On April 28th, I attended the JHU Carey Golf Clinic in Baltimore, along with some of the faculty and several Carey students. The clinic was organized to make everyone familiar with the fundamentals of golf. The session was very well structured and divided into three parts: driving, pitching, and putting. And of course, we had the opportunity to drive the golf carts. It was a great day and everyone loved coach Julieta. The clinic brought back many memories from my childhood and inspired me to write this post.
My father knew the importance of golf and he made sure I was introduced to the game early in my life. I have been playing golf since 4th grade and I must confess that it was never my first choice. I come from a country where everyone loves cricket and when you tell your friends that you play golf, the first response you get is “What? Why? Isn’t that a very slow game?” Most of the tournaments I played, there was hardly any competition and few times I won unchallenged. The main reason was the unpopularity of this game among girls as many had a misconception about the acronym Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden (GOLF). I represented my high school/college at many tournaments and can proudly say that I was the only girl to do so. My city back in India is a place where all the retired judges/ bureaucrats settle down, as I grew up I had the opportunity to play with them and expand my social network. Everyone I met was always surprised to hear how a young girl chose golf over other sports.
As I completed my undergraduate degree, I was invited for an interview with a well-known company. The position was technical and required a lot of experience; I prepared for days and read so many books. On the day of my interview, the conversation drifted to my hobbies and a thirty-minute interview turned into a two-hour meeting and I was offered a job. The interviewer really appreciated that I played golf and acknowledged that not many girls like this game. He was also excited that finally he had found a team member with whom he could play golf. That was the day I realized the power of this game. Although I turned down the offer, I still played with the interviewer on the weekends. He introduced me to many people who held high positions in their respective companies and that is the story of how I landed my first job.
Jack Nicklaus once mentioned, “A kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course. Golf teaches you how to behave.” This in short summarizes my experience. I was lucky to learn this game at a very early age and because of this game I earn a lot of respect wherever I go. The takeaways from my experience till now and the reasons why I still love this game can be penned down as follows:
- Stress Buster: golf provided me a way to unwind, relax, and release all the stress from the work/studies. It is a good exercise for the body and improves your posture.
- Patience: you cannot learn golf in one day; it requires a lot of patience and practice. This is the most valuable lesson I learnt through golf. It taught me never to give up and start every day as a new chapter.
- Etiquette: Golf requires you to show courtesy to others and that you communicate with respect. Many tournaments require that good sportsmanship should be exhibited during all times. Young golfers pick up these skills very early.
- Focus: Golf requires lot of mental concentration which helps you to forget everything going on in your life and just concentrate on playing a good game. This provides a good escape from the mundane life.
- Networking Opportunity: Golf can be a very effective networking tool. Many golfers say that it is a lot easier to get a person to say yes to a round of golf than to a formal business meeting.
Carey has taken a great initiative by organizing weekly sessions for the students. As Coach Julieta said, this gives them a great opportunity to get outside, get a little exercise, and spend time with friends. Students should try to make the most of this opportunity.