I was at the miniature golf course and a preschooler was squealing with excitement. I assumed she had made a hole in one. In a short moment, the child squealed again. By the third explosion of excitement, I felt I needed to watch this child prodigy. Every time the preschooler hit the ball and it did not go in the hole, the child would shriek with excitement. I asked her, “Why are you so happy when the ball doesn’t go in the hole?” She looked at her dad and said, “If I get the ball in the hole, the game is over. If I keep playing, I get more time with my daddy!”
I grew up with a father who played golf most weekends and watched many a tournament on the television. I never heard him excited about a high score. I never heard him joyful about not getting that little ball in the hole. I was taught to play by the rules. You have to take a penalty shot if you want to get out of the rough. You cannot walk across the line of another player’s putt on the green. The farthest player from the pin hits the first shot.
There are many reasons why people play golf. Some enjoy the exercise. Others like the competition or the personal challenge. Some people see the game as a chance to have fun or to enjoy the outdoors. Others like the game because of the friends and relationships that are formed on the course. As I always followed rules, I never thought much about the rules of a relationship. A relationship needs time to develop. Relationships need as many holes as possible.
Sometimes we get caught up in the daily rules and forget that the relationships can be more important than the rules. Sometimes that time on the golf course with a loved one is more important than the final score. Sometimes it takes a preschool shrieking about not getting a ball in a hole to remind us of that.
- Who in your life would you like to spend more time with?
- What prevents you from spending more time building relationships?
- If you could ignore some rules in the world, what would they be?
- Will you take time this week to give yourself a Mulligan when you need a do-over in a relationship?
“Do I have to know rules and all that crap? Then forget it.” John Daly (when asked whether he’d like to join the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, after winning the ’95 British Open at St. Andrews)
“I have always believed there are far too many rules in golf. For me, if you cannot write them all on the back of a matchbox then something is wrong. ” -Henry Longhurst
The Power of a Preschooler will change your life….. if you let it.