If you think that golf is a lazy, boring game for rich old men, think again. I say this not only because golf is my favourite sport. I do believe that golf and the underlying philosophy is worthy to be regarded as the ultimate life and business coaching tutorial.
In one of my earlier articles I talked about why I believe that teaching kids to play golf is a truly good idea. Let me first give a quick bullet-point recap of that and if you wish to read further, you can check that article here.
So, golf teaches you:
- honesty and integrity, as you keep your own score
- strategy, as you need to constantly keep in mind the next hit (and sometimes hit sideways first to ensure your next one gets you further)
- humility, as you can screw up big time even if you are a PRO
- endurance, as the game lasts 4-4,5 hours
- that your main opponent is yourself, as the score is benchmarked against the PAR (defined number of strokes for each hole)
- fairness, not just equality, as you can compete with somebody much more advanced than you (the score is fairly adjusted)
- to truly enjoy, as even if it doesn’t go, as expected you will have a great time!
All that is already reasons enough to get yourself some golf clubs and start practising. However, there is even more to the game.
In order to succeed in golf, you need to be really good at adapting to circumstances. You don’t know where your ball lands and you have to play it where it lies. It could be that there is a branch of a tree sticking right into your face. It could be that you need to crawl into a muddy side, or into spiky bushes. Just like in business or in life in general, you have to “play the ball where it lies” and make the best of it.
Good skill golf trains is also the ability to focus correctly. Golf is all about the process and that is what you should focus on — good-old “here and now”. Actually, golf in general perfectly stimulates mindfulness. It forces you to be in the moment, let go of all your annoying thoughts and just hit the ball. You need to have your basics right, but if you try to overthink it and fail to relax, your swing will never be as good as it can be. But isn’t that the same in business?
I’ve read somewhere that around 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf… No idea if that is true, but a good to know — not the worst company to be in I guess (LOL!). Also, nowadays, golf is an Olympic sport once again.
Thus, the bottom line is — golf rocks… and rolls… and is overall an extremely beneficial, stimulating and deeply enriching sport. So if you haven’t fallen in love with it yet — give it a try and I’ll see you on the golf course!