“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.” - Bobby Jones.
The game of golf isn’t just a game but a simulation of our everyday lives. The things we go through, the challenges we face and the communities we are part of and build. There is no sport like it, no sport that gives you that much. Having the opportunity to have golf be in my life for the past 23 years, I have learned and continue to learn not just about the game of golf, but about life.
Here are 5 lessons I have learned from golf that apply to life:
One of the key elements in playing golf is having confidence in not only yourself as a golfer but yourself as a women golfer. More often than not, it’s probably true that you will be one of the only if not the only woman on the course or even the driving range. In a sport that is male dominated, it takes immense courage and confidence to play your game. Just look at Annika Sorenstam having the confidence to play in an all men’s tournament and her thoughts on it. See HERE. Aside from that, you also must teach yourself to have confidence in your game, your shot and everything else surrounding your mindset when approaching the ball. If you are not confident in your overall mindset and skill, chances are you won’t hit a good shot or play a good round. Confidence is key, you must swing with intent. You can take this confidence and assertiveness into every aspect of your life.
Golf is a hard game. It takes self control, discipline and perseverance. Just as Bobby Jones said, “you have to play the ball where it lies.” You are not going to hit an amazing shot every single time you hit the ball, you may even hit a terrible shot but you can’t quit or give up. The same goes for life, you may get thrown curveballs or be dealt a bad hand or even go through a tragedy but you cannot give up, you must keep working hard at whatever you are doing and move forward.
Patience and hard work
Everything in golf takes time - we are always working on something whether it be a new swing, new grip etc. We must be patient that with time and practice good things will come. It's the same with life, we must trust and believe that if we work hard at something good things will come. As Ben Hogan said, when asked how he developed his iconic swing and golf game… “the answers are in the dirt”.
The value of relationships
Being on the golf course gives you the great opportunity to meet new people and build on relationships you already have. You have 4 hours on the course to not only play the game you love but also be social. It’s a great way to enrich the lives of other people and yourself through engaging conversation. Golf brings people together.
Enjoy the walk
Through all of it, it’s important to “stop and smell the roses” on and off the golf course. Don’t take yourself too seriously when you are out there to have fun on the course. Be sure to take a step back and enjoy the fact that you get to be outside, in nature playing the great game of golf. The same goes for life, be grateful for all that you have and the opportunities in life. Take time to smell the roses and be grateful for the things you have.