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Five ways being a golfer can improve your outlook on life

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I was introduced to the game of golf by a business partner and great friend. Besides having a lot of fun, golf would helped me grow mentally, spiritually, while also increasing my vocabulary.

My personal and professional benefits derived from the game of golf:

1. Be in the Now — Unlike any other sport I’ve played, golf requires incredible concentration and being fully present in the moment. What happened is old news and what the future holds is irrelevant. All that matters is your current shot. You only have control over your club choice, stance, and executing your swing. Everything after that is a result of those decisions. This ability to focus and be present greatly helps at work to stay in the moment, don’t rush, and take the next step. As Tommy Bolt said, “The mind messes up more shots than the body.”

2. Develops Your Positivity — No matter the results of your swing, you quickly learn they could be a lot worse. If you’re in the fairway, take a moment to remind yourself you’re safe and it’s playable. If you have a negative attitude and focus on what’s wrong your game quickly goes from bad to worse. Golf has tremendously strengthened my positive “can do” attitude and lateral thinking skills. You learn to see choices and options where others only see problems. This helps develop the “Life is an Adventure” attitude where you constantly embrace whatever you encounter with positive enthusiasm. As Sam Snead said, “Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”

3. You Become More Resilient — After the ball is struck, you lose control over it. After finishing a round, the better golfers realize you can and learn from the experience or get angry and leave in disgust. Bouncing back from a bad swing with a new attitude and learning from your past error is key to improving and enjoying golf even more. This Kaizen (change for the better) attitude helps you in both your personal and professional life to constantly being on the lookout for new ways to improve. Mastering resiliency improves your health, well-being, and mental strength. To quote Ben Hogan, “This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.”

4. Helps Cultivate Gratitude — While walking along there will be moments when you feel extreme gratitude. For the day, your last amazing shot, the people you’re with, the weather, etc. A sense of gratitude also benefits your professional life by noticing the small improvements, your new customers, and improved attitudes. As the popular saying goes, “develop an attitude of gratitude” and watch your life transform. As Bobby Jones said, “I never learned anything from a match that I won.”

5. Increased Self-Awareness — The time between shots allows you to reflect on your previous swing and learn from it. What was good? Was your mental attitude positive or negative? By developing a habit of mindfulness you can check in on the status of your current thoughts. This awareness allows you to more readily develop new positive habits and begin creating positive changes in your life. Ben Hogan is famous for saying “I never played a round when I didn’t learn something new about the game.”

Glenn Bott of Arvada speaks and coaches on positivity and resiliency. He shares the proven techniques he used to successfully reinvent himself after recovering from a severe and life-threatening brain injury

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