Learning life lessons from the golf course

Learning life lessons from the golf course

Experiences are when you learn from your mistakes and find a solution next time. This simple principle occurs in team and individual sports.

“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way. That leaves us, ladies and gentlemen. Us.”
Phil Knight, Shoe Dog

If you have no idea who Phil Knight is, he's the co-founder of Nike and a former distance runner at Oregon University. I'll admit my bias as my closet is full of Nike products, but Shoe Dog is one of my favorite books and a memoir of the creator of Nike. It's a story of a young man who uses lessons learned from athletes and creates one of the giant corporations in the world that has changed an industry.

Sports are beneficial for both a child’s mental and physical well-being. Sports can help strengthen bones and tone muscles, but they can also help children improve their academic performance and teach them the value of teamwork.
Photo by Courtney Cook / Unsplash

Sports boost self-esteem

Watching your hard work pay off and achieving your goals develops self-confidence. In addition, competing in a sport or fitness goal encourages you to achieve other goals you set. Finally, being active is a rewarding and exciting learning process.

I played soccer, tennis, basketball, track, baseball, team sports, and individual. Growing up with three brothers helped drive my competitive spirit, indoors or outside. I don't know how my mom put up with yelling, screaming, and fighting. Before I explain why I love the game of golf and how grateful I am, look at the benefits of team sports.

Team sports help teach adolescents accountability, dedication, leadership, and other skills.

  • Many athletes do better academically
  • Teaching teamwork and problem-solving skills
  • Physical health benefits
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Reduce pressure and stress

Why I love golf

At age ten, my uncle, a local golf pro, taught my brothers and me in his weekly junior clinic on Saturdays. Shortly after, I became obsessed with the game and competed in junior tournaments. Fast forward ten years, and I'm in Buenos Aires, Argentina, representing Bermuda at The World Amateur with two of my friends. I competed in the U.S. Amateur in Seattle, Washington, a month prior. While competing at the highest level, one thing that always kept me grounded was many of the values I learned from playing the game. First, golf is the most fantastic game ever played.

Golf is a great teacher. It can help you learn about yourself and how to achieve your goals. When playing, you are focused on the task at hand and trying to make the best shot possible.

This same focus and determination can be applied to other aspects of your life. For example, I've coached golfers for over 25 years and have seen first-hand how it can help people grow in all areas of their lives.

Whether you are just starting or have been playing for a while, there is always something to be learned from the golf course.

What are The First Tee Nine Core Values? They are the values inherent to the game of golf:

  • Honesty — reporting your score and calling penalties on yourself
  • Integrity — being responsible for your actions on the golf course, even when no one is looking.
  • Sportsmanship — observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace
  • Respect — respecting oneself, playing partners, competitors, the golf course, and game traditions.
  • Confidence — increasing confidence in your ability by being positive.
  • Responsibility — being responsible for your actions on the golf course, including repairing ball marks and keeping up the pace of play.
  • Perseverance — players must continue through bad breaks and their own mistakes to succeed in golf.
  • Courtesy — starting and ending a game of golf with a handshake between competitors
  • Judgment — deciding strategy, club selection and when to play safe, and when to take a chance