Golf Keeps Us Guessing

Right about the time you think you have golf figured out the game will throw you a curve-ball. Because of its difficult nature, golf keeps us guessing. What works during one wonderful round may send you searching for balls the next time you play. It’s a fickle game. Since golf can not be mastered, it requires a lifetime of study in order to find just enough success to avoid madness. Sound fun? It’s not a game for the easily deterred soul. It is however a grand one and it’s worthy of our pursuit. The real joy of golf comes from the journey it takes us on. Each time we walk back on to the course to find our game presents another chance that we might create a special memory. If you don’t play, it won’t happen. If golf went just right every time we would quickly become bored with it. After all, what would be the point in trying to solve an easy puzzle?


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Golf Saved My Life

I’ve been known to tell folks that “golf saved my life.” It’s true. Coming back to this wonderful game reminded me of childhood joy and helped me make my peace with God. Because of golf I became less of a lost soul. Perhaps it was some combination of quiet walks with my dog and the camaraderie of friends found through the game that lead me to discovering my better self. I believe that people need both passion and purpose in their life — through the years, golf has offered me both. Every time I am on a golf course I come a little closer to the person I hope to be. Golf is an aspirational game. Especially in the sense that it provides a road map to living a more courteous life. When I became consumed by golf I also began to enjoy an improved existence. It may sound audacious, but I know golf can have this affect on others too. Anyone who is willing to give their time and concentration to golf will undoubtedly find some answers to many challenging questions. The game may not have everything you need to make positive changes, but it’s one hell of a good foundation from which to build. Golf gives me time to tinker with my personality and room to grow my good habits. When playing, I always know which direction I need to go. Sometimes that’s all we need to get started on our journey towards who we will become.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

A Partner You Can Lean On

Competitive golf can be a real grind. It helps to have a partner who can help get you through it. That’s why as I get older I mostly prefer to play in four-ball tournaments. I love the feeling of playing golf as a team. It’s so much fun to draft off one another and share in the highlights of a tense round. There are always ups and downs during these events and they often become a battle. Sometimes everything clicks and scoring is a breeze. Then there are days where it gets tough to keep the bogeys off the card. No matter the mood, the only way to win is if you play as partners. Running down birdies and securing necessary pars turns into quite the sport. Things can get interesting when one player gets on a hot streak or even if one goes cold. Because of that reality, four-ball events bring out all sorts of emotions. What’s needed is balance. Both players have to try and meet the other halfway. When it all comes together great things can happen. After the tournament ends and the drinks and stories are being shared, it’s much more enjoyable to have a partner there to relive it all. Golf may be mostly an individual game, but it’s a better time when your part of a team.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Why Don’t We Do This More?

“What could we be doing that’s better than this?” It’s a good question to ask. When we find ourselves enjoying golf in the late afternoon with friends and family it’s hard not to wonder why we don’t do it more. The peacefulness found in these outings makes it easy to remember the true beauty of golf. We become relaxed in the most wonderful ways and through our wide-open eyes the world seems to glisten. To be in nature and with those whose presence we treasure is always special. It warms the soul and calms the heart. How tragic that we don’t insist on this relief more often. In those moments, the world moves at a trickling pace and for a few hours, we can see just how good life can be. To play golf is to pause conflict. The combination of grassy fields, soaring clouds, flora, and fauna before us seems to erode all worldly tension. We fill that void with smiles, laughter, small talk, and other visible signs of joy. As we play, we can’t help but ponder why we aren’t together like this every day. Our time on earth is minuscule and if the best of it happens on a golf course, why would we not make a habit of it? The only real barrier is how we chose to spend what little time we have.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

The Tournament Mindset

Tournament golf is different. There is an elevated tension in the air and a sense of meaning in every shot. It takes focus, deep breathing, and calm nerves to compete. Building a round through small wins is a smart strategy. Fairways and greens are the targets. Hit them and the score will mostly take care of itself. In that mindset, the only thing that matters is the shot at hand. Staying in each moment is key. No thought can be given to the swings that have passed. It’s a grind and the only way to be successful is to remain concentrated on each unique situation. Optimism and confidence come from keeping the head up and looking ahead for the opportunities. Each good shot unlocks the next. The way to win is to play against the course. The tournament may be a tough scene, but with the proper thought process, great things can happen.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

A Book Review From My High School English Teacher

I’m always quick to tell folks that I learned how to write from a collection of incredible high school English teachers. What they taught me in my adolescent years still shapes the words I craft today. I think about their lessons often and fondly recall how they helped me become a passionate writer. Their influence can be found in every chapter of my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf.

Recently, I was delighted to hear that one of my favorite teachers had not only picked up a copy, but also decided to write me a personal review. She delivered her comments to me via a visit to my mom’s salon where she still gets her hair done. When reading her elegant notes, I had a flashback to all the papers she graded for me in the past. It was good to see that handwriting again.

Below are her comments as transcribed from the note she left for me. I think it’s the best book review I could have ever hoped for. I enjoyed her comments so much that I thought it would be fun to share them.

Jay,

I took your advice and read your book in bits & pieces. Since I will lend my copy to others, I didn’t want to write my comments on the pieces themselves, so Ill just jot notes to you here…

Loved your introduction, especially the first sentence. Nice little tease at the end too. Then I went to the poetry. Imagine that, “Daylight Savings Swings” was my favorite. “How I Got Hooked on Golf” also spoke to me — intro and conclusion framed it so well. Loved the focus on your relationship with your grandfather. The dedication to your daughter Winnie with Chapter 10 about fatherhood was great. Talking about her with your mom is such fun!

