In today’s instant world, when you can send pics, videos, texts or money to a friend clear across the world in seconds, it’s sometimes hard to appreciate the things that don’t come quickly. It’s also difficult to grasp the concept of events being unpredictable. We want to know what we’re getting ourselves into and what we can expect from the activities we participate in. The truth of the matter is, there are certain things that just don’t have a quick fix or solution. Some things just don’t make sense. Learning to golf is one of these things.

Golf is a complex sport that takes years to master. Even then, most people aren’t sure what’s going to happen during any given round. Yet, in this uncertainty, there are some truths about golf that we can count on. In order to avoid disappointment and surprise, let’s examine those truths:

Golf is not a sport you master in a day.

Plan to spend many, many hours learning each aspect of golf. You can’t take an express course and expect to know everything you need to know. It truly takes a lifetime (and then you’re not even done) to discover all of the secrets of golf.

If you’re looking for the same experience each time you go out, find another sport.

Every single round is going to be different. Let’s say the last time you played you couldn’t putt to save your life. The next round, there’s a chance you’ll sink every putt… but this time your drives might be off. In the beginning, a golfer really has no consistency (a frustrating but true fact, sorry). The way to get to the point where most of your game comes together on any given round is to practice. Then practice more. And when you think you’re done, practice some more. Can you see a pattern?

If you’re looking for a sport where you’re not going to bond with your playing partners, look into sparring or maybe dodge ball.

Golf gives you hours of time with the people you choose to play with. During these hours, you or someone in your foursome will no doubt share things that are important to them. There will be a lot of “moments.” You’ll laugh together. Support each other. Golf is cool this way.

If you’re looking for a sport with a playing field that looks exactly the same everywhere you go, forget about golf.

With golf, you can play in the mountains, alongside the sea, or you can travel to tropical locations and play across the street from the beach. You can pick almost any kind of setting that floats your boat, and find a golf course that matches that vision perfectly. Beauty, challenge, and diversion are just some of the many perks of exploring new golf courses.

If you hate learning lessons about yourself, and figuring out your problems while you’re busy doing something fun, again, stay away from golf.

While you are perfecting your golf game, you’re also going to be working on yourself. You’ll learn patience, perseverance, and the ability to see when you’re at fault… and fix it gracefully. You’ll also learn the importance of respecting your friends and fellow players, and see how these skills transfer nicely off the golf course. You’ll see (through trial and error) how it always feels better to have a positive outlook, even in the face of adversity. (This usually comes after hitting six shots out of the sand, when you finally realize that laughing about it is a lot more fun than throwing your club.)

The bottom line is… golf is different than most sports. It’s a lifetime activity that comes with the understanding that we’re going to have to keep working at the game for as long as we play. It offers us the chance to practice until we get to the point where we’re finally ready to… practice some more. In a way, this philosophy takes the pressure off of us thinking we have to be pros in five weeks or five years. We don’t. All we have to do is understand what golf truly is… a sport that helps us grow and learn each and every round.