When you spend a lot of time doing one thing, you start to make out lessons from it. Maybe it’s not even there, and is only in your head, but still, i think golf has taught me quite a lot, and want to share these lessons with the rest of the world. So, here we go.
First is the lesson of freedom and being honest with yourself. In golf, unlike most games i know, you aren’t being judged by anyone else but yourself. I think that is in contrast with becoming adult. When you’re in your twenties, for the first time in your life, there’s no one watching over your shoulder. You are free to do however you please. Your mistakes are going to be your responsibility to fix down the road, and your victories will also be yours. There are certain rules in golf that you’re expected to follow, of course, but adhering to those rules is totally up to you. I don’t think soccer player would ever call penalty or offside on himself/herself, but it’s actually golfer’s main responsibility to call him or herself out when he/she’s done something wrong.
I have also learned to live in peace with my mistakes and not obsess over what could’ve been. Sometimes, in fact, most of the times, you feel like you’ve done everything right, but the outcome is wrong, or not as good as you thought. Trying to find reasons for every mistake will drive you insane. It might have just been something out of your control, like wind. That is not to say that reflecting on yourself is unimportant. Of course you should always examine your actions to decide what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Point is, you shouldn’t obsess over mistakes, and sometimes you might do your best but still fail and it’s not a catastrophe. Most things in life are out of your control. Try your best at things that are within your control, but letting go of thing that are beyond it is just as important.
Another important lesson is to not over-analyze. I used to do this – whenever i had to buy a golf club for myself, i would read dozens of reviews. Now i realized how much time that wastes, and instead, usually read quick and informative reviews about golf clubs, like this one.
Golf has also taught me value of being focused on the thing you’re doing right now and give your all to it. Doing many things at once is really detrimental to the outcome of all of those things. We’re just not wired to multitask, and i learned that the hard way while playing golf. It is valuable lesson for the real world, because sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by bunch of things you have to take care of. You should always remember to take them on one by one though. Learning to focus on one crucial task is extremely important.
I covet this skill the most, and it was also learned on golf course. That skill is problem solving. There are many things that can go wrong on the golf course, forcing you to learn how to get around them without getting too frustrated.
Last, but definitely not least, is the skill of keeping quiet instead of being brash. As a kid, you learn to keep the volume down in order to respect others’ privacy. This builds empathy for other golfers, which is another good trait to have.