Gratitude begins the holiday season, and frankly, should be carried throughout the year. With Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, perhaps an attitude adjustment could do us all a favor. By the time you read this, it will be the season of consump- tion, over-spending, and debt accumu- lation. But as the writer of this article, I want you to adopt this gratitude attitude, and carry it throughout the year. So, here is a friendly reminder by considering the game of golf. Now, I know what you’re thinking.
How can I possibly be thankful for the fact that the course I enjoy is over- priced, my clubs need upgrading, and I need to “swing THROUGH the ball, not at it!”? Yes, you might want the latest Callaway driver or the newest high-MOI mallet putters (sorry to tempt you), but STOP. Sit back and count your blessings.
How can you be thankful for the game? How has it impacted your life? If you can’t seem to think right now because you are obsessing about that shot that went water- bound this morning, perhaps you need an attitude adjustment.
Here are some reasons to be grateful for this game!
1. It’s A Healthy Activity
Ok, so you can’t run 10 miles, 5 days a week anymore. Your knee is shot, your back is giving you fits, and clipping your toenails is an effort. But, you can get pretty fit walking
18 holes. Golf keeps your competitive fires burning and helps keep you well rounded by forcing you to stay away from your cell, to people watch and to enjoy nature. (Yes, there
are birds to be seen and heard).
Some don’t notice the rewards of what golf offers until they are much older with perhaps knee transplants; it’s the one thing that keeps you out of the lounge chair and out near nature.
2. You Get In Touch With Your Emotions
You will laugh
You will cry
You will get angry
You will find joy
3. You Can Release Stress
The key to golf is relaxation. Ironically, the less you play, the more relaxed you are because you have such low expectations. You don’t expect to play well, so you don’t over think or over swing. (No wonder I have been so relaxed lately!!) If you are playing often, however, golf refreshes
your mind because it forces you to focus your energies on a “target not a ball!” (as my instructor preaches).
4. It Teaches Life Lessons
Just when you say, “I got it!”, you get pummeled. Yes, humility is part of golf; it kicks your butt just when your head needs a little shrinking.
There are also memorable moments which are built on the golf course. Have you ever hit a shot that you can re- member the play by play? This teaches us to appreciate the little things.
And finally, meeting people you would have otherwise never en- countered occurs on golf courses daily. What a beautiful setting to just connect with a stranger. Not many other events can bring people in harmony, and this comes from having manners with strangers one learns by being on a golf course.
5. It Builds Relationships
I am reminded of a friend who told me that he created such a strong bond with his father through golf, and he would not trade that for any- thing! Now he’s creating that same bond with his children. Also, some women find that is a way to connect with their husbands and vice versa. Where else can you have four solid hours in a natural setting with people you love (or are trying to love!)
6. It Doesn’t Age Discriminate
Where else could a 75-year-old man school a 28-year-old in a sport- ing event? Golf is the great equalizer: everyone can compete on an equal level. It is about skill levels, not about race, gender, religion, or anything else.
Just remember: “PLAY” golf. I love the word “play.” Yes, adults we are, but as adults we need to be kids on occasion. Golf is not about being perfect. It’s about constantly setting a new bar for ourselves, and this can be a picture into the rest of our lives: We can always strive to be better! So be grateful and PLAY more golf.