"Ready to REALLY Get Connected?"

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I'm sure you've noticed how the great technical innovations we've seen the past 20 years have changed our lives for the better...they have. But, I believe they have changed our lives for the worse, too. When we, as a culture, made the effort to "get connected" on our smartphone, our iPad or our netbook, we have done so at the expense being connected to others, including our family and friends.

Sound familiar? Like so many others, I have often found myself in the inevitable time struggle between settling for a "virtual connection" with my world, but foregoing a real connection with those who matter the most to me. It's true, these amazing tech tools we now have at our disposal make it so easy to communicate with others, including our family and friends, but this communication can't substitute for real time, real connection in the relationships we value most in our lives.

Looking for a great way to connect (or reconnect,) with your family? As I've suggested in the past, golf is a great way to "get connected." Before you picture "golf" in your mind, it is not entirely what you believe it to be. To be golf, it doesn't have to be eighteen holes (or even 9 holes), or take 5 hours, or be expensive...it doesn't have to be played skillfully either. On the PGA Tour, skill and competition are key, but when you're with your spouse, or your kids, skill and competition should take a back seat to companionship, enjoying the beauty of the golf course, laughing, (sometimes LOL,) and sharing.

These higher experiences where we invest time (and ourselves) into our family and/or close friends are can provide us with memorable "wow" experiences that transcend anything we can get out of the internet, the TV or any other virtual source. For instance, on a golf course we can find "resonance." Besides the joy of being with people we value or being on a beautiful golf course, amongst all the shots we hit, we can strike that one great shot which RESONATES and literally feels like a shot of adrenaline when we hit it. If you're not a golfer, ask one and they'll confirm what I mean.

We can also find "presence." All too often, in our virtual world, there's too much to do, too many lists and too much pressure. On a golf course, with my kids or with my Dad, I can find presence. The stresses of the day are literally set aside, as are the stresses and worries for tomorrow. No, they don't go away permanently, but I can ESCAPE them for a few hours and enjoy the relationships I am sharing with on the course. When with my kids, I also regularly find myself hanging back, marking time as we go. I notice the beautiful sky, or the way their swing has improved or just count my blessings at being there with them at that very moment.

We can find so much when we set aside the "synthetic world" of relationships and insert genuine time for relationships. Getting connected in real time, does take time, but the rewards far outweigh the investment. In my opinion, artificial turf doesn't compare to the real grass on the golf course either.

In the Vancouver area, golf courses like Green Mountain and Tri-Mountain, or The Cedars on Salmon Creek in Brush Prairie, are now offering reasonably priced golf options for less than 9 holes at off-peak times, or special rates for families playing together.

GET GOLF READY? They also offer special pricing for novice golfers to learn how to play through a low-stress, comprehensive group clinic program called GET GOLF READY (GGR). It is a specially designed program for adults, families, couples, etc to learn how to play, plus all the etiquette and related information to make GGR students feel like they belong and are comfortable on the course. To see if there's a GET GOLF READY program available near you, please visit www.getgolfready.com and enter your zipcode. If you, or someone you care about, might be looking to "get connected" to the great, transcendant game of golf, this is the place to go...(be sure to take that someone you care about with you, too.)