What Is More Important Your Golf Handicap Or Your Spouse?

K’s Photo’s / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

A few years ago if an alien or reality show camera crew objectively watched me from above, it would be crystal clear that my golf handicap was more important than my wife or family. I loved my wife and son, but I was obsessed with golf. I used to leave my napping son in the car while I putted and chipped. (Don’t call the police—I left the windows down with the car in sight.) My wife knew that during a major championship, I would be glued to the television all weekend. One of my son’s first words was Tiger—not the animal.

The funny thing is 8 years ago, basketball was more important than my wife, who at the time was my girlfriend. And 10 years ago, surfing was the love of my life. My surfer friends and I used to have a saying, “Bros before Bettys.” I remember one summer I was dating a beautiful Ukrainian model who was applying for med school. She needed me to stay with her for support, but I had planned to drive down the coast of Mainland Mexico with some buddies. I bet you can guess how this story ended.

It wasn’t until I lost everything and was on the verge of divorce that I realized that relationships are the most important thing in our lives. It sounds like a cliché, but no one on their deathbed regrets the championship they lost; they regret the relationships they didn’t develop, maintain, or cherish.

After this realization, I made it a daily practice to work on my relationships. Suddenly, my ability to crush a golf ball 270 yards off the tee paled in comparison to my desire to cultivate compassion and empathy in order to bring peace to my marriage and children. In my writing and coaching, I aim to help others make this realization without having to hit rock bottom.

If we step back and look at the bigger picture, investing in our relationships pays off in the long run no matter whom you are. Even Tiger Woods will spend more time with his loved ones than on the golf course.

Some of us are obsessed with “making it big” in our lives. We sacrifice quality time with our families to acquire more money, security, or prestige. But unless you want to die like Howard Hughes isolated in a room with bottles of your own urine, I suggest you focus on who will be there if you don’t “make it big.”

I’m redefining “making it big” to mean experiencing an abundance of love in my life, getting Big Hugs from my children, and having a Big Heart that engulfs my wife. Feel free to join me.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Have you sacrificed relationships in pursuit of your dreams? Are you willing to change your dreams to include your loved ones? Please share.

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