Lessons from the Golf Course

Wanted to write a quick post about golf and life. (What a sentence. Who am I?! Joking aside–)

I played on the golf course today for the first time in years. Not that I am even that skilled at golf – I am a complete beginner – but today’s experience felt new.

A few holes in, right near the start, I swung a few bad shots. Feeling dejected, I got back on the golf cart, and my caddy said to me – “That’s life.” I paused and thought, that is life, isn’t it? Not everything is going to go your way, and that’s okay. You may not play so well one round, but you may play better next time. Her comment helped me let go of rigidity and wanting to control my experience, instead accepting how I had played and moving along. We tend to be our own harshest critics. As long as we learn to quiet our own judgments, we will be in a much better position mentally and emotionally.

Later on, we reached a hole where we had to hit the ball over a ravine to get onto the green. This golf course had multiple ravines, many of which I later was unable to hit the ball over, but this was the first we encountered. I immediately wailed about my impending failure, and my caddy jokingly said, “we need to pray”. It was probably a half joke, because I did feel like I could use a prayer at that moment. I hit my first ball – I didn’t make it. I decided to try hitting another – and, lo and behold, it went over! I felt very proud of myself. “Tiwala,” she said in Tagalog with a twinkle in her eye. I asked her what that meant, and she said “trust”. What a beautiful new word to add to my vocabulary, I thought. Tiwala – trust that you can accomplish what you initially thought was impossible. You never know, the gods may smile down on you and you may just be able to do it.

Here’s me, happy after a good shot

Anyway, I don’t have much more to add, I just thought I would document my first time back on a golf course in recent years. I didn’t expect to have these mini-revelations today. Today was a reminder that lessons can come when you least expect, in the simplest of interactions.

Hoping I can go on more golf outings to come, and remain open to many more unforeseen lessons.



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