Golfing on a life’s Course!
Embrace golf to know yourself better. “A game of realism,’’ says revered sports journalist G. Rajaraman.
As players of the game of golf, just when you think you have mastered the game, the next game on the course can be a disaster!
The game of golf can be the closest analogy to life as it is! So discrete is it every shot; a good shot that you think may land the ball (life) in most unexpected circumstance, and according to you, a bad strike gets you in the spot where you desire.
If you have experienced the beauty of golf when playing it, you may like to see it in a slightly different light. And if, perchance, you have not already tried your hand at the game, you may like to start now. To be sure, the next time you play a round, observe how close the game is to life itself.
Indeed, over a period of time, your personality traits become so evident on the golf course that you may not need to take an MBTI test or any of those personality tests that HR departments keep administering these days. Most players — successful or not – take their character to the game every time. And few games reveal a player’s character in a short span of time better than golf.
On a golf course, you are challenging yourself to get better, to conquer conditions that may or may not be familiar and that offers a new adventure every time you get on it. You know that much of the competition will be with yourself, and that your commitment to the game is a commitment to the challenges that the game brings along.
Above all, you readily accept that adversity is a part of life, if not a way of life. That is what makes you feel undeterred by challenges. On the contrary, you may decide to not see these as threats but as opportunities and make the most of them.
Is all this not so similar to what you do at work and in life at large? Come to think of it, the next time you are on course for a round of golf, play as well as you can but also remember how it such a wonderful mirror, reflecting your own approach to situations in life.
Challenges or opportunities for growth
How you handle the challenge of getting the ball out of bunkers can tell you how you resolve a crisis. If you approach a difficult approach shot, for instance, with a calm mind, you tell yourself that greater composure in life can only do you good.
There are times when the rub of the green favours you, and you learn to accept good fortune with as much grace as you face misfortune. Take preparation. It is a good wager that you would look to wear the right kind of clothes, shoes and make the best selection of clubs to make up your bag. It is also a fair bet that before you address the ball to play a shot, you visualise the swing, the point of impact of the club on the golf ball, the exact amount of power you will impart to the stroke and the behaviour the ball on being hit. To be sure, how you prepare for a round of golf can actually guide you to preparing for the challenges at work – and in life itself.
Focus determines your reality
Or, consider how sharp your focus and how intense your concentration need to be on the golf course. If you can stretch such focus, concentration and commitment to life, you will see a perceptible difference to your own lifestyle.
On the course, time management would come quite naturally to you. From reaching the course well before the assigned time to tee off on the first hole to hitting a few golf balls on the driving range or sinking a few putts on the practice green; from pacing yourself on the fairways, so you do not hold up the group behind you forever while you contemplate your shot to generally making optimum use of the time on the course can be so reflective of how well you manage your own time even away from the course.
You see resilience, doing whatever it takes to get the ball through 18 holes – and playing fair all the time. And, in doing that, you learn to protect yourself from the pain of losing. It is not as if you never lose in golf or in life, but you learn to leave little to chance or luck, preparing well for the game.
Above all, if you can control your emotions on the golf course, you can surely do it at work, too. Indeed, if you are prone to not being composed in the face of adversity, you may like to play some golf to try and help you calm your nerves. Yes, embrace golf and get to know yourself better.
About the author: Senior sports journalist G. Rajaraman is a Sports Communication Professional since 1983; a mind coach, storyteller and student of high-performance sport.