This I Believe

John - Sammamish, Washington
Entered on September 20, 2006

I believe in the game of Golf

I believe in the game of Golf. It’s you, the ball, a club and the however many yards that lie between you and the four and a quarter inch hole in the ground. Golf is the ultimate test of heart and the strength of mind.

I was taught to play the game of Golf when I was about 6 or 7 years old by my father and grand-father. Back then it was all about making contact with the stupid little thing. But after swing and swings of disappointment and failure I would hit that one shot that kept me coming back for more. With that one “perfect” shot, came the first lesson that the Game of Golf taught me. The lesson of perseverance. I look back on this today and I accredit my hard-working mind set and drive to get things done, to the lesson I learned back in the early stages of the game of golf. Unknowingly at the time I was creating personal traits that would make me who I am today.

A whole new twist to the game came the first time I stepped up on that first tee box, ball and tee in hand, and looked down the narrow, winding fairway to a hole that looked as if it were one million miles away. I had thought I had perfected the game of golf on the driving range, but I came to realize that the game hadn’t even started. I now had to deal with wind, hills, out of bounds and hazards. This did not faze me, instead I stepped right up, trusted the tee into the ground and the journey began from there. I started off playing only a couple holes at a time, but after a while I got to the point where I could make it around a 9-hole loop and keep enough balls in the bag to do so. Pretty soon I was on to a full 18, I had finally created a safe track around the course. Through many trials I had learned where it was okay to hit and where I’d get into trouble. I had also learned to factor in and deal with the hills, wind, hazards and whatever other obstacles were thrown at me in the course of 18 holes. Golf had finally become a game. I had learned the lesson of problem-solving and creativity. Now that I was “official” (able to maneuver the course) I was absolutely captivated by the game. The crack of the driver, the swoosh of the iron and the rattle of the ball dropping in the cup are what I thrived for, and kept me coming back every single day.

Golf became not just a hobby, not just and obsession, and even more than a passion; Golf became my way of life. I played every single day, sometimes multiple rounds a day, that first summer that I was introduced to the game. I still to this day value learn things through the game of golf: how to communicate with people, how to deal with pressure, how to deal with failure/success, etc. The list goes on and on. That is why I believe that Golf is more then a game, Golf is a resource to the millions of lessons life has to offer.