SPORTS HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD
- Nelson Mandela
The Vision for Therapeutic Golf is to help people become the best versions of themselves. Providing people with the tools to better understand their emotions and behaviors for the purpose of preserving their long term Mental Health, stability and well being is our ‘WHY.” It’s a given that people will face challenges and hardships repeatedly throughout their lives. Helping people develop the tools and skills for exercising constructive behaviors for the purpose of navigating obstacles more effectively and with less effort is our goal for every client.
Therapeutic Golf seeks to cultivate a movement by which people intentionally use Golf as a framework to better understand and care for themselves. Our strategy is to help people define methods for exercising specific behaviors more conducive to supporting their long term mental health and well being.
My name is Daniel Ragan. Like many people, I had my share of significant struggles and battles with self destructive behavior. I was 12 years old when I began bucking the system. From 12 to 24 I refused to follow instructions, refused coaching and sought only to live for the moment. I played sports and had lots of friends, but at the same time I was emotionally ignorant and broken. My self destructive party personna was a mask that allowed me to insulate myself from the emotional pain and negative thoughts that flowed freely within my head. I understand now it was just a coping mechanism, or behavior that provided me with temporary relief but never truly addressed the problem.
My relationship with golf began in 1994 when I was 18. Golf was just a social event for my friends and I who wanted to pass the time between work and the “Party Scene.” We played as much golf as we could and at the time; at least a couple times a week or more. I knew I enjoyed the game, but never could I have imagined what the game would do for me on my journey of self discovery.
I was 22 when I experienced my catalyst for change. I had a friend who experienced permanent, life altering trauma that would make him dependent on others forever. As a result, I realized my continued self destructive behavior would likely leave me in a similar position if I didn’t make significant changes. On June 10th of 2000, I began my journey of self discovery. My mission was to develop a better understanding of who I am, what I want, where I’m going, how I’m going to get there and who I want to go there with. I left my friends, my comfort zone, I moved to another state and started college for the 4th time having earned zero credits in any of my 3 previous failed attempts. With me I took my clothes, my car and golf clubs.
For the 1st time in my life, I was truly alone, learning how to enjoy life by myself without the comfort of my peers and self destructive behavior. Golf allowed me to enjoy being by myself; alone with only my thoughts and a desire to better understand them and their relationship with my behaviors. Between school in the morning and work at night, I could be found on a golf course. If it was hot, cold, windy or raining; paired with others or playing by myself, you could find me on a golf course. Instead of going to the bars after work, you could find me at the 24 hour driving range where I’d typically be one of the last to leave. There were times where I’d greet the morning’s 1st groups as they arrived for their warm up sessions, given I’d yet to leave from the previous night. I couldn’t get enough of it, not because I enjoyed putting a ball in a hole so much, but because I was truly learning, growing and developing. For the 1st time I began to learn how to manage my thoughts, emotions and feelings more effectively.
Success in golf is relative and open to interpretation. Success in golf requires many things, but as I see it, the most important items are the ability to manage emotions, keep your composure, become more patient in your decision making process, remain humble, avoid worrying about the past and count all your strokes. Golf provided me with methods and strategies for exercising these behaviors along with the ability to measure my successes. Having methods for measuring your progress is essential for analyzing strengths and weaknesses. Golf provides a relatively controlled environment full of different stimuli and agitating circumstances. For the individual seeking self improvement who is dedicated to the process, Golf is certain to reveal areas for improvement. Therapeutic Golf seeks to help individuals become the best versions of themselves. We use the game as a framework for the development of behaviors that are more conducive to long term mental health and well being.
In 2006, I earned a degree in Organizational Communications from California State University at Sacramento. I worked in the restaurant business for 15 years, the last 10 years were spent with OSI/Blooming Brands. I left the restaurants in 2008 and for the next 7 years I worked for several large corporations selling widgets and people skills. My wife and I gave birth to our daughter on June 23rd of 2011. In 2015, the best decision for our family was for me to be a stay at home dad and focus on raising our daughter. I couldn’t have been more excited to see how my methods would translate into parenting. Spending so much time with my daughter and arming her with the tools to manage life's obstacles more efficiently and with less effort has been the best job I could ever imagine. She has essentially been my 1st client. Even though she doesn’t love the game as much as I do, she understands the methods and the long term health benefits of managing emotions, exercising patience, not worrying about the past and being prepared for the future.