GUEST APPEARANCE: Golf matters – it really does | Opinion

Even if you’ve never played golf, I have a story that could change your life.

Spring is the time of year when serious golfers start looking to that first round to kick off the season. We leave with optimism; 2022 could be the year things really change. My game will suddenly improve dramatically! Of course, that optimism hasn’t worked for years, but don’t burst my bubble just yet. Please let me enjoy the moment.

Imagine that the first hole I play this year is a disaster. I start with several missed shots and a triple bogey from the start. For you non-golfers, a triple bogey is not a good thing. I am now standing on the #2 tee and what do I have in mind?

Option 1: I smoke; see the look on my face? I could go back to the parking lot, throw my poles in the trunk and just stop. I’ve enjoyed the game for 50 years, but that’s enough, why torture myself? Maybe I’ll buy a boat and fish instead.

Option 2: I will smile and be grateful. I have the opportunity to play another 17 holes with my golfing friends (who have been following me for 20 years). Whether you’re 30 or 70, the decision to be grateful is a choice.

It’s an “ah ha” moment for me. I suddenly realized that choosing option 2 is a bit like offering forgiveness to someone who matters. If your wife, kids, or close friend make a mistake, I hope you find your heart to forgive them. That triple bogey on hole #1 is gone. My brother-in-law, a family therapist, once told me that “I could have, I could have, I should have” isn’t helpful if your goal is to get the most out of life.

I have been playing golf for over 50 years. It has brought me joy, frustration, good friends, and something to look forward to every spring. Thinking about how I will host the 2022 golf season has helped me realize something far beyond golf: I can choose every morning what is important in my life. That triple bogey on the first hole doesn’t really matter. I will smile every time I hit the second tee and be grateful for the chance to enjoy another day with my friends.

The few days that I don’t play golf, I will give the gift of forgiveness to those who matter in my life. Now that I’m 70, I wish I had embraced this idea much sooner. But I’m going to take my own advice and ignore the feeling of “could have, should have”.

In my life, “golf matters”. Some have suggested that golf is a reflection of life as it offers both joy, excitement and frustration. Like most people, I had a few triple bogeys off the golf course. But life does not offer to “redo” – or does it? Tomorrow morning I will start my day with a smile. I will practice forgiveness and show my appreciation to those who have made a difference in my life. Golf has helped me realize what’s really important. Golf matters.

Bill Kaminski is president of Stone Associates Training and writes for the Finger Lakes Weather often looking for work. He is also an assistant instructor at Keuka College. You can send him your questions, suggestions or comments at [email protected].