This I Believe

Bryan - Rancho Mirage, California
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humility, sports, work
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This I Believe

I believe that golf is America’s greatest pastime. I say that because golf is the most ethically based sport in the world. As a seasoned young golfer, aspiring to one day play on the Professional Golf Association Tour, I speak from several years experience. We all want the children of tomorrow to learn the importance of honesty, integrity, competitiveness, fairness and focus as they enter adulthood.

The character of honesty in playing golf is one of the most important traits necessary to succeed in life. When you play by the rules of golf, it is important to you and your partners to count every stroke, penalty and duff shot. Counting every shot played is dependent on each player’s honesty. Cheating is not an option in the sport of golf to be successful. For that matter neither is cheating an option to succeeding in life.

Doctor Rotella in his book, “Life Lessons From Golf” taught that “part of playing golf brilliantly is staying calm and focused under trying circumstances.” As history has repeatedly shown, from President Abraham Lincoln handling of the civil war conflict to President John F. Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960’s, a leader must remain calm and poised while under great pressure from his adversary.

I believe golf offers the player the ability to deal with failure and maintain humility. The road to recovery is never easy and there is no short-cut to success. The road to success in golf as in life requires a synchronicity of alignment of physical, mental and emotional rhythms. An individual’s performance in golf as in other sports, requires patience and persistence. Sudden changes in ones ability to cope with life, or the challenges in playing golf, either positive or negative, will lead to disequilibrium.

Even though I have achieved a certain level of success in playing golf, I do not believe that golf is only for me. Golf is really a sport for everyone. The lessons of life learned from golf can be beneficial to everyone. Anyone can play golf, whether they are rich or poor, old or young, blind or deaf, it only requires ones desire to accept the game’s challenges. Golf offers enjoyment for all, without frustration, and regardless of one’s ability. Life offers the same benefits. It is in golf as in life, that one must learn from their mistakes, and put together the best day or round possible. There are only a few perfect shots in a round of golf, just like life where an individual must learn from their mistakes.

As I learn the difficulties of playing the game of golf, accepting defeat and emotional upset, the challenge of adulthood will be easier to accept. In the final analysis, I believe that dedication and perseverance are the elements that will make us all successful. It is important to realize that the game of golf teaches us the importance of patience, perseverance, resilience, and tenacity, as well as basic skills. These essential traits apply equally to life.