Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lessons from the links

My last round of golf for the season was just a couple weeks ago, and I cleaned up my clubs this weekend.

As I set there scrubbing, I reflected on the season. I golfed more this year than I ever have—which averages one or two rounds a year, so it doesn't take much—and I actually saw some improvement in my game. I still fall in the weekend duffer category, but I'm putting disatnce between Twain and myself, no longer considering the game a good walk spoiled.

My eight year-old son took up the game this year. Perhaps that's another reason I was eager to hit the links, it was really good father-son time.

As I reflected on my game and the season, I couldn't help but remember that a friend and golf partner mentioned how we could all learn a thing or two from my son by observing how he approaches the game.

Usually a pretty even-keeled young lad, my son displayed all the characteristics that I'm sure led to the game being called the gentlemen's game. Here are a few things he taught us on the links this past summer:

Learning something new, especially a game like golf, takes a long time and a lot of patience. He's OK with the fact he's not going to be Graham DeLeat his first time out. He approaches each round with patience, and shows improvement with each round.

No one is counting your score for you or wathcing if you use your leather wedge and kick the ball out of the rough for a better lie. It would be really easy get away with those things when no one is wathcing. Except he knows that God is always watching and that honesty builds character. He acts with integrity on the course.

It's all in the attitude
Wheteher it was not being frustrated when missing the ball, or heeding advice to improve his swing, he had a great attitide and outlook toward the game. He never cursed under his breath, threw his club farther than the ball after a shanked ball or stormed off the green after missing a two foot put. He was out there to have fun with the guys, and he did just that. Which brings us to my final twopoints.

Games are supposed to be fun, and he reminded us all of that key fact almost every hole.

The value of friendship
He enjoyed hanging out with the boys. He looked forward to having a doghnut and chocolate milk if we went for coffee after an early morning round. He enjoyed remembering that one perfect shot that would make us come back. He reminded us that both fatherhood and friendship are about spending time and building relationships. And that is just what we did.

And, with any luck, we'll continue to that next year when we hit the links.

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