Life Lessons Learned Playing Golf

golf ball

My beautiful and amazing friend (and fellow doctoral student) Suzy has been trying for a year to get me to go golfing with her. My grandparents on my father’s side were big golfers and they were, I think, disappointed that none of us took much interest in the game. I always figured I’d be as bad at it as I am at every other activity that requires any physical coordination. But Suzy kept telling me how much fun it is, and how beautiful the course she plays on is and it’s not about being good at it, it’s about getting out there and enjoying life. Suzy is one smart woman. (By the way, she makes terrific videos; check out  Suzy Fisher’s YouTube channel.

We finally went yesterday. And she was right. It was so much fun! And you know why? I’ll tell you.

I call these the life lessons I learned on the golf course.

  • Just relax; chill out and have a good time.

No stress! So what if you have to take a few swings. I learned what a Mulligan is, and I approve. And slow down. In a musical reference from my younger years, the Doobie Brothers (pre-Michael McDonald version, obviously), sang “And I ain’t got no worries cause I ain’t in no hurry at all” (Black Water, 1974).


Feeling nostalgic? Here you go. You’re welcome.

Doobie Brothers “Black Water”

  • Friends don’t judge.
Friend:one who listens, doesn’t judge, and somehow makes everything alright.

It was as much fun as it was because Suzy and I were cheering each other on and neither of us felt self-conscious. Whiff? Whatever! Try it again.


  • Learn to laugh at yourself. It’s much less stressful that way.
(Bob was at home playing with the new kitten; thus the red lasrer reference.)


The turkeys were definitely not worried!


  • Girlfriends don’t mansplain stuff to you or tell you the rules of the game over and over. We let each other be comfortable and do things our own way. Just ask Lucy and Ethel. Not everything is a competition.

ILL golf

Ricky and Fred weren’t going to make it easy for Lucy and Ethel.

Lucy and Ethel Learn to Golf

Here are Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton from The Honeymooners with their approach to golf.

Ralph learns to golf

  • Keep moving forward; don’t give up. You’ll only make progress if you keep trying.
Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler (Bill Murray, Caddyshack, 1980) never gave up trying to get that gopher.
  • Fresh air cures a lot of ills.
How can you feel bad out here?
  • Try something new, you might not suck at it.
Maybe my form isn’t perfect, but I wasn’t really so bad for my first round of golf ever.
  • In the words of the immortal Carl Spackler, “So I got that going for me, which is nice.” In other words, accept yourself for who you are.



By the way, I’m not telling you where we went golfing because I don’t want everyone rushing there. It’s a secret and magical place that Suzy and I are keeping for ourselves. Sorry! There’s another lesson.

  • Make your own magic; don’t rely on someone else to do it for you.


My new favorite sound: Golf Ball Falling Into a Golf Hole

Now get out there and have fun!

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