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

A Sure-Fire Way to Focus

Hitting tee shots offline is a sure fire way to build focus as a golfer. That’s because the recovery shot has to have your full attention. Through years of spending time in the trees and beyond, I’ve learned how to hit all sorts of fancy shots. Necessity breeds innovation I suppose. Because my chances at par have been so often dependent on this sort of swing, I’ve discovered how to center my attention on the shot at hand. In order to carve the ball around trees, punch through small openings, and hit fast moving stingers I can’t let my mind slip. Over time, that focus has carried over into the rest of my game. Survival skills are an important part of evolution and the same holds true for golf. When you have to pull a great shot out of thin air, your focus tends to get pretty sharp. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you feel like you don’t have any other option. Every miss is just an opportunity to get the next one right. If you can take the concentration on a recovery shot back out into the fairways good things will start to 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

In Golf, Greatness is Relative

The mid-handicap golfer has the hardest time making a leap to the next level. While higher handicapped players can experience fast improvement through practice and instruction, a single-digit index can often feel more like a plateau. The amount of time and thought required to approach scratch through skill development is significant. Most decent players don’t have the availability to do so. The best way for someone of that caliber to find those desired gains is through course management. With careful consideration, a mid-handicapper can shoot lower scores by eliminating mistakes. Where golf skills may have their limitations, proper strategy can make up the difference. Finding a stock shot and using it to maneuver around the course is key. Positioning for par should always be top priority. As finding both fairway and green becomes more regular, so will lower scores. Taking big numbers out of play is a big deal too. Keeping the course in front of you and scoring through avoidance is a brilliant way to maximize one’s game. It takes a tactician’s mindset to achieve this. A mid-handicap player can shoot near or better than par if they are simply willing to become a best-in-class plotter. Golf is a thinking game and when a good player learns to sharpen their mindful tools they can have a real breakthrough. Greatness is relative and there is more than one way to find 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

The Spirit of Municipal Golf

Municipal courses are the backbone of American golf. These are places built for the people. For over a century, publicly owned and operated courses have been the breeding ground for passionate players and lifelong lovers of the game. “Munis” make up a significant amount of our nation’s golf landscape and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short scruffy and filled with quirk while others are big brawny and immaculately manicured. They have one unifying commonality — anyone can play them. What a beautiful ideal to uphold! Municipal golf has seen both good times and bad in America. In most places, they teeter in between. Some would have them shuttered, claiming that the land and money should be put to better use. However, there are also millions of people who are willing to fight for their ability to enjoy public golf. The game means too much to too many for municipal facilities to become defunded. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to keep them open and improve their experiences, but this is America…it’s not supposed to be easy. Municipal golf only works when we demand that it does. Like most elements of our democracy, we must insist that our leaders listen, learn, and act if we are to preserve the benefits of public golf. Municipal courses matter in so many ways and it’s up to those who use, need, and support them to help share that truth. That starts with putting some skin in the game and getting involved. Ask yourself, what can I do for my Muni? Above everything else, golfers need to promote the benefits and beliefs that drive public golf. In unison, those who want these courses to thrive should proclaim their support and show their dedication to this cause. Sharing with the masses that municipal courses uphold an important promise that is fundamental to the future of the game: Golf is for everyone. A creed that should be proudly shared all across our country.


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 Carts Aren’t My Scene

I’ve never been a big fan of playing in a golf cart. Although they serve some purpose, I believe that the experience of playing golf is diminished when riding. I’ve had many fun days in carts and have made plenty of memories while riding around the course, but it’s not my preferred method of play. Carts are great for a few holes with friends and family, they are nice to have when weather threatens to disrupt, and on some courses they are simply necessary to get around. I’m not a zealot when it comes to opposing their use — sometimes that’s just the game. I take a ride here and there, however I generally avoid the practice. When I walk, I see more, hear more, and enjoy more of what makes golf such a splendid outdoor pursuit. Carts disconnect me from all the things I enjoy most about golf. They even make it hard to talk to my playing companions. In a cart, a round of golf feels very choppy. Stop and go, in and out, over and around. I like things to be a bit more leisurely than that. Most places push golfers into carts for financial reasons and that model doesn’t make much sense to me. I really don’t want to pay to be rushed around in a vehicle. For others, that’s the way they like the game and that’s OK. To each their own. The golf cart is a useful tool, but I wouldn’t recommend making it part of a golfing lifestyle. It’s OK to take a ride now and then, but I’ve always found a walk to be more fulfilling.


