I believe in golf. It is my belief that golf can change the way a person approaches life. In some ways life is a lot like golf. As Ben Hogan once put it, “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” It is hard for a person who doesn’t like or play golf to understand where I am coming from. However just ask anyone who plays golf on a regular basis why they play the game and it is almost impossible for them to think of a well rounded answer. Some people might say, “oh I do it for the challenge”, or “I do it for the relaxation”, and still others might say they do it just to get away from the world that they live in 99% of their lives just to step into a whole new world where there can be nothing wrong, except of course, your golf game. However, if you have the right mind set, then it’s not how well you play, but what you get out of the overall experience. When I first started playing golf seriously, I found myself digging deep into a hole of frustration. As I played more and more I figured something out. That even the most talented golfer can crack under the mental pressure of the game. One of the most interesting facts about golf is that there is no one uniform way to play the game itself. There are no two identical golf games. Everybody has their own swing and their own way of looking at a shot. What makes or breaks you is how relaxed or mentally ready you are when line up to that ball. Every year I go up to Wisconsin for summer vacation, and every year I look forward to playing a round on a certain golf course. This course has a backdrop set along the sandy shores of a lake. Walking along the ninth hole, coming up to a century old, wood and stone clubhouse, with the crisp refreshing sound of the waves hitting those the sandy shores is one of thee most relaxing moments in my life. Through this event and many others, I have learned that if you go up to the ball without worries, and treat that flagstick, not as some dragon you have to slay, but instead look at it with soft eyes, you will be able hit the ball wherever you’d like it to go. When you have that feeling you know it, it is not just something you can pretend to have, but something that has to be felt from within you. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.