My father was an avid Golfer. That does not mean he was a great golfer. But he was a passionate golfer. He played as often as he could, competed in every local interclub competition, watched Jack Nicklaus videos and videotaped competitions, rarely traveled without his golf kit and was the captain of his club a record number of times. He was passionate about it. The camaraderie, connections, fun and drinks that came with the 18 holes were well worth it.
All of us were raised as ‘golf kids’. I was the only one who did not stick with it, but I understood the game enough to understand what the pleasure and the challenge in it were.
I, along with everybody else was excited about Tiger Woods. And kept a slight eye on the sport over the years. It has always been my intention to take it up later on in life and FINALLY participate in the family sport.
But Golf is only the vehicle that gets me to my point.
I watched another really good episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO the other day and one segment was on the future of Golf. The future of Golf? It’s going back to being an elite game for the rich and the old. So much so that the Golf industry is looking at ways to make it more interesting and inviting to the younger demographic.
Apparently, one of the reasons young people have lost interest in Golf, is because it is HARD!!! Apparently no one wants to walk 18 holes and have to try SO hard to make that little ball roll into that tiny hole at the center of the green.
Introducing the 15 inch putt hole, only a few little inches larger than the standard 4.25 inch putt hole! Obviously, to make it easier to get the ball in. Still 18 holes, but easier game, more fun, more clients Woohoo!
Another popular trend that is quickly gaining momentum is “Top Golf” – driving ranges that simultaneously serve as night clubs. You don’t have to putt, you don’t have to concentrate that much, after all, the music is blaring so that you can dance as you swing, and best of all, you don’t have to wait till the end of your game for the round of beer.
Though this sounds entertaining enough, I am not sure if we should call it Golf.
But we are having fun, right? That’s the purpose of the sport after all, isn’t it? What’s the problem with that?
I don’t think the problem with Golf is Golf at all. What the problem is, is that with each generation, we are UN-learning the value of deferred gratification. The value of practice making perfect. The value of challenge. Instead of facing challenge, we are doing away with it in the name of instant gratification.
Why walk around a large manicured field every weekend to master the art of getting a ball into a hole? “It takes way too long” “It’s just too much work” “It’s too difficult”
Forget that walking is a great albeit mild form of exercise, being out in the fresh air and sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D, which many of us are lacking these days, cooped up in our cubicles by day and our dimly lit gaming rooms by night. Many valuable friendships and business deals have been forged on the golf course. And the challenge, ever against no one but yourself, makes you strive to do better every time. And when you have played your best that beer at the end is not just a drink, it is a delicious and well deserved reward.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am all for technology and making things easier, after all I am an online entrepreneur. But even in my Industry, people come into the business thinking it’ll all just happen at the push of a button. And they quit in disappointment when they have not become millionaires in a month. Yes, internet marketing is a lot easier than traditional sales used to be. Yes, anyone can do it. But it still takes commitment, practice and yes, it is a challenge that may take some time to master. But oh, when you do….it is SO worth the wait.
Learning to deal with challenge is a very important part of not just building our character, but of succeeding in life and business.
We should not always look for the easier way out. We should not always seek to bend the rules of the game just to make it easier for us to play it.
You don’t become great by cheating yourself and that is what we are doing.
Hey, if I want to play Golf, I want to play the real thing. I may not become Tiger Woods, but I would be pretty proud of whatever success I do achieve.
Becoming an internet entrepreneur is a lot easier AND very possible. So here’s my take:
Instant gratification = working a J.O.B. that you are probably not passionate about to earn a weekly paycheck that you spend having fun at virtual golf night clubs or other trendy forms of entertainment. But look to the future, what happens when you are no longer the party animal. You will be left with the J.O.B….or not. And wonder what ever happened to your joy of living.
Deferred yet lasting gratification = using your spare time to set up and work a business that is YOURS. Making, saving and investing YOUR money and looking at that future – you quit the J.O.B. on your own terms and are living in early “retirement” doing what you want to do, when you want to, and with whom. Hey, maybe you are taking in 18 holes at an exotic golf course with standard size putt holes.
Which sounds better to you?
In my opinion, instant gratification is NO gratification at all.