10 Life Lessons Delaware Golfers Can Learn From the Game

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Jim Finnegan shares 10 lessons he’s learned while playing golf which apply to life both on and off the course in Delaware and beyond.

Everything I know I learned from golf.

I don’t get to golf as much as I used to for various reasons— none of them good ones. But I find that the lessons I’ve learned while playing the game continue to resonate well beyond the links. Here are 10 that come to mind.

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  1. You discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. The way someone acts on the course is a mirror of their true self—honest, sandbagger, caring, selfish, etc. Golf doesn’t create who you are. It reveals it.
  2. I’ve heard some of the funniest things ever on the golf course. Hitting his fifth bad shot in a row, my friend slammed his club to the ground and said, “Dammit. If I wasn’t married, I’d give up this game.” I’m sure his wife wouldn’t find that as funny as I did.
  3. When it comes to gambling on the course, you take your wins and losses in stride. As in life, winning and losing works itself out. When you lose, pay up gracefully. When you win, don’t rub it in by picking up the tab on the 19th hole.
  4. I never met a golfer I didn’t like. The game seems to weed out all the jerks. (Or do all the jerks simply gravitate to pickleball?)
  5. Golf attracts players from all walks of life. Happily, one size does not fit all in this sport. In a game of character, it’s nice to see so many different characters.
  6. The latest club design will not fix your game. It’s the swing, stupid.
  7. Sharing and celebrating your success with others who value it just as much is a good thing. If you’ve ever had a hole in one, the honorary drinks at the 19th hole are just as special as the ace itself.
  8. You can miss a putt 20 different ways, but there’s only one line that drains it. You’re not always going be successful all the time, so suck it up and move on. Like a golfing friend of mine likes to say, “Stick your past in your behind.”
  9. Life’s simple pleasures get accentuated on the golf course. Eating a hot dog. Basking in sunshine. Wearing shorts. Drinking a cold adult beverage. Pressing your bet. Finding a new golf ball. You get the point.
  10. Hard work is important. But you can really learn a lot from play.

Related: Check out This Guide to the Top Gear for Golfers in Delaware

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