The nine virtues you spoke about in your first chapter made me think about how they are also the ones needed for a successful life. One thing I noticed reading through all the pieces was the figurative language you used, like in “One Last Walk.” Mmmm…maybe you are a poet after all.

Your “On Common Ground” piece made me tear up. It was so beautiful. Maybe that’s just the mama in me. I’m sure your brother loves it as well.

“A Simple Game for Trouble Times” was a great conclusion for the book. “Our times may be troubled, but we have to avoid the convenience of isolation.” Wow! ” We must choose to lean in and engage with one another.” Yes, indeed. Engage with our animals like Leon as well, right?

Chapter 8 shows a lot about you and your priorities. It’s nice that you can have a “club in my hand and hope in my heart” all in your own back yard.

“Braggadocios”? Did you make that word up?

Chapter 11 had such great ideas in your strategic plan.

Glad to see the hangover at the Ocean Course didn’t completely dismantle you.

As you noted on page 83, I hope you’ll continue to play “fun, faster, freewheeling, and far from caring too much about the score.” You know my writer self like the alliteration( remember that?) in this sentence.

I enjoyed seeing the connection between golf and technology that led you to the Shindig. Sounds like money well spent.

Jay, I could definitely see that you have found your voice in this book. So glad I got to read it. You did a fine job of writing it.

Congratulations!

— Sharon

Writing my first book reminded me of so many things that I learned from teachers like Sharon. I hope what I published has made her and others proud.

If you liked Sharon’s review, you might enjoy reading the book in full. You can pick up a copy at the link below.

Cheers,

-J

Night Putting with Pals

I’ve spent a lot of late nights on the putting green in my life. Growing up in a small town meant that my friends and I often had to entertain ourselves. In a place with little to do, putting contests were our regularly scheduled programming. We’d roll for dollars while the sun sank down and stay to settle up under the parking lot lights. Sometimes we brought the dogs and on occasion our parents even got in on the game. Now that we’ve grown in age, we still go to the green to pass the time. The bets have gone up in value and the Coca Cola has turned into beer, but the camaraderie is still of the same flavor. Over some tense three footers we talk life and golf. Not much has changed in that sense. The dogs maybe different now but the reason for being there is the same. Passing some time on the putting green with friends never gets old. It’s still the best entertainment a few dollars can buy.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

The Endless Search

Every time a golfer swings the club there are infinite results that could occur. Some shots turn out swell while others fall short of expectations. As frustrating as the misses may be it is the variety of golf which keeps the player coming back. In every golfer, there is an unquenchable desire to do better. That’s why we all keep swinging. The only way to find glory in this game is to put in the reps. The more one plays golf, the more rewards it will yield. Of course, as the years and rounds played go by, all those good shots and bad ones tend to blur together. What remains are memories of time well spent in pursuit of a passion. The great swings we make turn out to be just an excuse to keep looking for more. What we really seek is the pleasure of an endless search. All those iterations eventually become a lifetime of joy.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

The Work/Life/Golf Balance

There’s a lot of talk about work/life balance, but for some, a work/life/golf balance is important too. With that in mind, my friends and I get together on Tuesday evenings each week for nine holes of quick-paced competition. When the clock hits 5 pm everyone shuffles their papers, closes their laptops, and turns off the office lights before making a mad dash to the course. With a few bucks in our wallets and hope for birdies in our hearts, we set out to conquer our home course before dinner. Our families are kind enough to grant us this weekly reprieve from the evening chores and for a few hours, the emails can wait. Cold beers are enjoyed and the golf we play makes for a fine mid-week escape. It’s the perfect respite from conference calls and daycare pickup. A couple of hours with our pals helps to power through the week and it’s a great incentive to get things done at home or the office. Over the course of our brief round, there are hoots, hollers, fist pumps, and friendly banter. Sometimes the golf is good and on other occasions, we just shrug our shoulders and keep swinging. The game is on no matter the weather and we are always on a mission to get home before dark. Once we finish, the realities of our world return, and the rest of the week comes rushing back into our thoughts. The golf makes for a fun break though. We may not win any cash, but we always walk away with a big smile. That’s the sort of balance every golfer seeks. A little bit of golf makes everything better.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

A Good Vice to Get Hooked On

There’s a lot to love about golf. Of all the vices available to get hooked on, it must be the best. The fact that this game can be played at virtually any age makes it particularly compelling. Every time I tee it up with my grandfather I’m reminded of this. Even at his ripe old age, he still exudes a passion for the game. It’s so clearly a major part of who he is that it is impossible to separate the man from the golfer. His love for golf is ever present and that’s a good thing to be known for. Building a life in golf is a great aspiration and Gramps has shown me the blueprint for how to do it. Because golf can be enjoyed at every stage of life, our relationship with it evolves as we age. That’s why golf can be whatever we need it to be. When Gramps was young golf was a competition, when he was building a family it became a job, after retirement it was a way to be with grand-kids and now as he enjoys his days of leisure golf is a pastime. It’s a game that never stops giving. There’s nothing else quite like it and someday I hope I can look back upon my golf experiences and appreciate just how much I got from them. I see that in Gramps and he inspires me to do the same.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J