10 Ways Golfing with the Gals Will Change Your Life
Not many people know this about me, but I quit golfing for two and a half years after graduating high school. I refused to pick up a club and wouldn’t even tell people I was a golfer. I wanted nothing to do with it. Boys at my country club never wanted to play with me, the clothes made me feel ugly, and I could never be good enough for my father. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I started High Heel Golfer that I realized the real value of the game. To sum it up, it’s the people (my gals), the traditions, nature and the challenge that keep me coming back round after round. Because I know the above probably is not enough to convince you to pick up the game, here is a nowhere-near-complete list of how golfing with the gals will change your life!
1. You get to know your friends on a deeper level
Many people believe that golf is boring and takes way too much time, but they are playing the game with the wrong people. When I play a round of golf with my buddies, I usually wish I could play another 18 holes. We are laughing, dancing, singing, drinking, gossiping about our husbands and boyfriends and we get a little golf in there too. With my best friends, it’s easy to know how they will react to a good or bad shot, and their reactions reconfirm why they are my friends. It’s important to me, however, to also play golf with new friends so I can find out on a deeper level if we jive. I see if they have integrity, how they react to good and bad situations and most importantly, do they listen and laugh at my stories!
2. You get comfortable messing up in front of strangers
As an avid and seasoned golfer with 24 years of play under my belt, I have had my fair share of mess ups on the golf course. And as a new entrepreneur, I realized that golf may have helped me not worry about failure. Even the best golfers mess up from time to time and as a newbie, you should expect to mess up a lot. But it’s ok! The golf course is probably the only place I know that it’s still acceptable to fail 90% of the time and still have a blast! So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you because firstly, you don’t look silly (you look like everyone else) and secondly, they are probably only concerned about their last bad shot, not your whiff! So, take a deep yoga breath, relax and have fun!
3. You discover your strengths
A wise person once said, “Golf is 90% mental and 10% physical.” Once you start believing in yourself and feel a little more relaxed, you will begin to see massive improvements. Many newbie women feel like they will be the worst golfer ever, but the reality is that most golfers stink. Only 5% of golfers ever break 100, while the pros are shooting in the 60s! What you will soon learn is that the game is more about finding confidence, patience, humor and integrity on the course than about how well you play the game. Personally, I discovered through golf that my biggest strengths are not being afraid to take risks and my amazing ability to talk to anyone – I guess interacting with strangers for four hours helps with that one! So get out on the course to discover your strengths – you might be surprised what you find out about yourself!
4. You stop making excuses
Golf is hard. And the majority of golfers are hacks. And because it is hard, the game might not always go our way so instead of blaming ourselves, we blame the course, the conditions and the people with whom we are playing. In life, we might also find ourselves making excuses for why we couldn’t stick to our diet (my excuse is that the alcohol got in the way!) or that there is too much to do and too little time. Golf has taught me to own whatever is going on in life. We always have a choice to blame others or just be ok with our shortcomings. I used to blame the guy who sneezed in my backswing, but now I can own the fact that I don’t practice enough, or I’m just having a bad day. Honoring the real reasons for my behavior is probably my favorite thing about the game. It doesn’t let me take the easy way out by blaming the external forces. I am in control of my life and my game, and I’m just going to have to be ok with shooting in the 90s sometimes and not always sticking to my diet, even though 2016 is totally going to be my year!
5. You invest in yourself
By playing golf with your girlfriends, business contacts or family, you are investing in yourself for a bunch of great reasons.
- You are getting exercise – I walk at least 14,000 steps every time I golf
- You can get noticed by the decision-makers at your company
- You are teaching yourself life skills and practicing integrity
- Golf is a type of meditation and finding peace is always good for the soul!
- You get to laugh, and humor is also good for your health!
6. You find a calmness you never thought was possible while hanging with friends
I practice yoga, have tried meditation and I’ve even tried hypnotherapy, and all three sort of make me feel more relaxed, but golf is the only activity where I can truly clear my mind. With my phone on silent, a quiet breeze and the waves crashing on the cliffs at Torrey Pines, I often forget about the stresses of running my own business, family drama and anything else that could raise my blood pressure in today’s society. Golf is my zen garden, and if you want, I’ll share it with you!
7. You’ll be amazed at how many compliments you’ll get
I have amazing friends and a boyfriend who compliment me all the time, but it pails in comparison to the compliments I get on the golf course! If you are craving for a little attention or rather a lot of attention, then golf is for you. And you don’t have to be good at the game to reap the benefits, because people give compliments based on your progress, not on your ability! For example, say I’m playing golf with a complete newbie who can barely get the ball off the tee. Anytime she gets the ball remotely off the ground I’m going to cheer for her. And if she hits a drive longer than 100 yards, I might freak out (In a good way!). Comparatively, when I hit the ball, we only get excited if the ball gets close to the hole or I hit a monster drive (250 yards). Still things to get excited about, they are just different. Boy, I wish it was that way in business, don’t you?
8. You disconnect
I must waste at least an hour a day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But with golf I get to disconnect. I can usually go at least nine holes without checking my phone, and if I didn’t check my phone at all, I’d probably play better. We have so many distractions in life, it’s nice that when on the course you get to enjoy your friends and nature!
9. You build confidence
I believe you build confidence by believing in yourself, taking chances and practice. As a child, I had a ridiculous amount of confidence, and I believed I was the best at everything and could do anything! Over time, my overconfidence was thwarted, and I was left feeling defeated. Golf helped me re-realize my potential as I began to improve my skills and also my ability to overcome adversity more quickly. Without golf, I doubt I would be where I am today in business.
10. You learn to go with the flow
The last life-changing lesson learned through golf is patience. Things never go the way you intended on the course (unless you shoot a 51) and still there is always a “coulda shoulda woulda” moment! So, instead of letting the game upset you time and time again, it’s better to learn how to go with the flow and enjoy your surroundings, the challenge, and the people with whom you get to spend four hours. So kick off your heels and get out there!