Uyo. Akwa Ibom. Slightly over a month ago. It was the last of our four days in Akwa Ibom. It was a Sunday. Departure flight was for early evening. Decided on a walk around what I had, on previous visits, thought to be an expansive greenery around Meridien (now known as Ibom Icon).
I always knew there was a Golf course around, even if I didn’t exactly know how close it was to the Hotel. Even as Tiger Woods had led me into following the sport. I didn’t play it. I wasn’t about to enroll in the game of the big boys. I just wanted a walk around.
But the door had barely let go of its automatic jaws, with the fresh morning air sucking me in, when Ime caught up with me. He introduced himself as the resident Tour Guide. Can he lead me on a walk around? He was polite, but firm. I wondered about the offer. I wanted a quiet walk. Why would I need a Guide for this walk?
Ime didn’t give me much of a choice, as he immediately launched into an historical excursion about the Hotel. Which Governor came up with the idea. Which one built the Golf Course. Which one built the hotel. I was enthralled. I was trapped.
Nothing however prepared me for the switch by Ime from the historical journey of the Resort to philosophy, with Golf as the club. Nothing prepared me for a class in ‘Golf as philosophy’ with numerous lessons for life embedded. I couldn’t even interrupt Ime to ask from which well he was drawing from and where he learnt all he was sharing. I had to take care not to disrupt the flow.
Here are some of the philosophical lessons from the game of Golf as shared with me by Ime on this Sunday morning walk:
1. In life, every straight line you see on your way is not straight. You might not know that though until you get there.
2. Every mistake you make in life, you pay for it. By the time you start to make mistakes, the straight line now becomes an obstacle. Challenges come. Problems come.
3. Problem is a part of life. When the challenges and problems come, you don’t need to be carried away, because you can still bounce back and become a winner.
4. In life, no matter the challenge, don’t give up. Life is a race. In the course of the race, you come across bridges, rivers, mountains, trees, streams and valleys along the way. Whatever it is, you must be calculated and focused to be able to achieve success.
5. Success in Golf, just like in life, depends less on the strength of the body than the strength of mind and character.
6. To be successful, one must respect one rule – ‘Never lie to yourself’.
7. To be successful, there are two important things – silence and smile.
* Seven of the lessons, as shared with me by Ime. For me, the most important one is – Never lie to yourself. That is what Golf is about, I am told. Golf is about honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment, we are told. That is what life is all about. Golf is life.
© 04. 12. 2022
By Simbo Olorunfemi