Category Archives: Philosophy

A game of life: Why teaching your kids to play golf is a good idea

It was my long-term dream to learn to play golf and finally last summer my husband and myself took golf lessons and obtained our green cards to get us onto a golf course. Our kids also participate in the game but so far mostly by bringing back the practice balls when I am pitching in the garden (using kids labor, I know!). However we do intend to teach them the actual game of golf in the near future. Why do I think it is a good idea? The short answer would be a quote on the matter by Bobby Jones:

Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies“.

Golf is by no means a lazy and boring sport of the old fat rich men. Yes, it is still not cheap yet neither is tennis or hockey or skiing. And with respect to gear: there is a huge second-hand market for clubs and bags if you want to minimize costs. I got my first basic set of clubs together with a bag  and a whole bunch of balls for 50 eur.

Playing golf good requires you to be in a decent physical condition, as every golf stroke uses numerous muscles on core, hamstring, shoulder and wrist. It is highly addictive and once you are in you’re in for good. I actually do love everything about golf: from the actual game to an equipment and an outfit of a golfer.

A bit off-top: if you are struggling to find good-fitting pants (which a lot do!), try looking in the golf shop. Golf pants are simply the best pants you can get! They usually have a perfect fit, with a bit of lycra in them, and you don’t really need to go for the insane golfer’s checkers, as the choice of classic colors is also abundant.

However, I am deviating from the answer to why would that particular sport be a good idea to introduce kids to. Mostly not because of the so to-say “physical qualities” of the game, but because of its philosophy, because of the underlying principles of golf.

Golf teaches you a number of life lessons that are also useful to teach to kids:

  • Golf teaches you honesty and integrity. When you are playing you are also the one keeping track of your strokes. It is not really done to cheat in golf.
  • Golf teaches you strategy. It is not just about hitting the ball, it is about hitting the ball while already thinking about your next stroke. If there is, for example, a water hazard in front it might be a good idea to go a bit side-wise first in order to be able to succeed at your next stroke.
  • Golf teaches you humility. Even when you are a PRO, even when you have a great technique and perfect clubs, the game can still go wrong. You learn that sometimes a human effort is really futile and sometimes you are just damn lucky.
  • Golf teaches you endurance. The average game of 18 holes takes about 4-4,5 hours and implies walking for 8-10 kilometers (unless of course you take a golf-cart, you lazy bastard!) And by the way, walking outside, breathing fresh air, enjoying the beautiful greens of a golf course – isn’t that what’s called “healthy lifestyle”?
  • Golf teaches you that your main opponent is yourself. You can of course participate in different competitions, but you can also go solo. And competition or not, it is anyway about your score against objective par (number of strokes allowed to get a golf ball in a hole) that matters the most.
  • Golf teaches you not mere equality but fairness. You can equally play golf with those who are stronger and with those who are weaker players which is not possible in other sports. Thanks to the adjustment that the handicap system provides, your allowed stroke count on each hole is calculated based on your handicap. That means that you as an amateur can play together with a professional golfer and maybe even beat him in the particular match-play (because he is allowed e.g. 3 strokes, but your handicap gives you additional 3 strokes on that hole). So you will not feel yourself a loser!
  • But above all golf teaches you to enjoy. I will add another quote here (but in the context of kids, better park it until their adulthood!): “Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at them“. So true! (giggle)

In other words, this sport is a unique combination of being a way to stay toned and energized and at the same time being a teacher of important life lessons. Hence, thumbs up, golf, you’re on my kids to-do list!

P.S. This year is also special for golf because for the first time since 1904 golf is included in the list of sports for the Summer 2016 Olympic Games – hurrah!

 

 

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Exceptional every-day: why I don’t keep much items for special occasions only

This short post is about let’s call it – my life philosophy with respect to everyday items. Throughout my life, I have seen a lot of people having two sets of items: the ones for everyday use and the ones that they take out on special occasions only. That always left me puzzled as to why would anyone do this.

Personally, I like to surround myself with beautiful items. I like comfort. I like luxury. And I don’t understand why people drink from a broken cup if they have a good cup standing in a cupboard for those special occasions. Which special occasions? When somebody comes for a visit? When you have a party? When you win the lottery? What is so special about those special occasions? Why doesn’t your every day deserve to be exceptional? What if today is your last day? No, ok even without being fatalistic, I still believe in the beauty of today and I truly want to enjoy it to its fullest. I like when my dining table is nicely set. I like when a dinner I serve looks maybe not totally haute-cuisine yet at least has some presentation effort in it. I like to dress up. I like having nice decor items at home… I can go on further, but the bottom line is – I like to be surrounded by beauty. It energizes me! 

Old broken items clutter your home and drain energy and that is precisely why I never keep them. Yes, you might have that favorite high school coffee cup that you were drinking from when you were writing your thesis. It has a sentimental value to it. But look it at: it has a crack, the paint is off, and your taste changed from drinking brewed coffee with tons of milk and sugar to having a properly made Americano. It doesn’t fit who you are anymore, it doesn’t fit your taste anymore. Isn’t it time to let go?

Obviously, with clothes you will have items for special occasions, for instance, you are not going to wear an evening dress in your everyday life, or a strict suit or alike. However, as for me, I don’t have that much of those items. And also with clothes: for example, I never keep a new dress for that very special moment that maybe will come one day. I make that special moment today because my today is always exceptional.