As kids of all ages head back to school this fall, many may have spent part of their summer on the course, fine-tuning their games. The fact is that kids and their parents might start to see that learning the game of golf is really like learning the game of life. There are many lessons and skills taught on the course that kids can take back with them into the classroom.
Let’s take a look at how golf helps prepare our kids for golf, school, and life!
The Art of Being Prepared – Would it be okay to show up at a golf lesson with half of your clubs at home? Or show up for a round without balls or tees? No, we need to arrive at the course with the appropriate gear – bag, clubs, glove, shoes, and any other items needed for a successful golf lesson or round. Similarly, when kids go to school, they need to bring the supplies needed for each class. So, just as one prepares their golf gear for a lesson, kids need to think about what they’ll need for their school days. That means notebooks, books, Chromebooks that are charged, and all other items. Kids who have come to the course prepared get into the habit of planning and thinking things through – they see that having their equipment organized makes golf go more smoothly. These same principals can easily transfer to preparing to go to school.
Learning the Importance of Being On Time – If there’s one thing a golfer learns early, it’s that tee-times are no joke. Like making dinner reservations, catching a plane, or going to the doctor, it’s not only frowned upon to show up late at the course, you might lose your spot if you do. As golfers, we learn to organize our time well so that we show up before our tee times and can start at our assigned time (or even get there early enough to hit some balls). This makes things flow better on the course and also sets the stage for a more relaxed round of golf, instead of a frenzied hustle to make it to the tee on time. School is no different – school has a start and end time, as do the classes in between. Showing up late takes away valuable learning time and could mean missing key facts needed to succeed. Plus, tardiness isn’t tolerated and does have consequences in most schools. Kids who learn about promptness on the course can translate this idea to school.
Concentration – Golf is a sport that takes preparation, practice, skill, and… concentration. A golfer needs to be focused on the task at hand – driving, chip shots, putts – whatever the situation, the outcome will be better when we concentrate. The same goes for school – a student needs to balance many things – listening in class, working independently, taking tests, writing papers. By giving each school task focused attention, it’s easier to grasp the concepts or realize any questions to clarify with a teacher. Golf helps train kids to focus on a task, complete it, and move on to the next.
Honesty, integrity, and etiquette – Golf is a game based on honor and respect, whereby golfers need to truthfully report their scores and show respect to other players and the game. These concepts are taught from the first time a golfer picks up a club and are something that all golfers are expected to know and follow. Therefore, when kids are exposed to these great life lessons on the course, they’re likely to apply them to their daily lives as well, knowing that acting with honesty, integrity, and etiquette goes a long way in gaining the respect of others.
Following the rules – There are very clear rules attached to golf, and golfers are expected to learn these rules and follow and respect them. While there are no referees accompanying foursomes on the course, it’s an unspoken rule that golfers play by the book and as a result, are respected for it. The same goes with school – there are norms and expectations that all students are required to adhere to. By learning patience and acceptance for the rules in sports like golf, students learn to adjust and follow expectations.
Asking for help/taking advice – Golf is a game where even the pros need coaching and support to improve their game. As golfers, we learn to accept assistance gracefully and even seek it out in order to self-improve. Learning this skill – to seek out and accept help as necessary – sets us up for success in school, work, and life. Golfers realize that it’s okay to not know how to do something at first, and learn how to ask for help, take guidance, and benefit from both.
The bottom line? Golf is a sport that teaches us all to respect the game, its rules, and the players we interact with. All of these are lessons that help us to do better in our games and gain the respect of other players and all we encounter. The earlier we learn this skill, and the more we’re exposed to these valuable lessons, the more they spill over into our everyday lives. When our kids learn these lessons early through golf, they’re being set up for success in school and beyond.