Golf is a very enjoyable, challenging and frustrating game. There is one thing that every golfer uses to play the game of golf; the ball. It just sits there, high up on a tee or nestled in lush grass, mid to high weeds, behind trees, under bushes or in mud. Of course it also finds its way into water, but that usually means the golfer doesn’t get to hit it, they get another ball, put it in one of these places and then hit it again until it lands in one of the aforementioned places. Ah, golf is such fun, isn’t it.
To enjoy the game of golf and play it reasonably well, you have to practice the skills involved with playing it, eye-hand coordination, timing, flexibility, balance, strength, coordination and of course, patience and persistence. It’s also important to develop the skill of optimism because it’s an extremely important skill to have when you play golf.
Then again, golf is a great game for you to work on a set of skills you need and use every day. Skills that are called different things: ‘people,’ ‘life,’ ‘social,’ ‘interpersonal’ and today, they’re even called ‘soft’ (but they’re not soft at all). The one thing these skills aren’t is ‘technology skills.’ There are no screens or keyboards involved in using them. Well, there are screens on ‘range finders’ that golfers use to decide how far they ‘have to,’ and ‘would like to’ hit that little ball. But, after using the range finder, it’s back to using those basic physical and mental skills again and again.
There are five skills which we all need to learn if we want to play the game of life well and enjoy playing it. They are easy to learn and apply. Everyone can learn them and they’re very easy to practice. And, once you master them, your ability to play the game of life is enhanced significantly. These skills help you meet people, engage them In conversation, earn their support and confidence and they can actually help you become successful…if you use them properly. They build on each other, the easier skills learned first, and the more involved skills later.
You are able to use these skills the minute you signup for a round of golf, go to the starter and meet your playing partners. If you use them properly, the skills can make your round of golf very enjoyable…or miserable, the choice is yours.
Okay, here are these simple, but very effective skills: first impression, interpersonal, communication, presentation and selling.
I should tell you that some people say they are all communication or interpersonal skills. And, they may be right. However, just like the skills you need to play golf, you work on and practice them separately, so I’ve decided to separate what could be called communication or interpersonal skills and make it easy to understand what each skill is and how to practice it.
Finally, the reason these five skills are so important in golf and life is because, like golf, every golfer plays with a ball. And, in the game of life, the one constant you play and deal with is people. When you master these five skills, which I call HOPE Skills, your chances of being effective playing the game of life are enhanced significantly.
Bob Wolf is founder of HOPE: The Students’ Bridge To Business and the HOPE Skills Program. Visit the HOPE Skills YouTube channel for more information.