What Golf Can Teach You About Getting Used to Languages

“The real reason why human beings play sports is to find out how to use our brains.”

This past summer, I tried a bunch of stuff. Including golf. All those “Cousin Tiger” jokes I used to tell in high school would appear to have finally come home to roost (inside joke…long story…not funny enough make it worth explaining in full).

The last time I played golf was when I was 12, at my friend’s dad’s club. This time went way better. I think it helped that it wasn’t real golf, just chip & putt. Putting is my favorite part of golf. I’m definitely a putt man.

Har dee har har.

Anyway, I was there moving this ball, enjoying the sea breeze, and it occurred to me how much it was like getting used to a language. Of course, there are the “organic” similarities: heterogeneous terrain, distractions, prevailing conditions. But to me, the biggest similarity lay in the fact that you don’t do it one shot. You can try, but it would be stupid for you to get upset about not making holes-in-one. So what do you do instead? Just try to get closer to the hole each time. You don’t get upset; you don’t throw your club at the nearest old lady or eleven-year-old; you just get closer to the hole each time.

That’s about all you can do (consistently): get closer. Putt, putt, putt. Fortunately, though, it’s all you need to do. All you can do is learn one new word. All you can do is turn on one podcast. All you can do is put your headphones on. That’s all you can do right now. But it’s all you need do.

PS: There are probably more golf-to-learning similarities, but…I’ll leave those to you and other people who play for real.

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  3 comments for “What Golf Can Teach You About Getting Used to Languages

  1. Paule
    November 17, 2013 at 01:48

    “You don’t get upset; you don’t throw your club at the nearest old lady or eleven-year-old; you just get closer to the hole each time.”

    I use the same method when it comes to women…

    Anyway, great article, khatz 🙂

  2. The Real CZ
    November 17, 2013 at 14:28

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