Camelback Mountain’s Echo Trail vs. Golf

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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Over the 15 years I’ve lived in the valley, I’ve probably logged more than a 1000 trips up Camelback Mountain’s Echo Trail. No distractions, no music, just one boulder after the other, a way to engage the conscious mind and let your subconscious work on whatever it chooses. During my climbs, I’m amazed how many similarities there are between that trail and golf, here’s three of my favorites.

Progress Takes Time and Effort
The mountain for me at first was about hiking the whole trail without stopping, even though I was going slow. Maybe for you this is playing an entire round of golf by the rules and keeping score. From this baseline in both hiking and golf, improve each trip. One second off your time up the hill. One fewer bogey or one more par than the last time you played. I’m always amazed how similar these two pursuits are. You against the hill. You against the course.

Have A Plan For Getting Better
After work, stop by the local course and hit putts for 20 minutes, or on the mountain you up your pace the last 50 feet to improve that one second from the last trip. Having some structure allows your mind to focus on what matters, the next shot on the golf course or the next step on the mountain. Make a plan and stick to it.

Every Day Is Different
The rocks and the steps are very similar, but never the same. Each trip up the hill is slightly different and offers different challenges. The golf course is the same, many things change every time you go out. The tee markers, pin locations, mowing patterns, weather, etc. Similar, yet always different. This similarity makes measuring improvement easy yet never boring, always making you think, adapt, decide, and execute. You will make mistakes in both endeavors and you should look at these mistakes as opportunities to learn.

You can be very good at hiking and golf but never have a perfect day, you’ll always think of an opportunity you could have been a bit better, a bit faster, made that 4 footer on the last hole. I’ve learned so much from the mountain and the golf course, try them out, I think you’ll enjoy the challenge.