The Little Things: Golf teaches many life lessons

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By KELLY PRESTON, Special to The Paper

Golf.  Many people love it, others despise it.

I grew up with a dad and brother that love the game.  However, I married a man that hates it.  What’s interesting is that our oldest son has developed a true love for playing golf.  He plays for Newnan High School, and I recently had the opportunity to walk alongside him at one of his tournaments.  

That day made me appreciate the game of golf like never before.

Hitting a little ball so that it soars into the air, landing as close to the pin as possible, may sound easy whereas it’s nothing but.

Or as Winston Churchill said, “Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

Funny, but true.

Golf takes a lot of practice and skill, yet this “love it or hate it” game can teach us several life lessons.  Here are a few:

• Honesty.  In the game of golf, you are your own referee and are required to be honest in keeping your own score.  P.G. Wodehouse once said, “To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” 

• Stay focused. Remaining focused hole-after-hole, hour-after hour, is important and teaches one how to focus on what matters.  Professional golfer Tom Watson said, “Confidence in golf means being able to concentrate on the problem at hand with no outside interference.”

• Embrace quiet.  The world we live in is full of noise and distractions, yet the game of golf is typically quiet.  Learning to embrace quiet is something many of us could stand to do more of.

• Patience.  The saying, “Patience is a virtue” is definitely true in the game of golf and in life.  Or as the Chinese proverb says, “Patience is a bitter plant, but its fruit is sweet.” Developing patience is often a life-long lesson, so why not start working more on it now?

• Keep learning.  Like most things in life, the game of golf reminds us that there is always room for improvement and more things to learn.  As author John Maxwell says, “Live to learn, and you will really learn to live.” 

So whether you hit the links this summer or not, hopefully we can all embrace the life lessons that come from the game of golf.  

Kelly Preston is a nurse-turned-stay-at-home-mom to four amazing and energetic children. Though she sometimes forgets to buy toilet paper amidst their busy schedules, Kelly finds time to run RACE for the Orphans, a non-profit focused on supporting adoptive families. She loves Jesus, people, a really good book, and pondering the little things.

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