If you had to ask your friends and family what financial freedom means to them, you’d find that everyone’s answer is different. We all desire financial freedom, and in most cases, it’s based on our goals and desires.
But almost all answers overlap where having enough savings and cash on hand allows you to live the life you want. Financial independence means that you’re prepared for whatever adventure you want to embark on or for whatever life throws your way.
Fortunately, being a stock market genius isn’t the only way to financial freedom! On my journey to financial freedom, some of the most valuable lessons came from playing golf.
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What Can Golf Teach You About Financial Freedom
Setting and Achieving Goals
Golf has milestones that help to make you a better golfer, like breaking a 100. When you’re new to golf, breaking 100 is a big deal, followed by getting an official handicap.
Setting goals helps you become a better golfer, especially when you’re achieving goals like breaking a certain score, hitting a par-5 green in two shots, or making back-to-back birdies.
Likewise, you’ll need to set financial goals and work towards achieving financial freedom. This important step golf taught me is also a part of financial management. Just like golf, your objectives must be:
- Very specific, i.e., how much you want to save every month or how much debt you wish to pay off
- Written down so you can see them
Then work step-by-step towards reaching them and be consistent. Consistency wins more golfing rounds than anything else.
Teaches You to Budget
A tricky thing about golf is sticking to a budget as you plan your rounds of golf. One of the most significant expenses a golfer faces is course fees. The course fee will vary between $15 to $100 for a public course and $100 to $630 at some semi-private and private clubs.
In the same way, budgeting and planning for your finances is an essential part of achieving financial freedom. Plan what you’ll do with every penny before the month begins. Then monitor and track your spending throughout the month.
This will help you identify where you may be overspending or underspending, and you can adjust your budget accordingly. To help you keep track of your budget, you can download an app that will suit your needs.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Playing a round of golf requires focus and strategy as you evaluate the risks and rewards of each shot you play. Before you tee off, you need to understand the course layout so that you navigate around out-of-bounds stakes, water hazards, and bunkers.
There are two essential lessons this aspect of golf taught me about financial freedom. The first is to understand the risks and rewards before making any investments. The second is that you don’t be aggressive and put all your money into one type of investment.
Instead, make sure that you diversify your investments by considering spreading your money across exchange traded funds (ETFs), adding index funds or fixed-income funds, and including some fixed-income solutions.
This will help you maximize your returns while minimizing risks, especially during challenging economic periods.
Patience and Discipline
Golf is a challenging game to learn how to play, and every golfer knows that it can take months to master hitting the ball the right way. This reason is why the game requires a great deal of patience and discipline as you learn.
Golfers must learn golf etiquette, the fundamentals, what equipment they need, and when to use it. Then once you’ve nailed all those, you must navigate the golf course and make intelligent decisions to end with a ‘good golf score.’
It’s hard not to give in to emotions as the game unfolds. But at the end of the day, controlling your emotions and redirecting your focus can be the determining factor of whether you win or lose.
It’s also about acknowledging that there are things you can’t control, like poor bounces, slow players, or the weather.
Similarly, achieving financial freedom requires patience and discipline when it comes to saving and investing. You need patience, discipline, focus, and consistency to be financially free. It requires you to think long-term and to know your numbers to succeed.
Network and Build Relationships
Golf is an excellent way of meeting new people who share similar interests and who you can potentially build relationships with. In addition, by networking with other golfers, you may find someone who could mentor you and offer guidance on managing your finances.
You’ll have access to industry knowledge and experience that can help you avoid common risks. But you’ll also be able to take advantage of more opportunities, as they can guide you through the complexities of the finance industry.
Your mentor may help you build a more customized financial strategy that can help you achieve financial freedom. It will also help you build more confidence and become more comfortable with risk while you produce consistent results.
You Learn from Your Mistakes
Golfers have no choice but to learn from their mistakes, ranging from a poor swing path with bad posture to scooping the ball. We learn by analyzing and troubleshooting to improve our game.
In the same way, learning from financial mistakes and using that knowledge to make better decisions is an integral part of achieving financial freedom. Unfortunately, on your journey, you may find a few money mistakes you overlooked.
These could include:
- Using credit cards for gasoline, home appliances, or groceries
- Not generating passive income and relying only on a single income source
- Not putting money away for emergencies
- Not investing in your retirement or taking advantage of tax-deferred retirement accounts
- Spending money on monthly subscriptions that you don’t really need
Bottom Line on How Golf Can Teach Financial Freedom
Achieving financial freedom may seem daunting, but ultimately, it’s all about smart thinking, strategy, and consistency. Golf taught me many things, and as a businessman myself, I never thought I’d be able to learn about financial freedom from a sport.
But with a bit of thought and consideration, it’s easy to see how the sport can positively influence you along your journey to financial freedom. Best of luck and stay consistent!
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Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.