This spring, I made it my goal to teach my oldest daughter (who is 11) to play golf. Encouraged by friends who also play, she has developed a very natural swing and it looks like she'll be able to pick up the game quickly. This is a good thing since her dad normally can't break 100 on a good day. I have my doubts about my abilities to teach her how to play but I will at least give it a try.
I first learned to play golf from my dad when I was about 6 years old. When I was younger, he and I would play together often while we were on vacation. At least we did play until it got to the point that I would beat him regularly.
I still play occassionally but not very often and certainly not enough to develop any consistency in my game. But that's not the point.
The point is that by teaching my daughter to play golf it will allow us to do something we can enjoy together for the rest of our lives. It will allow us to have time together as father and daughter as we play this wonderfully maddening game.
Golf will also allow me to teach her about honor, perserverance, success and failure all at the same time.
Golf is unique in that there is no referee. Each person must learn to play honestly if they wish to be successful.
Golf is also a unique test of one's patience and perserverance. In a split second a seemingly brilliant shot can be ruined by a bad bounce. Golf is cruel in how it tests a player's mettle. But those who can handle the ups and downs of the game are more likely to be successful in handling the ups and downs that life throws at us. A golfer must learn to play the ball as it lies meaning you take what you get and deal with it as best as you can.
I'm hoping that my daughter will enjoy playing the game as much as I do. It is a skill once learned that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment. More importantly, I hope that she learns the lessons that the game has to teach us. Those lessons learned from golf serve us well in life also.
This post originally appeared at DadBloggers.