Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Golf and Life Lessons

source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com
For those of us who have been playing golf for a long time, we know that there are parallels between golf and life.  Golf is not simply a sport or hobby as some like to call it; the game is much more than that.  At least that is how I feel about it as I have experienced many events that cross over, like dealing with adversity.  Over the past few years our family has had to deal with numerous health issues and deaths of loved ones.  That adversity makes a person stronger, teaches you lessons about how to deal with certain situations and provides you with an appreciation of day-to-day life.
Likewise, dealing with adversity on the golf course is much the same way.  Golf adversity is not as important as life; however, the process you go through is similar in both cases.  Everyone copes with adversity differently.  Some people run away and hide.  Others rely on someone else to take care of things for them.  Then there are those folks who rise to the occasion and face the challenge head on.
I would like to think I am the latter.  However, I am probably a mixture of all three depending on the situation.  On the golf course I tend to face the situation head on as I am a competitive person.  If I am down in a match or if I am struggling with my game, I am not one to give up.  If I get a bad break I may complain about it but then usually refocus and do my best to get through it.  I think match play events have taught me the most about dealing with adversity.  I have played in many match play events in my life dating back to high school.  In match play you have many ups and downs in the course of a round and you need to learn how to deal with those situations on the fly.  There is no one there to bail you out.  There is no one there to pass the ball to or substitute.  In golf, you cannot even call a timeout so you learn to deal with the situation at hand the best you can and learn from the outcomes.
Life also deals us adversity and fortunately we generally have more time to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.  We can get counsel from friends and family members.  We can reflect and consider our options.  However, in the end we still need to be strong, make sound decisions and accept the outcomes.  Just like golf, life does not always deal us a fair hand and sometimes we have to accept the outcome.  However, just as in golf, we can learn from the experience and apply it to our life the next time we are in a similar situation.
How do you handle adversity in life or in golf?