Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
They say that “life is what happens while you’re making plans” and, in my case, there was just too much life going on for me to execute my plans. It’s not easy building and managing a golf club, helping to raise a daughter (albeit through skype video when I am away) and still write for many publications.
The same saying (above) can also be applied to golf.
We stand on the tee box, plan what kind of shot we want to hit, using which club and which ball flight and we make a swing. Then life happens. Sometimes the ball goes where we want; most often it doesn’t with the results ranging from slightly off by a few yards, to way off, meaning the rough, the trees, the lake or a different fairway. It can mean sitting next to the pin looking at a birdie putt or just hoping to find your ball to avoid the dreaded “lost ball” penalty.
Same as life. Sometimes things work out exactly the way we hope and plan, other times we have to scramble just to keep moving forward and hope to survive the hole, or the day, or even the job with as little damage as possible.
They say that “Life is a journey, not a destination” and that too can be said of golf.
We like play different courses because we want to keep providing ourselves with new and different challenges. Just like life, if our work is exactly the same from day to day, it gets old pretty quick. So when a new project appears on our desks, our faces light up and we look forward to the challenge.
Sometimes we get lucky and play a course which fits our games to a tee (pun intended), while other times we play a course where nothing feels comfortable. Its comparable to working in a job you really don’t like.
Just like golf, you have to try and make the best of it, figure out a way to stay out of trouble and keep moving forward.
Sometimes people get in over our heads playing from a tee box which is too difficult for their skill set (amateurs do this all the time) and then realize that it’s no fun at all. Same as life when you try to do something beyond your abilities.
On many occasions, we hit what we think is a great shot, only to come up short and land in the bunker. Same as life when you think you did the right thing and your boss (or spouse) gives you one of “those looks” or chews your head off.
The three oldest truisms in golf is that “Golf mirrors life” and that “Golf isn’t a game, it’s a test of character.” The third one is “Play golf with someone before doing business with them.”
After playing the game for 53 years, both as an amateur and a pro, I can attest to the truthfulness of all three statements.
Neither life or golf is easy, nor is it supposed to be.
However, there are people out there who want it to be easier. They want to change the rules of a game which has stayed pretty much the same as its original premise in the 15th century. They find that golf is “too difficult” and want to avoid penalties. In short, they want everything their own way and do not care if they destroy the integrity of the game in the process as long as they get what they want.
And, just like life, these are the same people who cannot stand the world as it is, or the life they have. They don’t want rules.
Show me a person who cheats at golf and I’ll show you someone who cheats at life as well.
My personal opinion is that golf is fine the way it is. The rules are strict because life is strict. Both have boundaries and expect you to stay within them. Competition is fair in both, but perhaps golf is a little more fair than life because we have handicaps and different tee boxes. Everyone has the opportunity to succeed in both, but you have to work at it.
It won’t come easy, but it’s not supposed to. VNS