The Three Most Common Objections Women Have About Learning To Play Golf
I have spoken around the globe about the advantages that women can enjoy by playing business golf. Before explaining the benefits of golf for women, however, I want to share the three most common objections women have about learning and playing the game:
Time. "I don't have time to play. Golf takes too long to learn and to play."
Athletic. "I'm not athletic at all. I didn't play sports when I was young, so I doubt I'll be able to hit the golf ball."
Foolish. "I don't want to make a fool of myself out there. I'm not good enough. I'm a perfectionist, and I don't want to look silly in front of clients or colleagues."
You probably can relate to one, if not all, of these reasons. I call them the "That's All False!" Objections. Every time I hear one of these excuses, I say to myself, "That's All False!" Let's go through why I believe each one is false.
Time Is Ticking
Today we're all attached to our cell phones, pagers, PDAs, laptops, and e-mail and are on call 24/7. In addition to demands of work, many people also have responsibilities for spouses, children, and organizations. Before deciding that you lack the time to play golf, you should examine your thoughts about time and your life.
"If women were convinced that a day off or an hour of solitude was a reasonable ambition, they would find a way of attaining it. As it is, they feel so unjustified in their demand that they rarely make the attempt."
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Cheryl Richardson, author of "Take Time for Your Life" (Broadway Books, New York, 1999), shows people how to create a life they want and love. Her clients are often successful in their business and careers, but they crave more fulfilling lives outside their professional work. She sets forth seven strategies to overcome the obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want. Some of the strategies include taking care of yourself first; fueling yourself with a community of good friends; fun exercise and soul-nurturing activities (rather than adrenaline); building a soulful community of relationships that support, challenge, and encourage you to be your best; and honoring your spiritual well-being.
Thinking through her strategies, I can't help but believe that golf can be an integral part of helping you live the life you want. In fact, I have developed an acronym about the positive benefits of playing golf--FREEDOM. You'll soon learn the FREEDOM benefits of playing golf, which can help you succeed in your business or career. Just as important, however, golf for women can enhance your personal life through exercise and friendships on the golf course.
While learning about the FREEDOM benefits, consider how playing golf can replace other activities to fulfill your needs. For example, if you exercise at a gym, playing a round of golf can replace that workout. Later you'll learn how many calories you can burn while playing golf. Instead of an office meeting, consider meeting a client at the driving range where you can get a bite to eat and hit a bucket of balls or practice your putting. It will give you both a chance to get some exercise and fresh air.
FREEDOM: Fabulous Fun
With our stressful lives, we could probably all benefit from having more fun. Golf for women can provide that fun for you. Fortunately, we don't have the pressure of the professionals who play for their livelihood. For us, playing golf should be for the sheer fun of it, even when we are playing for business reasons.
"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick. "
-- P.J. O'Rourke
My clients tell me they have fabulous fun when they are playing business golf. One client, Mike, shared that hitting the golf ball reminds him of being a kid with his buddies and hitting rocks with branches they found. Shawn talks about the fun of hitting the golf ball well and hearing the ball "kerplunk" into the hole. Denise likes spending time with colleagues and laughing with them about their great shots and even their horrible shots.
I suspect most golfers are addicted to the feeling of hitting a shot just right. It's that effortless feeling of swinging the club and hitting the ball right where you're supposed to--on the sweet spot.
However, there are times that trying to hit that sweet spot can make F stand for Frustration. I understand that feeling all too well. Your body doesn't seem to move like you know it can. Or your swing is slightly off; as a result, the ball just doesn't seem to go where you want. But if you can learn to temper that frustration, where else can you mix play and work? It is a winning combination, regardless of how poorly you happen to be playing.
To help minimize my frustration, I recall a phrase I learned when I was studying for the California bar exam: "Hit it and move on!" If I hit a bad shot, I don't let myself fester over it and let it ruin my next shot, the next hole, or the rest of the round. I tell myself, "Hit it and move on!" The shot is over and there is nothing I can do to change it.
When you're starting to learn the golf swing, remember that you're moving your body in a new way. It will likely feel awkward at first, but don't be afraid to try something new. As you practice and swing the club more, your muscles will get used to the new motions. As with learning anything new, the more time you can practice, the sooner you'll get the feel of the swing. If you haven't taken lessons from a golf swing instructor, it's worth doing so. Although friends and spouses mean well when giving you swing advice, it's best to learn from a professional golf instructor. (I give you suggestions about how to choose an instructor in Chapter 2.)
"The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and, in time, trusted."
-- Martha Graham
Don't let your frustration in learning the swing or how you hit the ball prevent you from having fun playing the game. The other benefits of playing far outweigh that fleeting temporary frustration.