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Math
By Anne Marie Goslak

It happened much earlier than I thought it would. My nephew, now a freshman at Wake Forest was only 12 when he asked, "Can you help me with my math homework?"

Confidently, I walked over to him and said, "Sure, Ethan. I'd be happy to help you." I looked down at his paper and frowned. I did not understand the question, let alone know how to solve the problem.

Although math was never my best subject, I thought, "I am a Wake Forest graduate. Surely I can figure out junior high math!" After ten minutes of guessing, not even the internet could help me.

I could not help Ethan with his math homework, but I could teach him a valuable life lesson that day.

"Ethan, you know I love you right? And I'd do anything in my power to help you. But unfortunately, I don't have the skill set to help you with math. And since we're talking about it, I can't help you with science either."

I went on to explain that each person needs a "Go to Team" to help them in various situations. Picking the right person to be on your "Go to Team" requires that you know a few things about them.

1-They should genuinely WANT to help you. Kids getting help from their teammates/competitors is never a good idea. Golf is still an individual sport. Sadly, ulterior motives are alive and well in high school.

2- They should have skill in that SPECIFIC subject. I have a solid understanding of golf, kinesiology, the Bible and WWII. That does not mean I am qualified to help anyone in math.

3- They should have at least five years of modern day EXPERIENCE in that subject matter. The last time I was focused on math was in the 1980s.

4-They should be EXPERTS in that field. My solid 76% average in any given math class should immediately exclude me from ever being on a "Math Go to Team."

Ethan came to understand that although I really wanted to help, I could not. He finally broke down and asked his mother for help. She was a much better choice since she taught math at the elementary level before getting her PhD and becoming a statistics professor.

What's this have to do with golf? Every week, I watch well-meaning people on the range. Sometimes, it's an 18 year old, trying to teach his friend. Other times, it's some guy who used to play professionally back in 1982, giving discounted lessons. In its worst form, it's a husband, trying to teach his wife.

In all situations, the "teacher" might have the willingness to help, but they lack the skill set or the experience. This is not meant to be a commercial for why you need golf lessons from me. This is just a reminder that we all can't be good at all things.

Before you get someone to help you with your golf game, ask a few questions, like "How long have you been teaching? Do you have any certifications? In a given year, how many lessons do you give?"

Whether it's golf, or some other topic, ask questions before forming your "Go to Team." If you need help with your golf game, call me. If it's math or science help you need, my sister's number is ...

-Anne Marie Goslak