To play golf, one must make choices that eventually lead us to valuable, long-term gifts that keep giving long after the last hole is played. The more we pursue the game, the more these gifts manifest in our lives.
Golf gifts us with patience, revealing that tragedy can turn into triumph. Failure opens the door to a room full of determination, perseverance, patience, self-control and the joy of the journey.
Golf gifts us with a passion for excellence that ignites like a fire in our fireplaces. The wood must be broken into kindling, a catalyst added, and a tiny spark catches and spreads. Eventually, a roaring flame results. In golf, be assured that one good shot leads to many excellent shots.
Golf gifts us with self-control, or process-oriented thinking, as opposed to result-oriented thinking. When we are diligent with small things, the big things fall in place.
Golf gifts us with time together. Walking and talking promotes brain activity that leads to longer, deeper and more honest conversations. Two to four hours of energetic sharing on the golf course spills over into extended, intimate conversations around the dinner table.
Golf gifts us with fresh air. Oxygen lowers our heart rate, increases our muscular strength and clarifies our thinking. This aids in decisiveness, creativity and enthusiasm.
Golf gifts us with fun. Playfulness lightens the load we carry in life. Many of our worries work themselves out. When we are playful, we perform our responsibilities more efficiently, with less stress.
Golf gifts us with friends, both new and old. Other people want to play golf and are waiting to be invited out on the course, so invite them! Let your friendships grow by enjoying the game together, sharing both adversity and victory.
Golf gifts us with the truth. A lie can lead to anxiousness and another lie, or more bad shots. The truth sets us free from nervousness, doubt and fear, leading to a clear mind. A clear mind sets us up for success—on the course and in life.
Golf gifts us with purity. Pure golf shots are exhilarating. The experience includes a rush of adrenalin as you watch the ball fly away on its straight and true path. Pure golf shots are unencumbered by tension, and effortlessly released by trust in the fundamentals.
Golf gifts us with teachability. When a player is teachable, the golf learning process is accelerated and success increases. With each success, your personal happiness flourishes.
This holiday season, I invite you to enjoy golf by thinking about the true “Spirit of the Game.”
Written by Doug Weaver, a former PGA Touring Pro and the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, who ranked as the #2 Instructor in South Carolina by Golf Digest and leads “Where Does the Power Come From?” a complimentary golf clinic and exhibition on Mondays at 4 p.m. For details and reservations for golf clinics, classes, lessons and on-course instruction, call (843) 785-1138, (800) 827-3006.