Next month, my new book will be coming out, The 100-Year Golfer: 7 Arts for a Lifetime with the Game
. For those that know my earlier books, the subject of this book may seem surprising. Ordinarily, I write about topics related to qi energy principles or mind-body training, so golf may seem like an odd change of pace. But really, my new book is on these same topics; I’m just using a popular sport as a means of explaining the concepts I’ve always taught.
I first fell in love with golf almost 40 years ago, shortly after my personal development programs started to grow in popularity. At this time, I had begun to feel a sense of mastery and success in my life as I saw my vision come into reality. However, golf was a new challenge for me. Although I was athletic and skilled in martial arts, golf demanded new mental and physical skills. Eventually, however, I saw that all the same principles of energy and mental discipline applied to the sport.
That’s why in my new book, I encourage everyone to give golf a try and to use it as a means of personal development. You can read more in the book if you’d like, but here are some reasons why I think golf can help your personal growth:
- 1. Golf is largely a mental game. Although there naturally is a physical element in the game of golf, playing well is largely a matter of mental discipline. Anyone who has played at all, even if only a single round of golf as a beginner, knows that it takes an immense amount of focus and emotional control to play well. You need to control your nervousness and quiet your busy mind. That is likely why people can play this game successfully into their 80s, 90s, and beyond—it’s about the mind and its connection to the body. Golf is a game you can keep playing for life and that will help you stay sharp for a long and productive life.
2. In golf, you are only competing against yourself. When you go out to play a round of golf with your friends, you could say that one of you “wins” the game, but that is not nearly as important as your own personal progress in playing the game. Although I sometimes enjoy playing with friends, I often play alone because I want to sharpen my focus and connect more deeply to my mind and energy as I play. This is something I recommend in The 100-Year Golfer.
3. Golf can help to open your energy system. As I explain in my new book, principles of energy apply very easily and directly to the game of golf. Using your mind’s focus, you can direct your body’s energy into the club and then into the ball in a highly controlled manner to make it fly farther more accurately. Using this principle is not unlike when a martial artist breaks a board or directs a kick at an opponent. Understanding how energy works and learning how to control it can revolutionize anyone’s game.
4. You can connect to nature while playing an enjoyable game. Many sports are played outside, but golf courses are uniquely beautiful places. Usually, they consist of beautifully manicured lawns on gently rolling pastures, and they are often lined with beautiful trees and relaxing water elements. Even during a tense professional competition, the crowd hushes and you can hear the song of birds and the rustling of the leaves in the background. Golf is a way to walk in nature while giving yourself intense mental training at the same time.
5. Golf teaches you good relationships to others. Playing with other golfers or comparing scores can bring up both positive and negative emotions. For even the best players, there are times when their performance is poor and others are doing well. This is a wonderful opportunity to examine your own emotions and to find the joy of celebrating and supporting other people’s success along with your own. Golf teaches you confidence while also training you to set the ego aside.
Golf has taught me so much over the years that I wanted to share the joy of it with others, which is why I wrote The 100-Year Golfer
. Not only does the game teach you important principles about life, but golf is also highly enjoyable, especially if you take a good mental attitude toward your progress as you play. In a way, golf reflects the way we live our lives, sometimes struggling to get out of the sand traps and sometimes making holes in one. So, I hope you’ll take a look at my thoughts about the game, and I hope to meet you sometime on the fairway of life!