Golf can be therapeutic. During the most stressful times of our lives, there is something about being at a golf course that helps to bring our mind and our thoughts some peace. Let’s face it, we all have stress in our lives. Somehow, someway, that little white golf ball seems to take our minds to a better place.
I can think of no other sport, or activity, that brings together a more diverse group of people than golf. Top athletes in all other sports seem to turn to golf on their off days, before dedicating themselves to it during retirement. Those in the business world enjoy golf for the relaxed environment, as well as the four-plus hours it can provide for certain dealings. Believe me, many deals are discussed and finalized on the golf course. People are more likely to negotiate while sharing a golf cart for a few hours, than by staring across a hard table at one another.
Golf teaches us lessons about life. So many of my greatest moments and memories have been spent on the golf course. I learned how to deal with disappointment after missing a short putt on the final hole and losing a junior tournament by a single stroke. It took me refusing a ride home from my Mom so that I could walk home in tears to get over the disappointment, but I got over it.
Golf also teaches us discipline. To be truly great at something, you must devote yourself to it and work harder than those around you. Never was this truer than the hour I would spend on the putting green during my lunch break each day of my senior year of high school. It became my routine, and I was disciplined enough to follow through on the goals I had set for myself.
Finally, golf teaches us patience. It may not seem that way after you’ve just missed another short putt, but you know deep down that patience is necessary to be successful in golf. Patience requires controlling your emotions and learning to stay focused in the moment. Better players learn how to minimize the level of their mistakes by not over reacting to poor shots and bad breaks.
Golf is truly a game for everyone. The challenge it offers, and the emotions it stirs can prove to be therapeutic to us all. Junior golfers often grow into more successful adults based on the lessons that golf has taught them. Each day out on the course has the potential to offer you something you’ve never experienced before. Enjoy it, embrace it, and learn from it.