Golf is like Life, Part 2

by Abbey Algiers

Golf is full of opportunities to learn and grow as players and as people. In part 2 of the “Golf is Like Life” series, let’s examine a few facts about golf that also helps us in life.

We all need encouragement and praise.

Let’s face it, golf can be frustrating. As golfers, we inevitably duff shots from time to time. When this happens, fellow golfers seem to have a sixth sense, knowing when to comment and when to remain silent. Similarly, when we have a good shot, it’s nice to hear things like “great shot” or “you’re awesome”. It’s always nice to be acknowledged for our efforts.

Off the course, bad days and disappointments can knock us off our feet. It’s always so nice to feel the support of those we love when bad things happen, whether it’s an understanding nod, a “don’t worry about it”, or an offer to talk. This goes for good times too. People like to be praised when they succeed in life or do great things. Knowing when and how to help others is truly an art that can be perfected on the golf course.

Every shot really does count.

Not to put the pressure on or anything, but in a round of golf, every shot does count. We need to do what it takes to have more good shots and less bad ones. So, it’s important to give each shot our full attention and effort, because each shot affects the final score.

It also helps to remember this in “real life”—such as school, work, projects, or play. Each action we take has a direct effect on our desired outcome. Want to get a good grade in class? Then don’t skip assignments or blow off a test. Want a promotion at work? Then do good work every single day.

Think about the things you do, and your chances of success greatly increase.

When you’re having a really bad hole, don’t assume you’re doomed.
It’s happened to me a million times. One bad shot leads to two and instead of taking a deep breath and regrouping, I continue to play poorly on that hole . . . and the next four. Looking back, I always wonder if things would’ve been better had I only relaxed and started fresh with the next shot instead of catapulting into a round of disaster.

Let’s examine this in life. When something bad happens, it doesn’t mean that life is over. Your boyfriend breaks up with you? Yes, this hurts a lot, and I know you feel very bad, but please believe me that you will be okay.

Fail a test? Well, study harder on the next one and recover your grade. One bad test doesn’t mean you’re going to flunk out of school.

Being human means that bad things happen. However, one mistake or bad experience doesn’t have to lead to a downward spiral. We can bounce back in golf and in life.

The number one way to turn around a bad hole is a positive attitude.
So how do we turn things around when things aren’t going our way? There’s this crazy, little thing called positive thinking that tends to make things better even in the darkest of times.

A positive attitude can be the ticket to turning around a bad hole and helping you succeed on the next. Even if that next hole is bad too, a positive attitude will make things better. It always does. Your teammates will appreciate your positive attitude too. After all, it can be sort of a drag to play with Debby Downer.

Similarly, it pays to be positive in life. A positive attitude makes the good times better and the bad times less intense.

It’s the clubs, but it’s not the clubs.

My dad has spent the past twenty years making golf clubs for family, close friends, and himself. He’s really quite good at it and often asks me to test his models. Since I love the feel of a new club, I gladly try them, thinking they will do great things for my game. To this, my dad tells me that even though his clubs are shiny and new with impressive possibilities, it comes down to the clubee, not the club.

TRANSLATION: it’s great to have fancy equipment, but you need to have the basic foundational skills of golf first.

It doesn’t matter what club you’re using if you don’t know how to play. True as well with those fancy skis, great running shoes, and that beautiful Spanish guitar. They’re all pretty much just really cool accessories unless we do the work and practice. Success in anything comes from good, old-fashioned work, not things.

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