John Renslow: Golf, a microcosm of life | TheUnion.com
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John Renslow: Golf, a microcosm of life

John Renslow

The learning process, the competition, relating to others, the highs, the lows — how we endure, adjust, and enjoy the experience has direct parallels to our game. It has been said that golf is a microcosm of life.

As we currently make our way through a global hazard, it might be educational and entertaining to hear what some of golf’s celebrities say about life and athletics.

“The main idea in golf as in life, I suppose, is to learn to accept what cannot be altered and to keep on doing one’s own reasoned and resolute best whether the prospect be bleak or rosy.” – Bobby Jones

“Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more than it is a game of perfect shots.” – Dr. Bob Rotella

“No matter how good you get, you can always get better — and that’s the exciting part.” – Tiger Woods

“As you walk down the fairway of life, you must smell the roses, for you only to play one round.” – Ben Hogan

“Golf is the infallible test. The person who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching and play their ball as it lies, is the person who will serve faithfully and well.” – P.G. Wodehouse

“Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what your experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.” – Bruce Crampton

“One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot – the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something.” – Peter Jacobson

“Golf is the loneliest sport. You’re completely alone with every conceivable opportunity to defeat yourself. Golf brings out your assets and liabilities as a person. The longer you play, the more certain you are that a man’s performance is the outward manifestation of who, in his heart, he really thinks he is.” – Hale Irwin

“No matter how good you get, you can always get better — and that’s the exciting part.” – Tiger Woods

Yes, that is the exciting part. A man I knew into his 90s was still striving to improve his game. He had been playing for decades, yet was still trying, not satisfied with where he was.

That is perhaps golf’s best lesson. Whatever life throws at us, we decide how we respond and if we look for it, we will find a way to achieve something better.

John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at jrenslow@pga.com.


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