The Search for Silence

Stop reading this and get to a golf course.  Wait.  Read it quickly and then get to a golf course.

As 21st century Americans, we are constantly bombarded with emails, texts, Facebook, TV, billboards…the list is endless.  And within each of these media, more specifically we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements.  We’ve made public our phone numbers, email addresses, and Facebook privacy settings, as we sign up for “special” offers that will best fit our interests.  Right now you’re likely reading this because at some point you gave Fox Hollow Golf Club your email address.  Sorry.

Lucky for you, this isn’t an advertisement, and even luckier for you, Fox Hollow has a remedy for the constant barrage of ads and noise and not-so-special offers that melt our brains every day.  Fox Hollow offers silence.  Quiet solitude is fast becoming the rarest of commodities.  Not counting sleep, when was the last time you were completely disconnected from your devices, from the multitude of modern media, and from the crushing weight of constant consumerism?

Two swans just flew over the 18th hole.  Seriously.  As I was typing this.  No ads connected to their feet.  The majestic swan break is over.  Now back to the way we trade our recreation dollars for even more media, ads and noise.

We spend $10 to sit in a dark theater for 90 minutes being blasted by surround sound.  We spend $20 to go bowling for a couple hours in a loud alley that hasn’t seen daylight…ever.  We spend $30 to have some drinks with friends amidst more TVs, advertisements and noise than the bowling alley and movie theater combined.  We pay hundreds of dollars to attend professional sporting events where they purposefully pump in fake noise because louder is better, right?  And the dasher boards and scoreboards and jumbotrons are flashing non-stop with lights and more ads.

Or as golfers, we can spend $40 to spend four hours walking outdoors in a quiet, peaceful setting, far removed from devices, from advertisements, and from noise.

But we’re not here today to only talk about dollar values.  We’re here to talk about the value of silence in our modern lives.  For several years, since smart phones and iPads started to rule the world, we’ve been telling our kids and ourselves that we need to disconnect from screen time.

But we need more than a lack of screen time.

We need quiet time.

If you want information on the topic, just type in a quick search for “humans need silence” and you’ll be reading psychology and mental health articles for days.  So don’t do that.  I did it for you.  All the articles have ads along the sides of your screen and links to buy the psychologist’s latest book.  Just know that you need quiet time to be at your best every day.  You need to search out places that will give you the silence your brain needs.  Which brings us back to the plea at the top of this post.  Stop reading this and get to a golf course.  Right after the next paragraph.

Get to the golf course, preferably early or late in the day, and don’t invite the guy in your foursome who likes to talk a lot.  Hit that first tee shot of your round, sling your golf bag on your back, and start to listen…to nothing.  Find the rhythm of your irons clinking together in your bag as you walk.  There are still birds in the world and they still chirp and whistle and it’s still a beautiful sound to hear.  The Crow River at Fox Hollow barely makes a sound as it flows past the golf course, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear it.  The bridge on #3 makes a deafening sound when you’re the first one to walk across on a cold morning or last one to leave on a hot summer night.  And if you’ve left your phone in the car, you won’t see a single screen or advertisement for your entire 4-hour tour.  As you’re walking off the 18th hole, your senses will be sharp, your brain will be in a state of calm focus, and that’s a perfect time to grab your phone from your car, call the golf shop and make your next tee time.