By Kevin Hutto

When you play a game of golf, you engage in it not just for the exercise but for the relaxation it offers. The carpeted green landscape gives your eyes the chance to relax and take things easy. For some, the golf course is the best place to do business. It has been said that more business deals are closed on the golf course than anywhere else.

But a round of golf is more than just a game. There are many life lessons to be learned in a game. Both young and old alike can glean a lot of learnings from a single round of golf. And the lessons begin even before you have played your first real game at an 18-hole golf course.

In your first foray to the game, you’ll soon realize that while it’s fun and engaging, it’s also an expensive sport to get involved in. Apparel, shoes, clubs, balls and golf lessons from a pro all cost a hefty sum (which probably explains why only about 15% of the American population play the game). Because of the expenses involved, you’re forced to become resourceful– and this is one important life lesson worth cultivating. Instead of buying brand new golf clubs, you can opt for more affordable, second-hand but quality clubs. Instead of purchasing brand new balls that you’ll most likely lose in the water anyway, you can buy used golf balls for way less than the price of the original.

Another life lesson that can be learned in a golf game is to look before you leap, that is, thinking before making any shots. In golf, players are given time to contemplate their strategy carefully. What club to use, where to land the ball in the green and how much force to put in a putt– all these require careful consideration before any action can be undertaken. And all these are done under the scrutiny of spectators and fellow players and the inherent pressure of the game.

Perhaps the best life lesson that can be learned from golf is honesty and fair play. The rules of golf are encapsulated in the following statement: “Play the course as you find it, play the ball as it lies, and play fairly.” In a world where cheating is the norm as long as you don’t get caught, playing golf cements the practice of integrity even when no one is looking.

The most important life lessons can be found in a golf game. It’s time you start playing.

I am an entrepreneur and internet business owner from Atlanta. Moving to Atlanta in 1989 to attend Georgia Tech gave me a background in computers and technology. After college, I spent time in the investment banking world at Bear Stearns in Atlanta. After several years, I decided to take some time and give back. My wife and I worked in the Ministry full time for 5 years helping children and teens (and a few grownups too). My wife(a partner at a local law firm) and I re-entered the workforce several years ago. Since then, I have been involved with a few startups (some successful-some not). But I have definitely developed opinions about what is working and what is not in the new millennium.

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