You can learn a lot about yourself from a tree you didn’t event notice.

It happened to me this past summer when I was golfing with Mo Golf and Scrambler during our Bethpage Binge in July. We stood atop a Par 3 tee deck somewhere in the beautiful golf abyss that is Bethpage Black. I was debating which iron to hit and where to aim when Scrambler exclaimed…

“That’s a perfectly placed tree.”

He was referring to a tree that subtly guarded the left side of the green. The tree forced people to have to hit more agressive lines into the green. The tree had a purpose, and as I learned during that trip – many trees on golf courses don’t have a purpose.

I wasn’t blown away with the fact that the tree had been planted in a perfect spot. I was more caught up with the fact I’d barely noticed it. I stepped to the tee, was about to grab a club, swing and march on. Scrambler was studying the hole’s angles. Mo Golf was photographing it. They were experiencing the course – I was merely playing it.

In many ways, that golf hole and its tree are a metaphor for my life. I wake up with a To Do list every day. I’m always focused on getting to the next workout, the next day of work, the next project… rarely do I stop to study the trees.

This year, that’s my resolution. I want to notice more subtleties on the golf course. I want to get angry at an ill-advised tree on a golf course. I want to notice how a creek impacts the club a player can hit. I want to see the tiny shifts in the slope of a green. I want to understand even more about the game I love to play.