I was chatting with Fred Greene of Golf Smarter the other day and was aware of how often we broke into laughter during the course of our conversation. There are many things which made us laugh, and I am only too aware that my jaw got a great work out!
Both of us are passionate about golf, and both of us have found our way to forming a marriage between our passion and our employment. Golf makes me smile a lot and I can tell that it does the same for Fred.
There are many aspects of golf which I dearly love. It is a friendly game and a wonderful way in which to meet new people. My home is in the Isle of Man; although I’m lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time in California (even though it’s quite a commute!). It was a gentleman (an avid golfer) who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, who put me in touch with Fred who also lives in California. There are very few games which put people together from all over the world in such an easy and comfortable manner.
Part of what leads to that ease of getting to know someone is the shared passion for the game whilst another part is the amount of time it takes to play a round of golf together with the gentle pace of the game. A further aspect is the fact that you can be almost any age or fitness level and still be able to play golf. And then of course your level of accomplishment doesn’t affect the play of the other people who you are playing with. Golf is pretty much unique in this combination of facts.
Cricket is another game which affords plenty of time to get to know a fellow spectator, as a gentleman pointed out the other day. It provides a great “networking opportunity” as you bond over your shared passion. But you can’t play cricket on your own and your level of ability will affect the overall game. Tennis requires too much energy to leave much time for pleasantries and you again cannot play alone. Can you think of any sport which provides the same opportunities to “connect” that golf does?
Aside from the friends you can make through golf, there are many other things which make it a very special game. I have already mentioned that you can play it alone or with others and level of ability doesn’t cause issues. A far greater thing however is what golf teaches you as a person.
I played yesterday with a friend who passed comment on how much her temperament had altered since she had started to play golf, both on and off the course. She is now a more placid and person; she was always determined. Golf teaches you the mental skills which are necessary in life in general because it provides you with immediate and dramatic feedback upon your thoughts and actions. As you learn to control your emotions and direct your focus more appropriately, these skills can then be put to good use in every other area of your life.
Cause and effect are seen very clearly in golf, as your thoughts control your arms and then the club and ultimately the ball. The impact of your thoughts are therefore illuminated; you can see very clearly what needs a little work or practice. As your control of the golf ball increases, you inevitably grow as a person.
Roseanna Leaton, author of the GolferWithin mind training program which helps you to learn the mental skills necessary for success in golf and life.