Life’s journey on the golf course

by Jim Ed Summers ([email protected]) 736 views 

Each year, I spend time on various golf courses with family, friends and clients. Some wonder why you would use four hours of your day to play a game that can be maddening yet satisfying. I’ll share some points that hopefully will provide some steps to take for the golf journey.

The first point I would make involves the word “time.” One of the best ways to show you care is spending time with family, friends and clients.

Conversation and sharing experiences with others are priceless, and you’re spending this time hopefully in a beautiful atmosphere with perfect weather. We learn more from listening to others, and this is the ideal opportunity to listen, reflect and create deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Secondly, the game of golf can be a pure reflection of life’s lessons and characteristics. For example, what is your response when you make a mistake? What is your reaction when you enjoy wonderful success? Where do you stand on improving? Even things like “I will give you that putt” reflect a spirit of giving and recognition of a job well done.

Other characteristics that mirror life are anger, joy, satisfaction, thought process and maybe a little touch of honesty. The comparisons are limitless, and it is so interesting how we can learn and improve from a simple round of golf.

I make it a point to spend time on the golf course with my family members and clients every golf season. For my family, we make an effort to play at golf courses near and far. It’s a meaningful time together, and we keep a booklet of the scorecards and the locations of where we have played. As I grow more mature in life, I know that golf is a sport that can continue through the years between friends and family. For clients, playing on well-rated local and regional golf courses allows strengthening relationships and enjoying the great outdoors. If the client posts a better score than you, then the relationship becomes even better. Again, there are some top-notch golf courses locally and regionally that are considered top golf destinations.

If you’re new or starting the game of golf, I would encourage you just to get started. A starting point would be to visit driving ranges/golf facilities or begin lessons with a qualified instructor. As your game grows, you can use more of today’s technology to determine strengths and weaknesses. An enjoyable part of the game for newcomers is selecting new golf clubs, essential equipment and the specifics you’ll need on the course. The right wardrobe to wear on the golf course will be the next selection — even if you don’t have the best golf game, you will have the opportunity to look your best. This is a no-judgment zone.

We are often encouraged to try something we haven’t tried before, and the game of golf may be the sport to consider. With a bit of success, you’ll find the satisfaction of a sport many enjoy — with an occasional dose of frustration. Most importantly, the time spent with others can become the foundation of lifelong relationships.

Jim Ed Summers is a senior vice president at SWK Financial Planning Advisors of Raymond James in Fayetteville. He can be reached at 479-435-9955 or [email protected]. The opinions expressed are those of the author.