro golfer, Adam Scott.
Adam Scott was one of only four Aussie professionals who traveled to Augusta National for the 77th U.S. Masters. The country had the lowest representation since 2002, but certainly made the largest Australian impact in the U.S. Masters’ history. Three of the four Australians finished in the top five, with Adam Scott claiming the title as the first Aussie to ever win the Masters. Some people may look back to his Player’s Championship win at the young age of 23 to analyze how he’s improved over the decade, but others are sure to switch their attention from his talent on land to his skill in the water.
It’s no secret that Scott likes to surf; especially after a serious knee injury in 2008 pulled him out of the Australian Open. Yet, even after the injury, he didn’t give up surfing, which could be the key to his recent success. Like in surfing, Adam Scott, 32, proves that age is an irrelevant number in the world of golf. Both surfing and golfing require (and enable) a lifelong commitment. As the years go by, this dedication builds the judgment and perception skills needed to catch the perfect wave or develop the perfect stroke.
Additionally, there is a connection to nature in both surfing and golfing. Both provide an opportunity to escape, whether one prefers an early morning walk through the golf course with dew still on the ground or a paddle through the glassy ocean just as the sun is beginning to rise. In each scene, the athlete is alone with the game and a tranquil world that hardly resembles everyday technologically-immersed society. However, the athletes cannot always relish in the peaceful nature of these sports – they must also contend with nature’s wavering conditions, forcing them to adapt their game. For this reason, many surfers and golfers often make pilgrimages to find their ideal wave or course location. But the most important connection between surfing and golfing is simple: regardless of how many shots or waves one misses, all it takes is one blissful moment when they sink a hole or catch a wave to remind them why they return to the sport day after day.
In his PGA Tour Voices campaign, Scott said, “To me, golf’s a lot like surfing. There’s a peace being out there on your own. You’re competing against yourself and the elements. And then there’s that feeling you get when you finally catch the big one.”