I am not a golf player, much less a golfer. But, like a lot of people, the game of golf fascinates me and, when I can, I like to watch it on TV. Many people – especially players – agree that there are important lessons that can be learned from a golfer’s experiences on the golf course.
In the current edition of golfdigest.com/Masters 2016 Greg Norman is quoted saying: “Don’t harbor things internally. Don’t push the elephant under the rug. Anxiety and happiness, both come from within. And so you have to ask, which one do you prefer?”
He says this in reflecting on those moments when you think everything is under control, then – as if from nowhere – everything begins to spin out of control. This ought to be a moment of contingency management, accepting that failure may be inevitable, BUT, it is not the end, nor time to throw in the towel. As another Australian pro-golfer (Adam Scott) states, “you can’t be afraid to lose. You have to put yourself in that position because it’s the only way you’ll ever win”.
All this is summed up in the golf cliche, “take it one shot at a time”; advice well known to people in recovery. What it means to everybody is a call to steer attention away from the result and toward the process.
I know, I know! Elsewhere we are urged to focus on the goal – scriptures say that too. We’ll put that in context next.