By: Mike Levine USGTF Level IV Member Port St. Lucie, Florida Golf is a game of a lifetime…and you as a teacher of this amazing game need to bear the torch for its disciples. Create awareness in your students that there is no easy way. No real shortcuts. Enjoying practice and having an understanding of the steps necessary in order to advance is the only “secret.” One must learn and truly grasp fundamentals that are time-honored in order to advance and prosper with this game. The commitment is similar to learning a musical instrument. The formula is the same. Fundamentals well-rehearsed lead to sound technique, and followed with a commitment to improve continuously leads to achieving your potential. Once a student gets hookedby the game, whether from a drive that flies much farther than the effort would suggest, or a high, towering iron shot that seemed equally effortless, the “magic” begins. The brain and spirit of a golfer become addicted, triggering the excursion of a lifetime! Like any long journey, its passage reveals unique and surprising twists and unexpected delights and stumbles along its way. It is all but boring, and skilled practitioners of this game know all too well to expect only the unexpected. So, why do so many quit before they really begin this journey? We as teachers must share a bit of the blame, and perhaps should try to lessen the burden of the learning experience and the requirements necessary for golfing proficiency. That is only part of the answer, but it is more complex than that. Instant gratification is the byword today. This is the now generation, waiting only micro-seconds to be informed, entertained, gratified and fed! Yet, we can’t force golf into this micro-second community; that is both the peril and charm of golf. A great deal of the joy of golf is its contradiction to today’s “now” mentality. Like it or not, we only slowly acquire the skills necessary to approach mastery of this game. Yet, mastery is only rarely touched upon, and it fleets as quickly as it embraces us. How dare golf do this to us? Neither riches nor power have control of the golf gods. These gods lay their deaf ears upon all of our crying and moaning, and they care not for our misery. This god shows such little compassion that most flee this wrath, escaping to some other endeavor, all the while secretly dying to touch again upon that moment, day, or week of greatness. To feel and bask in the glory of great ballstriking, or effortlessly scoring on the course puts the hook in deep! The exquisite joys of those sparse moments of golfing greatness continuously beckon to us, like a cruel mistress calling us to her bedside, knowing full well of our burning desire to be satisfied by her special charms. This is the pleasure and the passion, the pain and joy of golf. The lows are low, and the high are high; but, therein is the addiction, and few who have experienced these peaks and valleys would trade for these moments. We must help our students stay on course. To endure and persevere. We surely can’t stop the world from turning so fast, but we can take a ride down a less-traveled and more peaceful path, that of patience and perseverance, which leads to golf’s inner circle – those who dare to be humbled and exalted by this game. So, let your students know what truly lays ahead – the journey of a lifetime, the pathway to self-mastery, the mastery of patience and perseverance!