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. Continue reading Why is golf the best sport in the world?
I have started discussing the subject of choosing extracurricular activities (further – ECA) for kids in one of my previous posts (see here). In that post I talked about the practical aspects of making a choice, like time, costs, balance with household chores and homework. Today I intend to start talking about a substantial aspect of this choice. In other words, how to choose which ECA kids should actually follow. The simple answer would probably be – find out the talents and preferences of your kid and find the respective ECA. Ha! Easier said than done. Moreover, I cannot help but wonder if talent is something that you are born with or something that you can train with the right focused effort.
If we look at the biographies of some of the famous athletes, we see an interesting pattern: the father of the famous Williams sisters chose that his daughters were going to play tennis. All family efforts, all money, everything was put on making them famous tennis players. Same story for Tiger Woods. His father was a well-performing amateur golfer who introduced his son Tiger to golf before the age of two and ever since pushed him forward. There are two things here. First, Continue reading Balancing act: Choosing extracurricular activities for kids – Part 2
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!