Golf, testing our limits, challenging us, exposing us to nature, and letting us spend time with friends and family. Best of all, a sport that can be played at all ages. While all of these things are great, there’s another, special bonus that comes with golf, life lessons.
Practice Makes Perfect
When it comes to golf there is no such thing as overnight success. A golfer gets better through good, old-fashioned practice and hours at the range and on the green. With dedication, hard work really pays off. It’s the same in life—put in the effort toward excellence, and one day you’ll reap the rewards.
There are Good Shots and Bad Shots
It doesn’t pay to get too upset over bad shots, because they are simply a fact of life. On the flip side, you’ll have good shots too. It’s called the Law of Averages or, more simply, being human. We make mistakes, learn, and try to improve on them. In life, too, there will be ups and downs. The trick to dealing with the downs is to not take them too seriously and realize that good times are always ahead.
It’s Always Better to be a Good Sport
Remember, adversity reveals true character. Don’t throw clubs, swear, or have a bad attitude if you’re having a bad day. Instead, take a deep breath, shake it off, and try to improve on your next shot. If you’re having a bad round, keep your chin up. Even if you’re in a huge golf slump, congratulate others on their successes. Take this into life as well. It might seem weird at first, but you’ll see soon enough that a great attitude, even when times are rough, makes you the kind of person that people respect and admire.
Sometimes You’ve Got to Play Through the Rain
Every day on the course can’t be a sunny 75. Sometimes, a beautiful round can turn cold, rainy, and just plain miserable in a heartbeat. Yet, we keep going and finish the round. It may be harder, and we may need to pull out our rain gear, concentrate more on shots, and just do what it takes to finish, but, you guessed it, life is like this too. Our days aren’t all sunshine and smiles—storms come up in our lives to challenge us. When this happens, we need to pull out our “rain gear” and muddle through, knowing that the rain will pass and things will get better.
Etiquette is Essential
Golf is based on a system of etiquette, which boils down to respecting other players, the game, and the course. The honor system is a great guide that dictates how golfers should play. For example, low player tees off first, players are quiet when others are hitting, and you don’t walk in front of someone’s ball on the green. While there are a lot of rules to remember, they are helpful because they keep the game moving and force players to respect each other. No questions. Similarly, work, school, and society give us rules that need to be followed. When rules are followed, everyone is happier—people are treated fairly, systems run more smoothly, and we’re given an idea of what is expected of us. Bottom line, it all comes down to respect—respect for others, your surroundings, and, most importantly, yourself. If you do this on the golf course and in life, you know you’re on the right track.
In golf and in life, remember that each day is a new day and a chance to do and be your best. If yesterday’s round wasn’t great, forget about it and know that tomorrow is your time to start fresh! That’s the beauty of life and golf—we always get another shot.