Life Lessons in Golf – Practice & Persistence

Posted on 05. Jun, 2013 by in Discussion


I’d like to introduce a guest post today, from Colin Knight. Colin’s the part-time groundskeeper, part-time marketing director for Belmont Lodge in Herefordshire. Although hitting bogeys every day doesn’t help much with his efforts to help manicure the lawn, it’s helped to teach him the patience needed to tend the grounds of the large English course.

Playing 18 holes of golf is a microcosm of life.

In both, much thought is given to how to succeed and how to excel.

It takes an untold amount of practice and perseverance to reach the upper echelons of golf, just as it does in society.

You don’t stumble across a wild albatross in the street and you won’t hit one by chance in golf, either.

We can achieve success in our lives and careers by persevering with our work and being dedicated to be the best we can be in our chosen field. If you want to be a truly great golfer, you will have to show the same dedication on the green.

But golf is a two-way street.

There are lessons you can apply from life to your putting and driving, but there are also important skills you can collect when you’re stuck in a bunker on the ninth hole which translate perfectly to the world outside the course.

Scuffing twice in a row whilst your ball rises and almost imperceptibly falls backwards, all the while showering your new slacks in sand, isn’t as specific to golf as you might think.

I’ve been metaphorically covered in sand more than once at work, too.

The repeated rebuffs of my attempts to garner promotion in the late 90s were very similar to the frustrations of the bunker. Asking didn’t do any good, nagging seemed to peg me back even further.

It took an outside perspective to show me a different route was the right option. Instead of going over my superior’s head, I went alongside him and appealed to those on his level who could bend his ear.

In the bunker, sometimes you have to sacrifice your par by playing a shot that only moves you five feet to the left, but which ultimately gets you out. Moving sideways is not, as most businessmen would have you believe, akin to moving backwards. Quite the opposite; for such a stuffy demographic, golfers are truly creative thinkers.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of golfers the world over, talent means less in this sport than it does in others. There are any number of talented players in the world, but it takes a much stronger mind and willpower to apply your physical abilities to your natural game.

Some of the best golfers in the world still use a morning round of the course to relax, rather than to practice for tournaments. Golf can help you feel recharged, revitalised and energised once again for the week ahead. The stress and hustle of professional life diminishes when you step onto the course, with the fresh air and mental challenges giving you a whole new perspective on your week.

Staying true to your goals is something you need to do both on and off the green.

Determination is the best weapon in your arsenal, whether this is to bag the elusive promotion in the office or to finally become a single handicapper.

Just as we visit the driving range a few times a week and hit a few hundred balls, we must spend time improving our professional skills and accept that every so often, we’re going to goof.

The important thing is to remain calm and collected.

Just as you don’t swing wildly at your ball in anger, don’t react to criticism at work with malice. Take it into your stride, accept it and try to defeat it.

Knowing how to deal with mistakes is an invaluable lesson in all walks of life. It doesn’t matter if you can swing a club perfectly, or if you can always convert a potential customer; eventually you’ll make mistakes. It’s how you react to them which defines your character, office top dog or not!

Playing golf offers different challenges each time you play.

Although you may play in the same course each week, the uneven terrain and hazards present a different scenario each time you are on the fairway.

No round of golf ever plays the same way twice. This means you need to learn how to get out of a fix in case you end up in an awkward position in the bunker.  Throwing a tantrum not only puts your disposition in disarray; it can also ruin the game for the entire group.

What’s important is that you’re ready for the unpredictable on the golf course; a disappointing shot can lead to the age-old dilemma- do I play it safe, or go for glory? (hint: safer’s better in strokeplay, but you can be a little less cautious in match-play).

This is why it’s important to practice thoroughly, seeking to recreate more some of the trickier scenarios you find both on and off fairway, instead of just scraping over another ball before launching it toward the middle of the range. You can do this by placing your ball in awkward and difficult positions in the practice bunker, putting green and in the rough.

In golf, like in your career and in your life, it helps to be prepared for the worst.

The best businessmen and women become seasoned by adversity. It’s almost impossible to master your chosen craft simply sailing through calm waters. The same applies to us on the golf course.

You can even get life lessons in golf by comparing similar situations and your methods of dealing with these difficulties. Learning how to cope with unexpected obstacles on the fairway can help you deal with real life situations off the golf course.

Through golf, we can discover new ways to adapt to problems that come our way, both on and off the course






Belmont Lodge & Golf Hotel in Belmont (unsurprisingly!) offers all inclusive golf breaks, low cost golf breaks and Herefordshire golf breaks for great prices.  Why not visit the Belmont Lodge website today to find out more about their golf course and special offers?


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