A Chess Match

A tight golf match can feel like a game of chess. When going head to head, it helps to watch your opponent’s every move. There are signals being sent in the actions a golfer takes during competition. Some moves show confidence while others indicate restraint. It’s smart to keep a keen eye on how your opponent comports themselves during the battle. A golf match is a contest between not only skills but also decision making. The result comes down to who can execute the best strategy. Understanding when to move your pieces and why makes all the difference.


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 Talk With Friends

Eighteen holes leaves a lot of time to talk. Especially while on foot. When we play with our most dear companions the conversations tend to delve into all aspects of life. We talk about family, frustrations, and even other friends. There are chats concerning our children, current events, and career trajectory. Some blokes discuss their love life while others prefer the stocks they like to pick. Golf trips and community gossip are always popular topics too. There really isn’t much off the table. When we play with our pals, it’s a chance to both celebrate our joys and unload some baggage. We tell our golf friends all sorts of things because through sharing we discover we aren’t alone in our successes and challenges. It’s good to know others are with us. Step by step and word by word we untangle the thoughts we tend to otherwise keep to ourselves. Perhaps it’s the open space that inspires such sharing. Mostly, it’s just knowing that the golfers you walk with care enough to listen. Having someone hear you out helps more than most like to admit. A tee time is a mutual agreement in that sense. When we play golf we drop our guard. The game makes everyone vulnerable and it’s that common footing that allows these discussions to happen with ease. The shots we make matter, but the talks we have along the way are often what we need more. Golf is a good way to sort out where we stand with each other and there’s a lot of time for conversation between swings.


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

Newfound Confidence

A good golf lesson can make a mid handicap player feel like a tour pro. With some focus on fundamentals and a pep talk on creating power, a decent player can see dramatic gains in their performance. Those who possess a solid skillset but lack consistency are always the quickest turnaround. With a little hard work, a sensible teacher can get a higher, straighter, and more reliable shot shape from their pupil in only a few range sessions. It doesn’t take long before a newfound sense of confidence will kick in. So much of scoring comes from believing in one’s ability. If there is anything that makes a golf professional worth their lesson price it’s finding a repeatable swing that creates a confident player. Once a golfer feels like they can take dead aim there isn’t much to stop them from shooting good scores.


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

Life From the Rough

If you play enough golf, you’re going to get highly acquainted with being in the rough. That’s because most of golf is a wayward experience. The convenience of the fairway is a much-preferred place to play from but don’t set your expectations there. It’s better to build a game that anticipates the constant conflicts that come from difficult lies. Much like in life, the hard spots are the norm. You best be ready to swing from such places. If you can learn to score from the difficult positions you’ll build unflappable confidence. It’s a lot easier to get lucky from the short grass, but the rough will make you gritty. If you can play well from there, you can succeed anywhere on the course. That’s a good lesson for living too.


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

Tools, Not Jewels

Golf clubs are tools, not jewels. They are supposed to get dirty, dinged up, and disheveled. Clubs only look new when they haven’t been used. They are meant to be swung through grass, mud, roots, and weeds. In that vein, wear and tear is a sign of success. You can’t get dirt in your grooves unless you play and that’s what clubs are for. Every nick on the club head is a mark of character. Those scars have stories too. They tell of the good, bad, and ugly that happens in golf. Imperfections are indicative of adventure. The golfer goes out into the vast expanses of the game with a goal of combating each course — their clubs are the tools of this battle. Show me a set that lacks the blemishes and bruises brought on my regular use and I’ll show you a golfer who hasn’t earned their stripes. Those sticks are meant for hitting. Go rough them up.


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 Sucker Pin

Every golfer wants to fire at the pin, but that’s not always what’s called for. Pardon the expression, but a “sucker pin” is named that way for a reason. Some hole placements are meant to test restraint. When pins are tucked into corners and hidden behind hills, it may be best to hit to the middle and putt to them from afar. This isn’t as much about playing safe as it is simply the proper way to score. When the pin is in a diabolical position, the odds of making a birdie with a putter are much higher than with an approach shot. Pride can get in the way though. That’s what the designer and superintendent had in mind when they created certain pin-able areas. Sometimes the exam is based more on strategy than ability. Just because you can hit it close doesn’t mean you should always try to do so. When the margin for error is small, it’s smart to make the target as large as possible. There is always more green to work with than the tricky pin would have you believe. Thanks to hubris, it can be harder to make the wise swing than the daring one, but we chase the sucker pin at our own peril. Instead of aiming for corners, it’s better to work off the middle.


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 Importance of Golf Culture

The best way to improve the bottom line for a golf course or club is to invest in culture. The places that display a reverence for the game tend to attract golfers who do the same. The course that finds this sort of player will surely discover success. In this scenario, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Whether it’s experiential competitions, clearly communicated expectations, or even just regularly scheduled outings, it takes effort to create a compelling product. Unfortunately, this is where most places fall short. Building culture might sound expensive, but lacking one is much more costly in the end. It doesn’t take any more money to make strong impressions through service and professional pride. Golf culture comes in many different models but you always know it when you see it. Culture is not exclusive to private clubs either. Some public links and municipal facilities have the best examples around. It comes down to the folks who set the tone – the staff, the board, the regulars, and guests. Each personal interaction is a chance to share what a place stands for. Anyone who comes to a golf course should be able to easily understand what matters most there and why. Some places try to fake it, but the true colors always shine through. Meanwhile, the best hangs are the ones where people have a high golf IQ and deep appreciation for what matters most in the game. Show me a struggling golf course or club and I’ll show you a culture that’s not what it should be. No two places are the same, but the ones that do best are where culture drives everything. After all, that’s what golfers really come to 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

An Unshakeable Relationship with Golf

There is no amount of money, fame, or privilege that I would trade for the ability to play golf. My lifelong desire is to take walks with friends, make swings through fields, and stake my claim in the game I love. More obsession than habit and more life choice than infatuation, my love for golf runs deep. The game is woven into the very fabric of my being and to separate me from it would fracture my soul. With each round of golf played, I find myself pulled further into an unshakable relationship with the sport. As I learn from the game, I also hope to help keep it alive. I suppose that would be my way of returning the favor. Golf is not a reason for living, it’s just how I choose to do it.


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

An Instinctual Swing

Any time I’m faced with a must make shot, I try to dig deep and find a pure golf swing. What I mean by that is a swing that relies on the decades of golf experiences I’ve had. I don’t believe it’s possible to try and make a great swing. I just have to let it happen. Muscle memory can achieve incredible things, but first I have to get the brain out of the way. Too much thinking can disrupt my athletic ability. The best shots come from instinct. If I can visualize the result I want, focus on my setup, and let my body just react then things usually turn out pretty well. This is true for so many golfers. We just have to let our swing do the work.


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 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