Editors Note: At the 19th hole, after 18 holes of joy, frustration, self recrimination and surprise I sat down with Golf Expert, Coach and Mentor Jordan Fuller and talked about The Prepper Journal and what we were trying to accomplish here. He thought for awhile and then told me the following. I hope I have captured it all. You can find him at Golfinfluence.com. I adopted golf as a business tool long ago because, after 4+ hours of all the above emotions you really do learn a lot about the character of people.
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When preparing for the worst, it is always a good idea to utilize the lessons you’ve gathered throughout your life. For me, that education came through my experiences with playing tournament golf.
Now you might be wondering how golf carts and popped-up collars will help you prepare you and your family for disaster, but I assure you what I learned on the course has helped me immensely with my prepping homework. Here are five lessons that golf tournaments have taught me about survival.
Practice Never Made Perfect, But It Got Me Close
Anyone who has built their golfing skill set knows that it takes hours upon hours of practicing on the range and putting greens. Not only do you have to develop your fundamentals for your swing, but you also have to learn the correct way to chip and putt. The rhythm of each style of swing can be thrown off by the smallest ill-advised adjustment, so you have to make sure that you are continually working to keep your swing healthy.
The same is true with your emergency plan. You will want to make sure that your checklist is streamlined and always attainable. By attaching too many tasks, you can “alter your swing” causing problems down the road. If you find yourself overwhelmed, get back to basics. Don’t be afraid to scrap everything and start again.
Much like playing in a tournament, running through your plan will cause uncertainty and anxiety, but if you put the work into your preparation, you’ll give yourself the best chance at survival when disaster strikes.
Expect the Unexpected, So Practice The Unexpected
Even with the best preparation, I have learned that things will go wrong on the golf course. There are trees, sand bunkers, and water hazards to deal with when the bounces don’t go my way.
For these reasons, I always spend some of my practice time working on strange shots. I’ll hit golf balls over trees, I’ll practice shots on uneven ground, and I’ll roll my pants up to my knees, I’ll switch shoes to get comfortable ones and blast shots out of the water. I certainly get some strange looks on the range, but when the time comes to hit shots like these on the course, I’m ready.
When you take your emergency plan and start to put it in action, you’ll want to spend some of your practice time creating obstacles. By doing this you’ll be prepared when the worst is thrown at you during a disaster.
For example, perhaps you run through an alternative scenario where you split up your family and work on finding one another through unique methods. (Always remember when running drills for your preparation that you do so safely and with backup communication devices handy to end the exercise if necessary.)
Remember, there is no wasted time here with these outside-the-box preparations because it will create the type of thinking that will save you and your family.
Communicate Like a Caddie
Golfers trust their caddies implicitly. They are a trusted voice when determining wind direction, distance to the hole and other significant judgment calls on the course. When I have played in tournaments with a caddy to handle my bag, I make sure that the communication between the two of us is always open. Even if I do not take the caddy’s advice, I want them to feel comfortable enough to share their true opinion, so that I can take all the information into account before I make a final determination.
There is little difference with a golfer-caddy arrangement and how you should communicate with your loved ones when making critical decisions if a disaster strikes your location. Although it is essential to have a leader cast the deciding vote, if necessary, it is equally important for members of the group to have their voices heard in any discussion.
Quality communication is imperative for surviving a disaster, and that includes covering your emergency plans far ahead of time to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That said, it is also necessary to be able to discuss any tough choices if unforeseen issues should arise.
Always Have Your Fuel to Have Your Energy
When I’m playing a round of tournament golf, the last thing I want to be worrying about is my energy level. 18 holes can take around five hours to complete, and over that stretch of time, I will walk close to six miles. Now I always make sure to hydrate and eat before I play 18 holes, but during the round, I have a set number of snacks that keeps my energy even and allows me to perform at a high level.
With your previous preparation and planning, you have taken care of your long-term nutritional needs, but in the hours after a disaster hits, you’ll need to make sure that you do not stumble. For these reasons, having a pack that houses assorted snacks and energy boosting foods for the first 12 hours after a disaster strikes will keep your brain focused for the bigger decisions that lie ahead.
Making Sure Your Nerves Are Made From Steel
In my experience, there is nothing sweeter than when a tournament ends in victory. But, before I get to the point of holding a trophy, I will have been tested throughout the tournament with tough shots and situations where I’ll need to save myself from a terrible score by getting the golf ball out of trouble. Nothing tests my nerves like a tournament, but now that I have played in so many events, I don’t feel the pressure like I did in the early days.
If a disaster strikes, the situation will test your courage in difficult ways. The only way you can even come close to understanding that level of stress is by putting yourself in circumstances that test you now, so when trouble occurs, you have the resolve necessary to handle the situation with a calm and steady focus.
Although these five steps may be broad in scope, they will help you push away the noise so you can focus on the tasks at hand. With proper planning and a large amount of prep work done now, you will be able to handle any disaster imaginable.
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