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 is Great for Teenagers

A golf course is a great place to be a teenager. It’s the sort of environment most adolescents need as they begin the transition to adulthood. During one’s formative years it’s important to have a laboratory for learning. Every hole is an opportunity to discover something new about life. Golf teaches many things that young people will prosper from knowing. Patience, perseverance, self-belief, and courteousness to name a few. Playing with contemporaries and other acquaintances strengthen friendships and create conversational skills. Golf reveals a certain grit too. It’s a fine sport for developing personality and character as well. The teenager tends to think they know a lot, but hours spent failing at golf will prove otherwise. It’s good to be humbled regularly and golf will do that with ease. Young people need places for exploring who they are. A long walk in pursuit of a perplexing game does just the trick. Teenagers long for freedom and a golf course can offer that in a way that works for both them and their guardians. There is just enough room to roam without becoming lost. A golfer is a good thing to be and the teenage years are a fine time to become one.


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

Some Swings Before Work

Golf in the morning is sure to make any day much improved. Especially if it happens before work. There’s something about swinging through the dew that makes me want to get things done. Maybe it’s the sights and sounds of the course coming together around me. Meditations under a morning sun are good for focusing the mind. It only takes a few holes to get my conscience in line with my ambitions and from that clarity strategies for business start to form. Golf is an underrated mechanism for charting a productive day. As much as I adore ending my evenings on the course, starting a day there is a different sort of dopamine hit. Instead of relaxing after work, the object of the early morning outing is more akin to a check up on my determination. With a full schedule ahead, a quickened pace is needed, and finishing on time is the first accomplishment of the day. Getting the heart rate up helps to set the tone for the work that needs to happen later. In this sense, dawn patrol is a wonderful window of time for golf. When there is much to do, those hours may be the only ones available for the game. I’ve often profited from such walks when all I could do is swing, walk, and repeat in a timely way. In those dew-covered steps I find a rhythm for my daily requirements. Work starts as soon as I start thinking about it and a few holes with coffee is a great way to fall into the cadence of a busy day. The focus needed for golf is easily transferred to other projects. If I can scratch my itch for this early, then the rest of the day is left to get things done.


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

Give It Everything You Got

Some golf holes require a mighty swing. These are the sort where in order to score well a bold move must be made. Every course deserves a moment or two that challenge the limits of a player’s ability. A smooth turn works in most instances, but certain holes demand a bit more gusto. A big carry or sharp dogleg may be the instigating scenario here. There is always a high risk of failure involved in these tense scenarios. Hazards and hillocks may be scattered about and doom may seem certain. Knowing that an ejection can occur is a powerful motivation to abandon any trepidation though. There’s only one way to manage this. With no safe harbor in sight, the golfer must conjure up a confident swing to overcome an uncertain result. A decisive strike is needed to avoid the potential pitfalls placed on the hole. These shots will cause all sorts of trouble for the golfer who can’t stay focused. Too much thinking will turn things sideways in a hurry. It’s better to grab a trusted club and swing it with authority. Make a lashing blow down and through the ball. Moving onward to the target with a high finish and hope for a fine result. Shots like this are what make golf interesting. Give it everything you got.


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

It’s Good To Be a Grinder

Most golf rounds are a grind. Every shot is a battle against bogey and it is hard to stay in that mindset hole after hole. For the majority of amateurs, managing misses is just a way of life though. Finding a way to turn off-center swings into a string of pars is a real skill. Honestly, it’s much more impressive than the monotonous player’s rhythm of hitting fairways and greens. It takes constant concentration to keep scores low when the ball doesn’t behave the way you’d like. Through some combination of strategy and scrambling, pars can be manufactured from a myriad of challenging positions. Leaving shots in places with room to recover is a key element of that thinking. Steering away from hazards and staying below the hole are smart moves too. Golfers who make many birdies set themselves up with booming drives and well-struck approaches. The par saver makes their hay by knowing where miss-hits are most likely to go. Chips, putts, punches, and sand saves are all important parts of that repertoire. The best grinders take a great deal of pride in this work. And it most certainly is work. There are indeed days where things go more according to plan, but the law of averages usually yields an outing with many difficulties. In this reality, golf can often feel more like a mining operation than leisure. However, there is much to appreciate about hard-fought pars. It’s good to be a grinder.


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