‘If you build it, he will come’

The Signal - - SCV VETERANS - By Hans Ker­st­ing Pro­fes­sional Golfer

I love sports movies. In par­tic­u­lar, I love base­ball movies.

Whether you’re talk­ing about Bull Durham, The Nat­u­ral, Ma­jor League, or even The Sand­lot, base­ball movies seem to res­onate more than other sports movies.

My fa­vorite base­ball movie hap­pens to be Field of Dreams.

It is a story about a corn­field in Iowa that be­comes a base­ball sanc­tu­ary for play­ers of the past. It is awe­some, and I highly rec­om­mend watch­ing it if you haven’t al­ready.

I am able to re­late to Field of Dreams, be­cause I was for­tu­nate enough to prac­tice on my own ver­sion of this “field” while grow­ing up in South­ern New Mex­ico. One of my ear­li­est men­tors in golf was a for­mer col­lege golfer turned chili farmer.

His house was sur­rounded by acres of chili crops, which had a sim­i­lar look to those corn­fields in Iowa.

One sum­mer, my friend de­cided to in­stall a small prac­tice area for golf inside of these crops.

The re­sult was three sep­a­rate chip­ping greens, with a max­i­mum dis­tance of 100 yards be­tween two of these greens. It was awe­some. Soon, I was spend­ing as much time at this house as I was at the ac­tual golf course. I loved ev­ery­thing about it. It was pri­vate, it was fun, and it smelled amaz­ing from the crops that were sur­round­ing the area.

My rou­tine was pretty sound, as I would ar­rive with some cool re­fresh­ments for the day, and even­tu­ally kick off my shoes be­fore prac­tic­ing wedge shots for hours at a time.

I en­joyed prac­tic­ing in my bare feet. The grass felt cool, and I learned that this was a great tech­nique for learn­ing bal­ance in the golf swing.

Not to men­tion that I wasn’t al­lowed to play in my bare feet on an ac­tual golf course, so this made it feel even more spe­cial.

I am con­vinced that the prac­tice time I spent within those chili fields had a re­sound­ing ef­fect on my over­all suc­cess as a ju­nior golfer. It was an ex­pe­ri­ence that only I was able to have, and that gave me plenty of con­fi­dence know­ing that I had this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity.

I still find my­self re­liv­ing some of the me­mories I ex­pe­ri­enced while prac­tic­ing on my field of dreams.

Back then, golf was still a game, and I couldn’t imag­ine spend­ing my time do­ing any­thing more fun. It was my pas­sion, and this ex­pe­ri­ence added so much to that.

Dur­ing those times when golf seems less fun than it used to be, it is im­por­tant to look back at those times grow­ing up when it was the most fun ex­pe­ri­ence in my life.

There is a say­ing in the movie Field of Dreams that says, “If you build it, he will come.” Well, my friend built my golf field of dreams, and I wish I could go back one more time.

I still find my­self re­liv­ing some of the me­mories I ex­pe­ri­enced while prac­tic­ing on my field of dreams.

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