There's something exhilarating about discovering the love of golf in a stranger. Sometimes that happens at a dinner party or at an airport, but when it does a certain easiness of conversation takes hold. A shared appreciation of golf is enough common ground to sustain an entire friendship, but sometimes we struggle to convey our love of golf to people who don't indulge in this kingly pastime. We partnered with Loro Piana to highlight unique perspectives on life, style and the game of golf.
What many don't know about golf are the simple pleasures that it holds. The sheen of early morning day, the pure snap of a well made shot or the long shadows and quiet of a solo twilight walk. These expressions are unique to golf, but you might not need to play golf to find the subtle joys of leisure.
David Coggins is many things; author, aesthete and avid fly fisherman, but one thing he is not is a golfer. We went to Wisconsin —home of the Ryder Cup— to talk to him about the universal joys that we can all find when we are doing the things we love.
ACL: What is your perspective on leisure activities?
David Coggins: Leisure is how we express what we love, it’s what we choose to do. The people I admire are most themselves when they are relaxed and doing something they’re passionate about, whether it’s cooking, gardening, or sailing.
My philosophy is that often leisure is overlooked and undervalued in our lives but it can enable success in work and with family. How do you approach time away doing things you love?
I think you have to make an effort to relax. That might sound counterintuitive, but your passions are not going to make their own time—you have to make time for your passions. The people who care about you will understand that.
What does fishing mean to you?
Fishing is a chance to connect with the natural world. And it’s a chance to do something I care about in a beautiful setting. Trout live in beautiful settings and I’m happy to seek them out in Montana or Patagonia or the Catskills or wherever they may be.
Whistling Straights is in the spotlight now with the Ryder Cup being played in Kohler. What role has Wisconsin played in your life?
We have a family cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. It’s where my parents and my sister and I come together each year and I think it’s where we’re the best versions of ourselves. We swim and read and cook and boat and walk in the woods. It’s a good place to be.