Five Golf Lessons Learned
After playing golf for 16 years, you learn a thing or two. In honor of “What’s Your Why” week, here are five things golf has taught me over the years. Whether it be developing myself personally or improving my game, golf has enriched my life.
Don’t look at the scorecard
It never fails – I’m on the 17th hole staring at my scorecard and think to myself, ‘Wow if I can par or bogey these last three holes, I will break 100!’ I put so much pressure on myself that I find myself posting higher numbers and miss that elusive goal. The first time I did break 100, my cart partner kept my score. Imagine my shock when he said, “You shot a 92!” Looking at the scorecard during those last fee holes adds unnecessary pressure. I have a better chance of playing better when I don’t focus on the score.
Advocate for yourself
I learned the importance of advocating for myself when I played in my first couples tournament. I hit the best drive of my life and an opposing teammate disputed that it was out of bounds. From my vantage point the ball was clearly inside the line. However this golfer was adamant about its placement, so I conceded. As you can imagine, the next drive did not go as well.
At the end of the round we came in second by just one shot. If I had played my first drive, my husband and I would have captured first place! From that day on, I decided to be my own advocate on the golf course no matter how insistent other golfers may be.
Be fully present
One of the things I enjoy most about golf is the chance to escape the demands of everyday life – even if it’s just for a few hours. When I sneak a peek at my phone inevitably reality intrudes and takes me out of the game – defeating the very purpose I’m on the course. While multi-tasking is one of my strong suits, golf has taught me the importance of fully disconnecting to enjoy the moment, the scenery, and the people you are with. Life will be waiting when you get back.
Focus on yourself
At a recent WOC event, a golfer came up to me and said, “Do you see what that woman is doing over there? She keeps moving her ball to a better position and is breaking all the rules!” Since this was a recreational round of golf I asked her, “Why do you care? Is she holding you up? Is she being rude or distracting?” The woman replied, “well….no”. This piece of advice is one that I share often with golfers. Focus on your own game. As long as your playing partners are keeping a good pace of play and respecting other players, the best thing you can do for you game is pay attention to what you are doing.
Make time for the 19th hole
When blocking time for a game of golf, don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you have to run off to another engagement immediately after the last hole. As the round progresses I find myself wanting to know more about my playing partners. The 19th hole is the perfect place for focused conversations which can lead to lasting relationships. If you can schedule an extra hour to play the 19th hole you’ll find it’s well worth it!