Golf and Life Management

 Golf Ball on Tee
On Father’s Day for years, my Dad and I would play a round of golf. This year, instead, we are attending the US Open Championship at Erin Hills together. In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d look at the Seven Ways that Golf is Like Life Management. I hope you enjoy this analogy.

  1. Goal-Oriented: Golf is complex sport, but the objective of the game is very easy to grasp. The main goal in golf is to hit the little white ball with a club from the teeing area, across the fairway, and then to the putting green, in order to sink the ball within the hole. A round of golf consists of 18 such holes.
  2. Efficient: Unlike many sports, Golf is like Life Management as ‘less is more’. Every player attempts to complete each hole with the fewest possible number of strokes.
  3. Results-based: A round of golf can take four hours; however, one is not rewarded for the time one plays, but how well one does. A poor golfer will spend about the same amount of time (or a little more due to chasing lost balls) on the links as a good golfer. Like Life Management, outcomes are what really matters during game play. The score card is the only way to measure performance.
  4. Delegation: Few sports allow a player to delegate; however, in real life delegation is a major secret to success. Many golfers choose to hire a caddy to help carry their clubs so they can focus on the important aspects of the game. A good caddy will assist with the overall game, especially if they have knowledge of the course.
  5. Obstacles: Even the best plan encounters hardship. In Golf, the sand traps and water hazards have been known to ruin the best game. Nevertheless, one does not give up but overcomes such obstacles. Whenever possible, one plays the ball where it lies and continues to strive for the green.
  6. Reap and Sow: Without lots of practice, one can never master this game. It might be possible to ‘cram’ for exams in school; yet, you cannot take short-cuts to become a true expert. It would be very unwise to try the ‘cramming’ technique for retirement (e.g. start investing a few days before you retire). Can you imagine someone trying to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine or running for President of the United States by cramming the night before? Most real accomplishments take many, many hours of practice. Golf is no exception. A novice may have some lucky holes, but will not consistently perform under par. This is the only way for a good golfer to become great.
  7. Enjoyment: There should be a good balance between focusing on the objective and enjoying the fresh air and the company of others during a round of golf. Do not get so lost in the numbers than you forget life is more than the strokes one takes. Have fun and DO stop at the 19th hole to share with others!