Certain outcomes happen in golf one hundred percent of the time. If a golfer doesn’t get the ball to the hole when he putts, it doesn’t have a chance at going in. Even if it is only a centimeter too short, it doesn’t matter; it is not going in! When our kids play golf, I have to bite my lip when their putting consistently leaves the ball short of the hole in a round. For the non-golfer this means that when they step on the green to putt, they are not getting the ball to the hole on the first putt. After watching hundreds of rounds of golf, I can honestly say our children shoot their best scores when they are at least getting their ball to the hole consistently. Oftentimes when they leave it short, they miss the next putt. I have found if they putt the ball past the hole, they are in a better position to put the ball in coming back on the next shot.
In short, most of the time in golf it is better to get the putt to the hole on the first putt. For whatever reason, sometimes a golfer is so caught up in other things on the greens that they don’t recognize they are leaving their putts short. Sometimes they are “fearful” of running the ball too far by the hole. Or maybe they see that if they run it by too much, they may have a very difficult putt coming back.
Because I don’t play and only caddy and spectate…..I am not a full authority on golf…..but I can and do relate a ton of life to the sport of golf. In the hole of life I often ask myself a series of questions. Am I stopping short? Am I getting things to the “hole” and giving myself the best chance for a good score in the “game of life”? Do I even recognize when I am leaving things “short” and not being consistent in delivering the “ball” where it needs to be to have a chance at success? Maybe I/we/you need to examine things that we can control…..and not only recognize where we may be leaving things short, but do something about it…..and thus having a better score in life!
Let me ask some specific questions to spell out my point:
Can we be counted on?
Are we faithful to keep our word?
Do I/we return calls and, not only return them, return them in a timely matter?
Do we spend our time on things that will improve me/you/us?
Do we stop to say thank you?
Are we willing to go the extra mile for someone who can never repay us?
Are we generous only to people who are in our “inner circle?”
Do I/you/we get enough sleep?
What do we allow our eyes to see?
Do we surround ourselves with people who sharpen us?
Are we doing things halfway? Half-heartedly?
Do we get up with a purpose or are we going through the motions with no plan?
What are we feeding ourselves physically? Mentally? Spiritually?
The list could go on and on………. Take some time today to step off the “course of life” and examine your days….take honest notes…..Is there a place I/you/we are coming up short?
For me, it has been shoring up the little things that has made a huge difference……taking the time out of “my to do list” to assist someone else or stop and say thank you. It has been showing genuine appreciation, not with just a verbal thank you, but with a lunch date or “hand-written note”. One of the biggest things for me personally has been getting up earlier and reading more, understanding that I have to seek knowledge!!! I’ve become a life-long learner and eager to be more teachable. Laying down the Pride and realizing I don’t know everything, but I can spend my time learning and knowing more! I have found on the Back 9 it’s the most unhappy people who most fear change. If nothing ever changed, we would not have butterflies! Change is the evidence of growth. “Growth is the only evidence of life.” ~John Henry Newsman.
Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”